Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss the matchup in the National Championship Game between No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 TCU, and debate how the Horned Frogs could potentially pull off the massive upset and win the National Championship.
ROSS DELLENGER: Now, we've said it all year about TCU, and they keep on finding ways to win games against teams that are way more talented. So it's not out of the question.
DAN WETZEL: Hi, welcome to the Pod National Championship Game Monday in Los Angeles. How does TCU win this game? What does TCU have to do to win this game? What do you want to see in those first quarter that says TCU gonna win this game, other than Stetson Bennett throws two pick sixes and fumbles at the one-yard line? Gets the gets a case of the McCarthy's?
PAT FORDE: I think it's protect the quarterback, complete passes. I think Max Duggan-- it's a good thing he's mobile, because he's probably going to get chased. The one thing about CJ Stroud, too-- he was very, very rarely sacked during the season. People were kind of freaking out about Georgia's lack of pressure on him. He was rarely sacked during the regular season.
And Georgia wasn't a big sack team, but they do affect the passer, and they didn't affect him enough. So if Max Duggan gets a clean pocket, he's going to have open guys. He might have Quentin Johnston deep at 6' 4'' going up against people. And they can get guys in the flats with speed. And so if they can get the passing game going, I think they could be dangerous.
I don't expect them to be able to run the ball. Ohio State had some success. They got over 100 yards, but a lot of that was CJ Stroud scrambling late. They didn't hand the ball off and just control the game that way, and neither is TCU going s be. But I think if you can do that, and not get knocked back on your heels by Georgia's passing game and running game, then I think they could be right in there.
ROSS DELLENGER: I think they do need probably some of the things that happened in the Michigan game. I think they probably do need some pretty key red zone stops, or red zone turnovers. I just see this one talent-wise-- and I know we've said it all year about TCU-- but they keep on finding ways to win games against teams that are way more talented. They're going to need turnovers.
They're going to need stops in the red zone, and forcing field goals, and things like that. And I do think, as Pat was saying, Georgia has been exposed a little bit in the secondary of the last two games. Ohio State exposed them 350 yards passing, four touchdown passes. LSU, 500-- I think it was 500-- passing yards, and a lot of that was late in garbage time, but still. So there's obviously something there, and I'm sure a coach is smart as Sonny Dykes and Garrett Riley-- the offensive coordinator-- will find ways to exploit them.
And they're going to have to hit those deep passes. I remember going into the Ohio State-Georgia game, thinking that Georgia would win pretty handedly unless Ohio State hit some longer, deep passes. And they did. And TCU has got to do the same thing, plus probably get a couple of turnovers, like they have all season. So it's not out of the question.
DAN WETZEL: Look, I'm with you. And this is every underdog's thing, right? We need a non-offensive score, or something that sets up points. Max Duggan has got to be able to-- they need some big plays off of him on designed QB draws. He's really good when he can get out in the open field.
He's hard to take down. They need to make that work a little bit. I'd like to see three or four real nice carries out of that. Obviously, you got to pass the ball. I also just think they need a chaos game. I just think they thrive in the mayhem. There's still-- there's a little bit of DNA of the old Big 12 craziness. And, look, Georgia just came back on 14 on Ohio State, and just played a chaos game.
But I think yeah, this can't be boring. I thought the way Michigan was going to win was just grind them down, right? And Georgia can do that, too, and you can't quite survive that. But I think that's the way. I'd say this. The spread started at 13 and 1/2. It's down to 12 and 1/2. See? That's excitement, right there. Yeah.