This National Championship game is all about the David vs Goliath aspect to it. From an odds perspective, TCU opened as a 13-point underdog, and that is now down to 12.5 points in the Betfred Sportsbook. TCU has been fighting for respect all year, and this game is no different.
It feels like no one is giving the Frogs a chance to win outright - so what do they need to actually get it done?
Here are some keys:
Tempo, tempo, tempo
TCU averages about 71 plays a game for the year, and for the Horned Frogs to have a chance here they need to hit that number and go over it.
Georgia plays smash mouth football with their running game and can air it out with Stetson Bennett, but they can’t match the pace of the Horned Frogs. Max Duggan quarterbacks the Horned Frogs offense and has been a key cog in why the tempo works so well in terms of how explosive they can be. They average 41 points and 474 total yards a game.
The Bulldogs beat TCU across the board on talent, but TCU can get a little bit of an advantage if they speed up the game and try and get Georgia off their game because of it.
The TCU defense has been nothing special this year, but they’ve been very good at forcing turnovers.
They have a +9-turnover margin on the season and forced Michigan into four different turnovers in just their previous game. Two of those turnovers were returned the other way for touchdowns in favor of the Horned Frogs. They are going up against a Georgia offense that has been decent at holding onto the ball with the Bulldogs having a combined 18 turnovers on the season.
If TCU is going to have any chance, their defense needs to be ball hawks and try and force as many turnovers as possible to help their own offense out too.
Air it out
This is easier said than done against an elite defense like Georgia’s, but it’s the best way TCU will be able to move the ball against the Bulldogs.
Max Duggan is their leader and he’s a great quarterback, who’s full of toughness on the football field. He has 32 passing touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and he has a 64 percent completion percentage on the year. He’s going to be the best quarterback in this game, and he will also have the best wide receiver in this game to throw to with 59 receptions, 1,066 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns on the year. Georgia’s going to be the best passing defense that TCU will have faced all year. The Bulldogs allow 215 passing yards a game and will be a very tough test for Max Duggan and the TCU passing offense. The reason why the TCU offense needs to focus on the pass is because Georgia allows 77 rushing yards a game and is one of the best rushing defenses in the country.
You don’t want to become completely predictable, but the TCU passing offense got the Horned Frogs this far and should be the thing they lean on in this game.
Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter @Jake_Faigus