2023 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW – Georgia vs TCU

Posted: January 10, 2023 in All Things Power Spread

I’m back with Playoff Preview Posts, but this time with a Podcast to boot! Check out my latest one – 2023 National Championship Preview Part 2 – by clicking the widget on the left.

This Post will be the watered down version of that Podcast for those who just want a quick look at the gist of what I’m saying.

For this Championship I will use one word…Magic.

Will the magic of the 2 Semifinal Playoff Games continue thru the Championship Game tonight? And if it does – is it TCU that completes a magical year or GA who stakes their claim as the next “Bama”.

Here’s a great song about Magic, from a good friend of mine. We can only know so much, the rest is left to the imagination…is it so bad…to have a little Magic?

So as I said in my Podcast, can big underdog TCU even match up to GA? If so, how can they pull off enough magic to win this game vs the defending champs and who most consider the best college football team in the land?

Culture

I break down Culture in terms of Personnel Operations Strategy. For On-Field purposes in Sport I break it down as Team (Talent+Synergy), Technique (Execution), Scheme (PlayCalling).

From all the film I’ve watched of both GA and TCU here’s my take on what we will see on the Field tonight.

Talent

In the Podcast, I go through a lot of the players starting or important subs. Both teams play a lot of guys – especially on Defense – which is an absolute concept of Power Spread. Remember PS=st2 > Space Time Team. I could list the reasons why Team Depth + Team Use is so important, but that’s another post, but just know that both of these Teams use A LOT of players!

I hit on recruiting and the talent you will see on the field. If you know College Football right now you know that GA’s recruiting is 2nd to none atm…even Bama! Ohio State’s Talent is right there with GA…TCU’s is not.

Now, TCU is talented and has more overall experience than GA. GA is the younger team. TCU is also very fast. So is GA, My point? GA has more Talent – we all know that – but add in team speed and experience and it’s not as wide as a gap as you would think.

Also, this game is played in a modern stadium with a “fast” turf. That helps the Spread Pass game of TCU. But it should help GA’s offense as well. They showed a lot of Spread Pass acumen as well against the Buckeyes. QB Bennett is actually good as a Spread Pass Distributor – maybe better than Duggan for TCU.

Decided Edge GA, but not as much a disparity as you would think.

Technique > Execution

Once I studied GA on film this year, I was surprised by their inconsistent technique and execution. At times it’s great – both on Defense and on the Oline – at other times it’s not so good. Not just their DBackfield & Oline, but even their Front 7 show’s signs of inconsistency.

But when they are on, the talent comes through. You can see it with their C VanPratt, who at times screws up all over the place and other times is great! When that OLine comes together as one cohesive unit it’s tough to stop their Run Game. Other times you can blow their Run Game up and get pressure on Bennett.

TCU’s execution is also inconsistent. Unlike GA, it’s not from playing so many young, inexperienced guys. TCU has a brand new coaching staff, which makes it even more amazing what they have accomplished this year. They had a lot of starters coming back, but they make a lot of mistakes throughout the course of Games and have all year long. Thus all the close wins!

Just like their Semifinal Game – they couldn’t put Michigan away due to some screw ups along the way. But while they may not be the most talented team or play the best, they are absolute BALLERS led by their TOUGH QB DUGGAN! That’s what makes this team so scary!

So both teams Up&Down Execution, with youthful GA having bigger swings – the more experienced TCU a little more consistency.

Scheme

Great Coaches and Coordinators on both teams. I go into more detail in the Podcast but here’s a summary.

GA OC Todd Monken has a varied background – runs a PS Multiple Offense – a little Pro / Air Raid Mix – at times looks like Sean McVay of the Rams – at other times like the Air Raid Team he is playing. He has been the main reason this Offense is so powerful this year – not just in the Power Game – but in the Spread Game as well.

TCU OC Garrett Riley – Lincoln’s Bro – is an up and coming OC. He runs a PSAR – Power Spread Air Raid concepts started by Dana Holgorsen (Tony Franklin / Art Briles). He adds a little Pro to the mix like his brother. In fact one series in their Semifinal was almost a pure Air Raid Pass Spread while the next was very Pro Style. He will also show an exotic Quad Stack and other variations from time to time.

