The 9th ranked Georgia Bulldogs play the 8th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats on Friday, January 1st in the Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Georgia finished its regular season with an overall record of 7-2 and was 2nd in the SEC East Division a half-game behind the first-place Florida Gators. The only two blemishes on the record for Georgia during the regular season were losses to Alabama and Florida. The Bulldogs were 37th in the nation in scoring and 20th in the nation in points allowed. After losing its second game of the season to Florida, Georgia finished with three consecutive victories.
Cincinnati finished its regular season with an overall record of 9-0 and was 6-0 in the American Athletic Conference, finishing tied for first with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Cincinnati defeated Tulsa 27-24 in the AAC championship game. Cincinnati was 15th in the nation in points scored and 17th in the nation in points allowed. The Bearcats offense was characterized this season by run first and pass second.
(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Thursday evening.)
The line has stayed pretty constant for this contest as the week has gone on. Georgia opened as a 7.5-point favorite when the lines came out and, as of Thursday evening, the Bulldogs remain as a 7.5-point favorite at the majority of sportsbooks for this contest. A narrow majority, 51 percent, of the bets ATS are backing the Bulldogs giving the points as they look to earn the victory in the Peach Bowl.
The total for this contest has moved up slightly during this week. After opening at 50.5 points, the total has bumped up to 51.5 points at the majority of sportsbooks. A solid majority, 72 percent, of the bets on the total are expecting this contest to wind up going over the mark.
Game-time Weather: Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a retractable-roof venue. That means 68 degrees, no winds and no precipitation to worry about for either offense in this contest.
Georgia defense dominating of lateThe Georgia Bulldogs are 7-2 thanks to a tough defense that has allowed an average of just 19.9 points per game. The Bulldogs are allowing an average of 253.4 yards passing and just 69.3 yards per game rushing. Opposing offenses are gaining just 2.3 yards per carry against the tough front seven of the Bulldogs. The leading tackler for Georgia this season is linebacker Nakobe Dean with 64, while linebacker Azeez Ojulari is the leader in quarterback sacks with 5.5 and defensive back Eric Stokes is the leader in interceptions with four.
Georgia scored an average of 33.2 points per game thanks to an offense that generated 188.6 yards per game rushing and 232.8 yards per game passing. The catalyst for the Georgia offense of late has been quarterback JT Daniels, who has passed for 839 yards with nine touchdowns and just one interception. The leading rusher for the Bulldogs is Zamir White with 740 yards on a 5.6-yard per carry average and 10 touchdowns. Georgia’s leading receiver is Kearis Jackson with 33 receptions for 467 yards and three touchdowns.
Injury Report: Tight end Ryland Goede will not play for Georgia due to a shoulder injury, while running back Kendall Milton is questionable as are wide receiver Justin Robinson and defensive lineman Julian Rochester.
Georgia Injury Report:
OUT: WR Dominick Blaylock, WR Tommy Bush, OL Ben Cleveland, RB James Cook, TE Ryland Goede, LB Walter Grant, OL Trey Hill, CB Richard Lecounte, LB Monty Rice, WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint
Questionable: RB Kendall Milton, WR Justin Robinson, DL Julian Rochester
Is the Cincinnati defense beginning to crackThe Cincinnati Bearcats defense finished 7th in the nation in points allowed at 16.0 per game but showed signs of cracking over the final free games of the season allowing 17 points to East Carolina, 33 points to UCF and 24 points to Tulsa. For the season, Cincinnati allowed an average of 192.3 yards passing and 122.1 yards rushing. Opposing offenses averaged just 3.3 yards per carry against the Bearcats defense. The statistical leaders on defense were linebacker Gerald White with a team-high 74 tackles, defensive end Myhai Sanders with a team-high 7 quarterback sacks and cornerbacks Ahmad Gardner and Cobe Bryant with team-highs in interceptions with three apiece.
Cincinnati has one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in college football. Desmond Ridder passed for 2019 yards, 17 touchdowns and six interceptions and was the second-leading rusher for the Bearcats with 609 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. The leading rusher for Cincinnati was Gerrid Doaks with 673 yards and seven touchdowns and a per carry average of 4.7 yards. Cincinnati's leading receiver was tight end Josh Whyle with 25 receptions for 318 yards and five touchdowns.
Injury Report: Safety James Wiggins is listed as questionable for Cincinnati with an injured leg.
Cincinnati Injury Report:
- Cincinnati is 1-4 ATS in the last five bowl games
- The Bearcats are 0-5 ATS in the last five played on grass
- Georgia is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 played on a neutral field
- The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in the last five bowl games