The 104th Rose Bowl will be played today between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Georgia Bulldogs. Although, usually played between PAC-12 schools, the Rose Bowl is in the CFB Playoff rotation and will be used for the playoffs ever three years. Here’s a look at the preview between two of the best teams in the nation.
#2 Oklahoma Sooners
Biggest headline coming out of Oklahoma was the healthiness of Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. Mayfield led the Sooners top ranking offense to 583 yards a game, while scoring 45 points a game, 4th in the nation. Mayfeild scored 41 of the Sooner’s 44 passing TDs and only had 5 interceptions on the season while throwing for 4340 yards. Interestingly Mayfeild had this to say about all the question that his team mates were getting about his sickness.
Baker Mayfield -“I’m not dying”
Here is the video proof. pic.twitter.com/KgpikAbXP2
— Curtis Fitzpatrick (@cfitzfox) December 30, 2017
All is to say that Mayfield will be playing with fire and you do not want an angry Baker on the field before a playoff game.
Oklahoma also has a healthy running game, going for 2807 yards and 31 TDs on the season, led by sophomore RB Rodney Anderson who has 960 yards and 11 TDs on the season.
Since the end of October, Oklahoma has not scores less than 3 passing TD’s a game, completing 67% of their passes while racking up 1800 yards, going for around 11 yards an attempt. At the same time, the Sooners have been piling up the stats on the ground with 1100 yards, 11 TDs and just over 5 yards a carry. This Oklahoma team is just primed to score this game.
However, there is one thing off about Oklahoma. Their defense allowed over 350 yards in 9 of their 13 games including 523 yards to a depleted Baylor team, 661 yards to a high powered Oklahoma State offense in the Battle of Bedlam and 450 yards to a 3rd String Iowa State QB that beat the Sooners for their only loss.
Georgia has the 4th best defense int he country, allowing only 270 yards a game, in a tough SEC matchup. Many will say that Georgia played in a down year for the SEC East, but they are probably salty Auburn fans. Georgia’s defense is straight up dominant. In 13 games, the Georgia defense held teams to under 14 points 10 times and under 7 points 5 times. After losing to Auburn in the beginning of December, 40-17, the Bulldogs changed things around and beat the Tigers in a 28-7 rout in the SEC championship while holding Auburn to 200 less yards.
Georgia is led by QB Jake Fromm, who took over in the season opener after a knee injury to starting QB Jacob Eason. Since then, Fromm has been dominant, completeing 63 percent of his passes for 21 TD’s and only 5 interceptions. Fromm is averaging almost 9 yards a pass, mostly to a duo of receivers in SR WR Javon Wims and JR WR Terry Godwin who have a combined 1200 yards and 12 TD’s on the season.
However, Georgia is led by a par of 1000 yards backs, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Chubb is averaging just over 15 yards a carry on 191 attempts and Michel is averaging 7 yards a carry on 131 attempts. The pair have 26 TD’s on the season. The two are the most prolific running back duo since Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine ran for 2500 yards in 2015.
Personally, I would love for Oklahoma to win this game, but the Sooner defense is too porous and have been smoked by teams like West Virginia and Kansas State who both rank for over 250 yards and 4 TD’s against the Sooners. The line started as a pick and has been moving in favor of the Bulldogs. In the end, the Bulldog defense will be too much for the Sooners and Nick Chubb will be able to exploit the Sooner D. Georgia wins 28-14.