College Football Playoff semifinals: 3 keys for every crew

After an extended, thrilling faculty soccer season, it is come all the way down to this: 4 groups competing within the College Football Playoff semifinals on Saturday, every hoping to earn an opportunity to face off for a shot on the large gold trophy.

Who has the sting in Saturday’s large video games? Listed here are three keys for every crew.

PEACH BOWL

No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Georgia (-6.5)

These are two of the three most proficient and evenly-matched groups within the nation. UGA has 15 five-stars to Ohio State’s 14, 53 four-stars to Ohio State’s 52, and 17 three-stars to Ohio State’s 16. UGA has the second-best scoring protection within the nation and Ohio State has the second-best scoring offense. Each have Heisman finalists at quarterback, and each have head coaches with generational expertise — an offensive thoughts in Ryan Day and defensive thoughts in Kirby Sensible.

KEYS TO THE GAME FOR GEORGIA

Cease Marvin Harrison Jr.

Discover a strategy to bracket Harrison Jr. and drive Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming and others to beat you. For 2 years, UGA has heard Ohio State has one of many deepest huge receiver corps within the nation. Make them show it.

Maintain the ball

Suffocate the Buckeyes offense. It may well’t breathe with out possession. The Dawgs are the uncommon elite crew and not using a 1,000-yard tailback or a 1,000-yard receiver. This underscores how the offense acts as a featured complement to what has been one of the best protection in soccer for 2 consecutive seasons.

This additionally means the offense must act like grad assistant to the protection and simply keep out of its approach. Meaning do not flip the ball over, take what the OSU protection provides you and sit on the soccer. The one approach Ohio State can beat Georgia is that if the sport turns right into a shootout.

Load out 12 personnel — two tight ends, one working again — early usually

Let the bash brothers, Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington, go to work on an OSU secondary that was uncovered in man-to-man and could not fill a niche in case you gave them 100 yards of flex seal tape.

Bowers and Washington are a matchup nightmare for each crew UGA faces. Having one looks like a bonus; having each looks like having a twelfth man on the sphere.

KEYS TO THE GAME FOR OHIO STATE

Run east and west to get north and south

You’ve gotten one of the best huge receiver room within the nation, so put him to work with bubble and huge receiver screens. Kent State loved success towards UGA with these screens, and people are matchups you’ll be able to win. If you may get UGA working sideline-to-sideline, you’ll be able to punch them within the intestine later within the sport. But when Ohio State decides to undergo UGA fairly than round or over their heads, then UGA will say thanks and take their three-and-outs.

4 fingers on Jalen Carter always

Each run play must contain two males blocking Carter, essentially the most proficient nostril deal with within the sport. He is that good at wrecking offensive strains. With no TreVeyon Henderson, combine within the Mighty Miyan Williams and Dallan Hayden as usually as you’ll be able to. When one will get sizzling, go quick and journey that again. Put on out that UGA entrance in case you get the possibility.

Marvin the Martian is all the time down there someplace

Give him an opportunity to go straight at Kelee Ringo’s chest. Whereas there are 29 five-stars on this sport and two Heisman finalists, there is only one Biletnikoff Award finalist, and he must see double-digit targets. Harrison emerged because the Buckeyes’ No. 1 choice with 72 catches for over 1,100 yards with 12 TDs.

Harrison Jr. may have his one-on-one alternatives towards Georgia’s man protection. He’ll must win extra of these than he loses for the Buckeyes to win.

WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR GEORGIA?

Pricey Georgia,

After 40 years, you completed the climb. You sit alone on the mountaintop, heat inside your bastille, a banner praising what you probably did yesterday. You are peerless now, sure, however at this worth: You are actually hunted. Towards Kent State, you seemed lazy. Towards Missouri, you seemed bored. That is who you are actually — the favourite. Successful is not celebrated anymore. It’s anticipated. Are you able to deal with that expectation? Are you able to preserve the mantle it took 4 a long time to take?

The altering of the guard has occurred already. You’re not storming castles. Taking it is not the identical as conserving it. The enemy is on the gate, and also you stand alone.

WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR OHIO STATE?

Pricey Ohio State,

You’re the crew that has misplaced twice in a row to the one you name That Crew Up North. You’re the crew whose head coach has been in comparison with John Cooper and Marv Levy. You’re that crew whose quarterback has but to win a championship. You’re that crew who was merely one of the best of the remainder. You are the fourth crew — the dunked-on spot. However is that every one you might be?

Will you again down, cower, like a false king standing bare and shivering within the woods whereas the monster feasts in your individuals? Is it not the guts of the Buckeye nation that beats in you? Will you set the desk within the enemy’s mess corridor, anticipate the monster to strategy your door and beg him to enter in order that it’d know you as Grendel knew Beowulf. Are you not ripper, terror, slasher, gouger? Are you not the tooth within the darkness? The talons within the night time? Is yours not power and lust and energy? Are you not The Ohio State?

