The 2022 Peach Bowl is a battle between the national championship favorite and a team many people are doubting after the way the 2022 college football regular season ended. Ohio State has a lot to prove in the College Football Playoff. That's especially true since they're up against a Georgia team which is trying to repeat as national champion this season.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Georgia Bulldogs – 2022 Peach Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal
Date: Saturday, December 31, 2022 – 8:00 PM ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
NCAA Football Odds: Bulldogs -6.5
The Buckeyes are 4-0 away from home this season, but 1-3 against the spread.
The Bulldogs are 7-0 straight up away from home this season, 4-3 against the spread.
Ohio State is 9-1 straight up in its last 10 games, 5-4-1 ATS. Georgia is 10-0 in its last 10, 5-5 ATS.
This is the second meeting between the two schools. They previously played once in the 1993 Citrus Bowl. Georgia won, 21-14.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes went 11-1. For most teams, that’s a really good season, especially if it includes a College Football Playoff berth. Yet, no one at Ohio State is satisfied because the Buckeyes lost the most important game of the 12 they played, the home game versus Michigan to conclude the regular-season schedule.
Ohio State lost 45-23 to the Wolverines at home, an embarrassing result for a team which lost to Michigan last season. Rememeber, they vowed to be better this time around. It didn’t happen. Michigan physically dominated Ohio State just as it did a year before. Ohio State had chances to take control of the game in the first quarter and a half but couldn’t do so. Michigan settled into the game after a shaky start and clearly overpowered the Buckeyes in the second half, especially the fourth quarter.
Ohio State’s loss meant no Big Ten East Division title, no Big Ten Championship game appearance, no Big Ten Conference title, and no revenge on Michigan. That’s a failure. Ohio State did make the playoff because USC – in the No. 4 position heading into the final weekend of the regular season – lost to Utah. That enabled Ohio State to make the playoff field. If OSU can’t at least give Georgia a good, tough battle, this season will be remembered as a clear failure in Columbus. That’s how high the standards and expectations are for this Ohio State team.
Quarterback C.J. Stroud was a Heisman Trophy finalist. New defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was supposed to generate big improvements. Both men join the rest of the Buckeye coaching staff and roster in the shared knowledge that this Georgia game will define how the rest of the season is remembered. A strong performance here will reduce the sting of the Michigan loss, though it won’t fully wipe it away.
The Bulldogs enter this game as favorites to beat Ohio State and favorites to win the national championship. With Alabama losing twice this year and failing to make the SEC Championship Game, Georgia did not have to go through the Crimson Tide and Nick Saban to make the College Football Playoff.
A lot of experts will tell you that Georgia – whose physical prowess in the trenches is unsurpassed in college football – has a favorable matchup here. They'll say Ohio State is not as strong at the line of scrimmage. That might be true, but Georgia has struggled with Missouri, Kentucky, Kent State. Those are teams one wouldn’t ordinarily expect to bother Georgia. The Georgia Bulldogs have been inconsistent this season. They need to be at their best in order to handle Ohio State.
Buckeyes vs. Bulldogs Prediction:
Bulldogs 34, Buckeyes 20