TCU DC Joe Gillespie – Comes from the Art Briles line of DC’s which ended with Phil Bennett running a 4-3 / 3-3 hybrid D. Joe runs a very aggressive 3-3 with different fronts / pressures and coverages (see my vid breakdowns). He loaded the box against Michigan – will he do the same vs GA? Hard to tell. He will have a trick or two up his sleeve.

GA DC Smart, Muschamps & Schumann Law Firm! – I love to put those names together, but each one is a defensive master in his own right. Kirby Smart is a Saban guy as we all know – and traditional Bama guy! Will Muschamps is as well, but has other influences in his background. Glen Schumann’s dad was a Bill Oliver / Joe Lee Dunn guy. Dunn the master of EXTREME VARIETY in Pressure and Coverage!

My Latest Vid shows some of the Saban Pattern Match genius you will see from GA and possibly TCU as well tonight. You will see a lot of points because the 2 QBs w/ their OCs are so dang good and no one can yet stop Power Spread Offense! But their will be big Defensive plays as well!

Excellent coaches all around – more subtle PS Pro Style for GA – a little more PSAR Multiple style from TCU – but a wash! Will see great Schemes and Play Calling all night!

Magic

So where does the Magic come in? It’s the unknown – the hard to predict. Some we can know a little about. Some nothing at all. Let’s look at Injuries, then Momentum as two Elements that might factor into a close game.

Injuries

Several guys are banged up. Listen to the Podcast. The 2 big names are Darnell Washington – the incredible monster athletic TE for GA – and Kendre Miller – the hard nosed amazing RB for TCU. They are both questionable and could really impact the game if healthy.

From what I saw last week, Washington was completely out of the game with a high ankle sprain which is hard to come back from quickly. Imagine his 275 lbs on that ankle – no matter how great of an athlete he is!

Miller kept playing for a while with a RKnee Sprain. A knee sounds worse, but not necessarily in a one game equation.

The backups behind both these players drops pretty drastically. I think it’s advantage TCU a bit because Miller played more last week, but it’s hard to know.

QB Injuries?

I bring this up in my Podcast, not because I think either one will get hurt, but because these guys are absolute Ballers & Leaders and an injury to either one would be worse psychologically to their teams than physically!

I felt that Bennett practically willed GA back TWICE! We have all seen Duggan the way he balled out vs KState in the B12 Championship!

I looked at the backups. TCU has the more experienced guy – OU Transfer Chandler Morris – who was supposed to start this year! GA’s backup Carson Beck is a big recruit but has hardly played.

If Duggan goes down I think TCU has more of a chance than if Bennett goes down.. due to the system and the experience of Morris. But both Teams may not be able to keep up with the other if they lose their QB.

Duggan takes a bit more of a beating – he’s more of a Swashbuckler and a better runner – he will get hit more – but he’s also a bigger guy. Only 6’2 214, but Bennett’s a little guy – 5’11 190!

In the end another wash – no advantage either side – but could totally change the game if either QB goes down due to their leadership with their respective teams.

Again – like most of this Preview – GA and TCU running neck and neck – no clear advantage!

Momentum

Finally we come to Momentum. What am I talking about?

Well if you watch TCU all year you would know. They were in trouble and could have lost several games but always found a way to win. Except vs KState when they were only inches short! They are Winners, are used to winning this year and expect to Win!

They’ve been underrated and overlooked as well. They are big ‘dogs again tonight with GA a heavy favorite. They want to show the world!

Watch this highlight of the way they balled out to keep Mich out of the EZ for a third time to start the 2nd Half! They didn’t have the right Defensive Set and still got the job done. THAT’S MAGIC – AGAINST ALL ODDS GETTING THE JOB DONE!

For GA, it’s a Cultural Momentum that Smart has built. Talent / Coaching / Strategy – all creating a strong program that may be on a verge of a dynasty. They have a long way to go for that, but their win vs Ohio State was highly improbable. They lost that game more than once and wouldn’t let it go!

Luck has been on the side of both of these Teams – and Fight – and Great Football. Expect more of the same tonight.

My biggest surprise would be a low scoring game. These teams will fight to the end.

IF both QBs play all game it’s going to the wire. GA jumps up big – then lets down – TCU either pulls it out late or comes up inches short again!

~PS

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