The 2021 Capital One Orange Bowl features the 12-1 Georgia Bulldogs against the 12-1 Michigan Wolverines. Here is the 2021Capital One Orange Bowl Preview.
Georgia Bulldogs (12-1)
Georgia won their first 12 games of the season before losing the SEC Championship Game to Alabama. They defeated nine bowl-eligible teams on their way to qualifying for the CFP and their only loss came to a team that made the playoff.
The offense scores 39.4 points per game, ranking seventh in the country. They rush for 194.9 yards (ranked 31st) and pass for 247.9 yards per game (ranked 55th).
Although the Bulldogs started the year with USC-transfer JT Daniels at quarterback, former walk-on Stetson Bennett has taken the reins of the offense. He has passed for 2,325 yards, 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 64.1 percent completion. Four pass-catchers have over 300 receiving yards on the season. Tight end Brock Bowers leads the team with 47 receptions for 791 yards and 11 touchdowns. Ladd McConkey and Jermaine Burton each have over 400 receiving yards and at least four touchdowns. George Pickens tore his ACL in the spring, but has returned with three catches for 46 yards. The former top receiver could be an x-factor in this game.
As is usually the case, Georgia has several running backs who contribute. Their leading rusher is Zamir White, who has 718 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the year. James Cook has also received a lot of work out of the backfield and has tallied 619 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. The other running backs who have contributed are Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards. Bennett can also extend plays with his scrambling ability.
The defense has been the strength of the team, as they allow just 9.5 points per game, ranking first in the country. They give up 81.7 rushing yards (ranked third) and 172.7 passing yards per game (ranked third). Defensive lineman Jordan Davis gets a lot of attention from offensive lines and still has three tackles for loss and two sacks. Linebacker Nakobe Dean and defensive back Lewis Cine are tied for the team lead in tackles with 61. Dean is also tied for the team lead with five sacks. Derion Kendrick has been impressive in the secondary with three passes defended and two interceptions at cornerback.
Michigan Wolverines (12-1)
Michigan has finally reached the promised land under Jim Harbaugh. They won every game on their schedule except for the one against Michigan State. Of their 12 wins, seven of them have been over bowl-eligible teams.
The offense scores 37.8 points per game, ranking 12th in the country. They rush for 223.8 yards (ranked 10th) and pass for 228.1 yards per game (ranked 67th).
Cade McNamara has been solid at quarterback for the Wolverines this season. He has passed for 2,470 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions on 64.6 percent completion. Seven different pass-catchers have over 200 receiving yards on the season. The leading receiver is Cornelius Johnson, who stepped up after Ronnie Bell went down with a season-ending injury. He has 38 receptions for 609 yards and three touchdowns. Roman Wilson and tight end Erick All each have over 300 receiving yards and at least two touchdowns on the season.
Hassan Haskins has elevated his game and the Michigan rushing attack this season. He has rushed for 1,288 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season. Blake Corum has also had a solid season out of the Michigan backfield with 939 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The defense has been a strong point of the team, as they allow 16.1 points per game, which ties them for fourth-best in the country. They give up 122 rushing yards (ranked 21st) and 194.7 passing yards per game (ranked 22nd). Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo have been a great pass-rushing duo with 14 and 11 sacks respectively. Linebacker Josh Ross leads the team with 95 total tackles. Safety Daxton hill has made an impact with seven passes defended and two interceptions.
Losing to Alabama is one thing for Georgia, but their defense should be able to hold up against Michigan’s offense. It will be hard for Michigan to generate any big plays and to sustain drives, so Georgia will come out victorious.
Georgia Bulldogs 34 Michigan Wolverines 24
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