(WXYZ) — The No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs routed the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines in the College Football Playoff semifinals at the Orange Bowl on Friday night 34-11.
Georgia will now face No. 1 Alabama in a rematch from the SEC Championship, which saw the Crimson Tide beat the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs’ defense was the star of the game, holding Michigan to only 100 yards in the first half and three points.
Georgia got off to a hot start with its first drive and never let off the gas pedal in the first half. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown on a 7-play, 80-yard drive that saw Stetson Bennett find TE Brock Bowers for a 9-yard touchdown pass.
The Wolverines had seven plays on the ensuing drive, but failed to convert on a fourth-down which gave the Bulldogs the ball back.
Georgia scored again to take a 14-0 lead after a pitch to Kenny McIntosh who then threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Adonai Mitchell.
Michigan gained only three yards on six plays on the next drive and was forced to punt, and Georgia drove down the field but was held to a field goal and took a 17-0 lead.
Aidan Hutchinson walked off the field one final time in a Michigan uniform, blowing kisses in gratitude. pic.twitter.com/ZHjUGmyvvt— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 1, 2022
The Wolverines then got their first points on the board after Jake Moody kicked a 36-yard field goal, but the Bulldogs got another field goal on the next drive.
Michigan only went two yards on three plays, and then Georgia took the ball back, scoring quickly to take a 27-3 lead on a 57-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to Jermaine Burton.
Georgia took the ball back over after an interception on the first play of Michigan’s drive. Cade McNamara’s pass was intercepted by Derion Kendrick. The play was reviewed to see if Kendrick was in bounds, and it appeared there was defensive pass interference on the call. The referees determined Kendrick was out of bounds but re-established himself in-bounds before the interception.
The Bulldogs went into halftime with the 27-3 lead and the Wolverines got the ball back to start the second half.
Georgia had 330 yards in the first half compared to Michigan’s 101 total yards.
“Offensively, we’ve got to block better; pass protection and in the run game. Defensively, we have to play stronger in a lot of areas,” Harbaugh said to the TV reporter at the half.
Michigan came out strong on their first drive, driving down to the Georgia red zone, but McNamara threw a second interception to Kendrick, this time in the end zone, to give Georgia back the ball. McNamara only threw four interceptions the whole season.
After stopping Georgia on a 3-and-out, Michigan took over but Blake Corum fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Georgia’s Devonte Wyatt. That was Corum’s first fumble of the season. Georgia missed the field goal on its next drive.
Michigan’s offensive struggles continued and J.J. McCarthy started taking more snaps. On the ensuing drive, Michigan went 7 plays for 31 yards, but McCarthy’s pass on fourth down was incomplete early in the fourth quarter, giving Georgia back the ball.
Bennett threw another long touchdown pass, this one for 39 yards to James Cook and Georgia took a 34-3 lead.
McCarthy led the Wolverines back out on the field and made a couple of nice plays, including escaping a sack and rushing for 12 yards for a first down.
McCarthy led the Wolverines back out on the field and made a couple of nice plays, including escaping a sack and rushing for 12 yards for a first down. He got Michigan close to a touchdown with a 43-yard pass to Donovan Edwards, but the Wolverines couldn’t convert on four chances from the 8-yard line and turned the ball over on downs.
The Wolverines found the endzone late in the fourth game when McCarthy threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Andrel Anthony. They also converted the 2-point conversion, cutting the lead to 34-11 with 4:25 left.