Final: Georgia defeats Michigan 34-11 to advance to the 2021 College Football Playoff national championship
In dominating fashion, Georgia defeated Michigan in the Orange Bowl 34-11 to advance to the 2021 College Football Playoff national championship.
Georgia dominated from the start of the game, scoring on each of its first five possessions. Quarterback Stetson Bennett completed his first seven passes, throwing 3 touchdowns in the process. Overall, Bennett had his way with the Michigan defense, throwing for his second-straight 300-yard game.
On defense, Georgia cornerback Derion Kendrick led the way with two interceptions. The Bulldogs kept Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara on his toes all evening as he only threw for 106 yards. Georgia also shut down the Michigan rushing attack; the nation's tenth-leading rushing offense entering the game only gained 88 yards on the ground. Click or tap here for complete stats from the game.
Michigan finds the endzone! Georgia 34, Michigan 11 | 4Q - 4:25
After 55 minutes of football, Michigan has finally found the endzone. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw a 35-yards pass to wide receiver Andrel Anthony for the first touchdown for the Wolverines. The Wolverines added to the touchdown as A.J. Henning ran in for the two-point conversion.
Bennett to Cook for six! Georgia 34, Michigan 3 | 4Q -11:11
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett threw his third touchdown of the day, finding running back James Cook up the left sideline. With the touchdown grab, Cook has over 100 total yards of offense. Stetson Bennett has thrown for his second highest yardage total of the season, with back-to-back games throwing for 300 or more passing yards.
Georgia leads Michigan 34-3 with plenty of time in the fourth quarter remaining.
Dalvin Cook has a younger brother 😳— PFF (@PFF) January 1, 2022
James Cook will be in the NFL soon 🚀pic.twitter.com/Z9lb4PIPXh
Third quarter update: Georgia leads Michigan 27-3
One quarter remains before the 2021 College Football Playoff championship teams are set and Georgia holds a significant lead over Michigan 27-3 in the semifinals. The third quarter was a scoreless period, as Georgia missed a field goal and Michigan threw an interception in the endzone.
Michigan will start the fourth quarter with the ball at the Georgia 41-yard line.
Fumble Michigan! 3Q - 7:25
Georgia's All-American linebacker Nakobe Dean forced Michigan running back Blake Corum to fumble and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt recovered the ball. Georgia takes over with possession at its own 47-yard line.
The fumble is the third Michigan turnover of the day.
Kendrick grabs another one! 3Q - 10:02
A promising Michigan drive to open the second half ended with a second interception for Georgia cornerback Derion Kendrick. Kendrick's second interception came in the endzone on an overthrow from Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara.
Halftime update: Georgia leads Michigan 27-3
After one half, Georgia has a commanding 27-3 lead over Michigan.
The Bulldogs have been dominant both offensively and defensively. On offense, Georgia has torched the Michigan secondary, with quarterback Stetson Bennett missing just four passes while tossing for 234 yards and two touchdowns. When Bennett wasn't throwing for touchdowns, a running back was; Georgia's second touchdown came via halfback pass.
In one half, Michigan has allowed more points, passing yards and total yards of offense than its season averages. Moreover, it's been a quiet day for Heisman finalist Aidan Hutchinson.
On defense, Georgia has rediscovered its dominant ways. The Bulldogs have shut down the powerful Michigan rushing attack; running back Hassan Haskins has just 13 yards and Blake Corum has negative one yards after two quarters. In the first half, Georgia held Michigan to a 33 percent third-down conversion rate, adding to Michigan's struggles. It looks like the Bulldogs have again found it pre-SEC championship form where it hadn't given up more than 17 points.
Michigan will receive the second-half kickoff.
Interception Bulldogs! 2Q - 1:28
On the first play of Michigan's drive, quarterback Cade McNamara threw an interception to Georgia defensive back Derion Kendrick. After realizing he picked off the pass, Kendrick returned the interception to the Michigan 49-yard line. However, a targeting penalty on the return pushes back the field position of the Bulldog offense
Georgia finds the endzone! Georgia 27, Michigan 3 | 2Q -1:38
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett found wide receiver Jermaine Burton for a 57-yard touchdown pass. The pass is the longest play of the evening for the Bulldog offense. In total, the Georgia drive took just three plays.
The score gives Georgia 252 yards through the air; that's 57.3 more yards than Michigan's season average that was good for 21st-best in the FBS.
Georgia answers! Georgia 20, Michigan 3 | 2Q - 3:50
Georgia kicker Jack Podlesny made his second field goal of the day, this time from 28-yards. The Bulldogs again lead by 17 points.
Earlier in the seven-play drive, quarterback Stetson Bennett, nicknamed the mailman, delivered a beautiful 53-yard pass right into the bucket of running back James Cook on the sideline. The play got the Bulldogs inside the Michigan 30-yard line for the fourth straight possession to open the game. However, Michigan's defense did a good job holding Georgia to another field goal, keeping the game in reach.
Michigan's offense will have less than four minutes when it starts its next possession, still in search of the first Wolverine touchdown in College Football Playoff history.
Michigan gets on the board! Georgia 17, Michigan 3 | 2Q - 7:16
Kicker Jake Moody made a 36-yard field goal to give Michigan its first points of the 2021 College Football Playoff semifinals.
Before the Wolverine drive stalled, quarterback Cade McNamara found wide receiver Roman Wilson for a 42-yard completion, giving Michigan its first chunk play of the evening. Also on the drive, McNamara exited for a play with J.J. McCarthy filling in.
Georgia adds three! Georgia 17, Michigan 0 | 2Q - 12:26
First quarter update: Georgia leads Michigan 14-0
Georgia has taken an early 14-0 lead on Michigan after one quarter of play. The Bulldogs have two passing touchdowns (one from a running back) and are 9-9 passing after the first quarter. Meanwhile, Michigan has struggled offensively with quarterback Cade McNamara gaining just 12 yards through the air. McNamara's receivers haven't helped him much, dropping a few balls early on.
Michigan now faces uncharted territory as the Wolverines haven't trailed by more than seven points all season. The Wolverine defense will have to step up to start the second quarter; Georgia has the ball at its 32-yard line, looking to make it a three-possession game.
Trick play TD! Georgia 14, Michigan 0 | 1Q - 7:59
The Bulldogs went into their bag of tricks early in the College Football Playoff semifinal, finding the endzone with a halfback-pass.
Running back Kenny McIntosh took an outside handoff to the right, with tight end Brock Bowers lead-blocking, before twisting the football in his hand to deliver a strike to the endzone. Awaiting below was wide receiver Adonai Mitchell for the touchdown.
Georgia now leads Michigan 14-0 early in the first quarter. The Bulldogs remain perfect through the air after two drives. On drive two, the Georgia rushing attack found also success as running back James Cook scampered for 21 yards.
Georgia strikes first! Georgia 7, Michigan 0 | 1Q - 10:49
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett found tight end Brock Bowers in the flat for a nine-yard touchdown catch-and-run to open the scoring in the Orange Bowl. The catch marked the the third connection between Bennett and Bowers, continuing the duo's impressive season. Bennett is 4-4 with 67 yards passing to start the game.
The Bulldog scoring drive took less than 5 minutes. Michigan will get to respond next on its first possession.