Sports Journalism Blog

(Editor’s note: Sports Capital Journalism students Sarah Lounsbury and Justin Haberstroh are covering the College Football Playoff National Championship at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Here are their predictions for the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and Georgia Bulldogs.)

There’s no denying that the 14-0 Georgia Bulldogs are one of the most dominant teams in college football. Matchups against teams such as Oregon posed no threat as the Bulldogs’ 46-point victory over the Ducks marked the largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent in Georgia football history. I expect the same dominance Georgia displayed thus far will continue against the TCU Horned Frogs, earning the Bulldogs back-to-back national championship titles.

Sure, TCU defeated the Michigan Wolverines, who are 11-time National Champions, in the VRBO Fiesta Bowl. But I don’t think TCU can maintain this pattern of success against a team like Georgia. Heisman Candidate Stetson Bennett has been in the same position last year. Bennett knows what it takes to win a national championship and as a sixth-year senior, I think experience is going to be the difference-maker at the quarterback position.

TCU has been known for coming from behind and scraping together wins within the last few minutes against opponents such as Oklahoma State and Baylor. But the pattern of trying to come from behind and pull out a win will not work against a confident Georgia team. Once Georgia gains a lead, the Bulldogs’ dominance is proven to intensify, leaving little room for opportunity.

The Horned Frogs surely had a remarkable season, given that TCU was unranked in the preseason polls. However, the Horned Frogs will not experience a fairytale ending.

Georgia 31, TCU 14.

By Sarah Lounsbury | @saraahlounsbury


With the Georgia defense, fifth in the nation with an average of 14.8 points allowed, with multiple NFL-ready players such as Kelee Ringo, Nolan Smith, and Jalen Carter, the Bulldogs will be too much for TCU to handle. I expect Duggan to exceed his total of 57 rushing yards in the semifinal victory over Michigan, but the Georgia defense will shut down the passing game. Duggan and Johnston will help TCU score about 20 points. But with TCU’s relatively weak defense going against Georgia’s tight ends and the rest of the offense, TCU will become tired and big plays will start to happen in the second half. There is a reason Georgia is number one. The Bulldogs will become the first back-to-back champions since Alabama, with Kirby Smart the defensive coordinator on Nick Saban’s staff, won the Bowl Championship Series title games in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Georgia 40, TCU 21

By Justin Haberstroh | @JustinHaberstr1