By Arnie Leshin
NO. 3 TEXAS CHRISTIAN IS LOOKING TO SCORE ANOTHER UPSET WHILE NO. 1 GEORGIA SEEKS A SECOND STRAIGHT NATIONAL COLLEGE DIVISION 1 FOOTBALL CHAMPIOINSHIP
FOLLOW THE BOUNCING BALL TO
SEE HOW THE TEAMS MATCH UP —
Ask Big 12 coaches what someone might overlook about Texas Christian and they point to the guys up front on offense. The word is that the Horned Frogs o-line is good, very good, they are skilled blockers.
Their left guard Steve Avila is an All-America. Tackles Brandon Coleman (6-6, 326) and Andrew Coker (6-7, 315) are even bigger than Georgia’s tackles.
The line is also loaded with experience. They have all been in college for four seasons. Avila and company paved the way for 263 yards rushing against Michigan. The challenge against Georgia will be greater.
Only two opponents all season have gained more than 4.0 yards per carry against the Bulldogs. None reached 5.0. TCU averaged 5.32 per carry, 15th in the country.
Emari Demercado (150 yards on 17 carries) had a career game against Michigan after leading rusher Kendre Miller (1,399 and 17 touchdowns this season) went out with a knee injury. TCU head coach Sonny Dykes called Miller questionable earlier this week.
Two of Georgia’s four leading receivers are tight ends and they help the Bulldogs create all kinds of mismatches for quarterback Stetson Bennett to exploit.
Their Brock Brewers is 6-4, 230 pounds with wide receiver athleticism and the ability to run like a tailback. Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken lines up Brewer all over, including in the backfield. The sophomore leads the team with 56 catches for 790 yards.
GEORGIA’S KELEE RINGO:
Cornerback Kalee Ringo of Georgia was one of the stars of last year’s national championship game. He’s regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the country and doesn’t shy away from the best of wide receivers as he displayed in the semifinals’ Peach Bowl. He is a pick-6 weapon, quick and determined.
TCU’s QUENTIN JOHNSTON:
Wide receiver Quentin Johnston of TCU is a favorite target of quarterback Max Duggan. In the Fiesta Bowl semifinals, Johnston hauled in six catches for 163 yards and a touchdown even though he was limited by nagging injuries much of the season but was still the Horned Frogs’ leading receiver.
Prediction: Georgia 42, TCU 24.