Georgia Remains Undefeated: College Football National Championship

Kirby Smart kissing the National Championship trophy after Georgia win, courtesy of AP News.

Kirby Smart kissing the National Championship trophy after Georgia win, courtesy of AP News.

Lila Sole, Reporter

On Monday, January 9, the biggest game in College Football kicked off at 7:30 at a SoFi stadium in California. With a full stadium of 72,628 University of Georgia and Texas Christian University started the battle for the National Championship title. Both teams were somewhat unexpected to make it this far according to opinions of pundits in the football world, but were very impressive throughout their seasons. 

TCU came in as a huge surprise going into this game with just 1 loss as well as coming off a huge win over number 2 seed Michigan University. They had to prepare for this game though because UGA was coming into this championship game with a perfect record of 14-0, and they came out hungry looking for that perfect season of no losses, as well as a back-to-back National Championship win after they came on top over Alabama in the 2021-2022 season.

“A perfect season for Georgia is crazy, especially after they just narrowly won over Ohio State to even make it to the Championship. After that win, they definitely knew to bring more intensity into their final run of the season,” said McKenzie Hensarling (‘25).

Just a week before on December 31st, Ohio State lost 41-42 to UGA in the NCAA Peach Bowl.

The game started off somewhat even in the first quarter. After winning the coin toss, injured captain Nolan Smith stepped up and decided that TCU would have possession first. This led to nothing which meant Georgia then got the ball for their first possession at a shot to score the first points of the game, which they did through a 21-yard run by quarterback Stetson Bennett in the 11th minute of the quarter.

TCU quarterback during the championship game.

7 points were on the board for Georgia after the field goal was scored as well. The action didn’t stop there though as TCU quarterback Max Duggan threw an unfortunate pass that led to a fumble which #22 Branson Robinson scooped up, meaning it was Georgia’s ball. After a tough possession, kicker Jack Podlensy squared up for a 24 yard field goal which he converted to bring the score to Georgia 10 TCU 0 with 6 minutes left in the quarter. In this possession for TCU Max Duggan eventually made a 2 yard run to get the 7 points, which would be their only points for the continuation of the game. It was all Georgia from that point on. To finish off the 1st quarter, wide receiver Ladd McConkey caught a 37 yard pass from Bennett to make the score going into the 2nd quarter 17-7 University of Georgia. 

With 45 minutes left to play, neither of the teams were ready to give up yet. To start up the quarter, Bennett made a 6 yard run to set up his 2nd touchdown of the game. UGA didnt stop there though. Max Duggan for TCU sent 2 balls into the arms of Georgia players leading to 2 interceptions. Both of these possessions were converted to touchdown points by Georgia. STetson Bennet passed the ball off to Kendall Milton to make the score 31-7 after the first interception. The 2nd led to a 22 yard pass from Bennet to Adonai Mitchell to further advance the score 38-7 all Georgia at the half. 

They didn’t let up there though. After making 7 catches throughout the game, Brock Bowers for Georgia finally got his National Championship touchdown from a 22 yard pass from Bennet. Bowers was also the top scoring receiver for UGA after the game with stats of 7 catches, 152 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown which were all higher than any other reciever for Georgia. Ladd McConkey made his second touchdown of the night with a 14 yard pass from Bennet to make the score a whole 52-7 Georgia into the final quarter.

With Georgia being in the lead by 45 points, head coach Kirby Smart made the decision to take out Stetson Bennet who starred creating 6 touchdowns throughout his time in the game, as well as many other senior players to give others an opportunity to ball out in the biggest game of their college careers. 

This meant that the Sophmore Carson Beck would have an opportunity to show how Georgia Football wouldn’t be that different even after rising star Bennet is graduating after this perfect season.

“I can see the dynamic being shifted witha new quarterback starting and he definitely has huge shoes to fill, but I think they [Georgia] will be just as good next season,” said Clare Collins (‘25).

Beck showed up in the final quarter, gaining 13 points through Branson Robinson, a 1 yard hand off as well as a 19 yard toss into the end zone. Kicker Jake Podlecky did miss his final punt of the game for the point, but that was not an issue to Georgia as the secured the win 65-7 over TCU, the highest ever margain in a College Football bowl game ever. With this win, Georgia now has back to back championships under their belt, and even without Bennet will look to still be a major threat going into next season.

“I think it’s really cool that Georgia has won back-to-back,” said Maya Rao (‘25), “they haven’t won in awhile before so these 2 wins are huge. It’s definitely bringing a lot of attention to the school.”

Because of UGA now being a back to back National Champion team, students interested in going to college will have the school on their radar as it is exceptional for academics, and as seen here for sports as well.