Georgia’s dominant CFP title win sends message: ‘We run the sport now’

Heading into the 2022 college football season, Georgia players shared a message with head coach Kirby Smart about the style of play they wanted to bring to the field.

“Our kids said, ‘We want to play from the point of being aggressive,'” Smart said. “We’re not going to let people come after us this year. It’s not about that. We’re going to get after you every down and put pressure on you every down.”

That message was on full display Monday night in the Bulldogs’ dominant performance 65-7 victory over TCU in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

There were many highlights throughout the game for Georgia, but there was one moment in particular that, according to FOX Sports college football analyst Joel Klattlet the college football world know that Georgia now runs the sport.

Holding a 59-7 lead with 10:08 remaining in the game, Smart opted to go for it on fourth-and-5 from the TCU 24-yard line. QB backup Carson Beck completed an 11-yard pass to Dillon Bell, and the Bulldogs scored two plays later.

“I think Kirby Smart and Georgia were sending a message to all of college football that they’re running college football now,” Klatt said of Smart’s decision to go for it on that quarterback play. “Everybody’s rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs, and in a lot of ways, that fourth quarter and those decisions, that Kirby announced to the world: We run the sport. If you come here against the Dawgs, you better buckle up.”

Has Georgia taken the college football throne?

Has Georgia taken the college football throne?

Joel Klatt explains why the Georgia Bulldogs are the kings of college football and have dethroned Alabama.

The Bulldogs were dominant from the opening kickoff Monday night, outgaining the Horned Frogs 589-188, while converting 32 first downs to TCU’s nine. Perhaps the most alarming stat, and there were many, was that Georgia didn’t score a point until the third quarter.

When asked what he was looking for from his team before kickoff, Smart gave a short and simple answer that proved to be true. “Aggression,” he said. “We’re going hunting tonight.”

Georgia did just that, and while Smart’s aggressive call might have raised some eyebrows, Klatt understood it was part of that larger message he was sending.

“There are some teams that can buckle down and play a big game against them, but that’s the message I was sending, and I can’t argue with that,” Klatt said. “Kirby has no obligation to cancel the dogs, and I think Sonny Dykes would probably agree with me. If you can’t stop his backups, that’s not his problem. And I agree with this”.

It’s no secret that Georgia didn’t play its best game against Ohio State in a narrow 42-41 victory in the Peach Bowl. History wouldn’t repeat itself Monday, and Smart made sure the college football world understood that.

The Bulldogs totaled 11 offensive possessions in the game and scored on 10 of them, not including the game’s final drive, which resulted in a layup and three straight kneels. Georgia’s 72 points marked the highest point total ever in a BCS/CFP championship game.

It was the most dominant college football national title performance not only in the college football playoff era, but perhaps ever, that prompted Klatt to make the following assessment.

“Kirby Smart and Georgia have gotten past Alabama,” Klatt said.

Georgia has a long way to go before its trophy case is as stocked as Alabama’s — The Crimson Tide has 18 national championships to the Bulldogs’ three — but what Smart has done in seven seasons is nothing short of remarkable.

Since arriving in Athens in 2016, Smart has compiled an 81-15 record, including six AP Top 10 finishes, five SEC division titles, two conference championships and now two national championships.

Since Georgia won its first national title in 1980, only three other programs have won back-to-back national championships: Nebraska (1994-95), USC (2003-04) and Alabama (2011-12).

The statistics certainly back up the fact that Georgia is indeed the new measuring stick in sports. The days of fans thinking “Alabama is going to win it all again this year” are gone, and Smart made sure of that.

“Alabama’s current run is the best we’ve ever seen in college football. I don’t think we’ll see it matched,” Klatt said. “That said, if you take a more micro view of what we’re seeing in the last 18-19 months in college football, Georgia is the preeminent program in the sport right now. They run the sport.”

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