Bleacher Report: Georgia defense, rushing attack could be too much for Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Oklahoma football will return to the College Football Playoff for the second time in three seasons when the No. 2 Sooners face No. 3 Georgia in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2018.

Oklahoma and Georgia have never faced each other on the gridiron — making for a compelling matchup with a trip to the national title game on the line.

The Sooners offense will be led by Heisman-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield. The senior threw for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2017 en route to becoming Oklahoma’s first Heisman winner since Sam Bradford in 2008.

Mayfield’s talent has been the x-factor in Oklahoma’s success this season. The Sooners captured their third straight Big 12 title after a 12-1 campaign.

Not everyone, however, is so certain that Mayfield and the Sooners can keep up their pace from this fall in the team’s inaugural meeting with the Bulldogs.

BleacherReport.com predicted Georgia’s defense and rushing attack to be Oklahoma’s downfall on New Year’s Day 2018, losing a tightly-contested 31-28 ballgame to the Bulldogs.

“Mayfield has proved there is no stage too big for his act, and he will undoubtedly show up with some heroics in the Rose Bowl. If this were the NFL, it would be smart to side with the better quarterback, but in the college game the edge often goes to the better defense. It should be a classic Rose Bowl, and no one should count out Mayfield, but Georgia’s defense and dominant rushing attack may prove to be too much for him to overcome.”

Georgia’s defense is nothing to take lightly. The SEC champions enter the game tied with Wisconsin for the third-best scoring defense in the nation — allowing an average of just 13.2 points per game.

But despite the hype surrounding the Bulldogs, Georgia fans may want to take the above stat with a grain of salt. Georgia has yet to face any offense this season that has put up numbers even comparable to Mayfield and the Sooners.

Oklahoma has averaged 583.3 yards of total offense per game this season. Georgia did not face a team averaging any higher than 511.5 yards per game (Missouri) in 2017. No other SEC east foe averaged more than 350.8 yards of offense per game over the course of the fall.

Mayfield and the Sooners have often performed at their highest level when doubted the most. Perhaps the “Granddaddy of Them All” will be just the latest chapter of Oklahoma proving their critics wrong once again.

The post Bleacher Report: Georgia defense, rushing attack could be too much for Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma appeared first on Diehards.

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