RJ’S PREDICTION

There is not any query Ohio State may’ve gone blow-for-blow with Georgia if the Buckeyes have been wholesome. It is going to be robust to try this on Saturday night time with out two of their extra proficient ability gamers on the offense and because the underdog for maybe the primary time since taking part in for the nationwide title two years in the past.

Georgia is my decide to win the sport, however a Buckeye upset would not shock me within the least, particularly given OSU has extra to lose and extra to achieve than UGA on this semifinal.

FIESTA BOWL

No. 3 TCU vs. No. 2 Michigan (-7.5)

KEYS TO THE GAME FOR TCU

Sprinkle some Max on it

Duggan is your talisman. He’s the magic man. When you end up in third-and-long with the sport feeling as if it is teetering on the sting — and it is going to be as a result of that is simply how TCU likes to play — give the Heisman finalist the ball and nobody else.

Submit Michigan up

In Quentin Johnson and Savion Williams, TCU has a measurement benefit at huge receiver. Use it. A bounce ball is a ball Johnson and Williams can win, particularly if offensive coordinator Garrett Riley succeeds in sucking in Michigan’s safeties with regular doses of working again Kendre Miller and Emari Demercado.

Do it once more

That factor Joe Gillespie and the protection did towards Texas after they held the Doak Walker Award winner Bijan Robinson to 29 yards on 12 rushes and did not permit an offensive TD all sport? As soon as is luck. Twice is a development.

KEYS TO THE GAME FOR MICHIGAN

Outrun ‘em with Donovan

Stick the rock in working again Donovan Edwards’ abdomen and run him like Frank Hopkins did Hidalgo. No tailback is hotter than No. 7 in maize and blue.

He is rushed for 216 and 185 yards, respectively, in Michigan’s final two video games. Towards AP-ranked opponents, he is averaged 10.2 yards per keep it up 38 rushes. He is the U-M bellcow. Ring him.

Give Sonny Dykes what he desires

J.J. McCarthy is Michigan’s finest probability to hole TCU off the road. Sonny Dykes mentioned as a lot. He desires J.J. to be the explanation TCU loses. Ohio State needed that, too. Take your pictures, Michigan, and drive cornerbacks Bud Clark and the Thorpe Award winner Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson to carry the road for 4 quarters.

Deliver 5 or extra and convey them usually

Do not forget that TCU-Texas sport I discussed? TCU’s offensive line confirmed its deficiencies in that sport, too. Sending 5 was sufficient to stress Max Duggan, a lot in order that Texas put him on his again with 5 sacks in that sport. Blitz TCU and also you’re in all probability gonna get to Duggan extra usually than he beats you.

WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR TCU?

Pricey TCU,

I examine a crew such as you as soon as. I say “read about it” as a result of it was earlier than my time. It was earlier than yours, too. This crew full of school children such as you had the audacity to skate onto the identical ice as a bunch of execs suiting up for what was as soon as known as the Soviet Union’s males’s hockey crew.

What was off about these faculty children, although, is that they believed they may win. It was 1980. These have been the Winter Olympics. This group of school children represented the US in males’s hockey. They’d a coach who appreciated to talk in riddles like your coach’s outdated man, Spike Dykes. However he pushed them. He skated them till he was positive they understood the problem they confronted and the title they carried on their chest meant greater than the one they carried on their again. He’d yell at them, “The legs feed the wolf!” Like a litany, like a prayer. “The legs feed the wolf!”

There is a Russian proverb that claims, “A wolf is fed by its legs.” Do you know a wolf pack will hunt its prey for over 100 miles if that is what it takes to eat? The legs feed the wolf. The U.S. males’s hockey crew beat the Soviets. The legs feed the wolf. So my query to you, TCU, is what feeds you?

100 miles and working.

WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR MICHIGAN?

Pricey Michigan,

What’s modified? You aren’t the underdog. You’re not a pleasant story. Maybe that was your story. Maybe you continue to keep in mind I did not rank you. I did not assume you have been that good. Maybe that is what you run on — spite. Retains me charged up, respecting the method, tiptoeing the boundary between the boldness to win and the vanity that may get you beat. However you continue to ain’t received it. It has been 25 years since anyone carrying maize and blue even performed for a nationwide title. Oh, I am sorry, did you overlook? Final time you beat Ohio State you misplaced this sport. So I am going to ask once more: What’s modified?

The face in your bulletin board.

RJ’S PREDICTION

Michigan is my decide, and the rating won’t be shut. The Wolverines are constructed to mash, and nobody has succeeded in stopping that offensive line from transferring males towards their will up to now this season.

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RJ Younger is a nationwide faculty soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.” Observe him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.


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