Orange Bowl Game Prediction: No. 2 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs


The College Football Playoff semifinals return to Miami where the Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan Wolverines meet for what should be a fabulous game. Michigan proved it could finally get over the hump with Jim Harbaugh after years of frustration in November and December games.

The Maize and Blue haven't won a national title since they were crowned AP champs in 1997. If they're going to play for one this year, they'll have to get through a Bulldogs defense that was easily the most-praised unit in the country this season.

Here’s how our staff at BuckeyesNow expects the game to go down:


day, Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN

Spread: Georgia (-7.5)

O/U Total: 45.5

Brendan Gulick: Georgia 31, Michigan 28

Michigan comes into this game with as much belief and momentum as it's had in a very, very long time. Georgia heads to Miami after a huge serving of humble pie when they got blasted by Alabama in the SEC title game.

Michigan is a run first team that has done a good job of mixing in some wrinkles to keep defenses honest. I think they might have trouble establishing a run against a fabulous Georgia defense, but I think they'll strike on a couple of big plays to stay in striking range.

Michigan is certainly capable of winning this game, but ultimately I think Georgia's defense is the difference. They've been too good, too often this year. They are incredibly physical and I have a hard time seeing Hassan Haskins run against the Bulldogs the way he did the last two weeks. But I also never expected him to torch Ohio State's defense, so perhaps we'll be in for a surprise there too. I think the Bulldogs hang on late and have another date with Alabama for the national title.

Andrew Lind: Georgia 28, Michigan 17

This game will be won or lost in the trenches when Michigan has the ball, as the Wolverines will either be able to get a push up front against Georgia’s top-ranked defense or be in for a long night.

The Bulldogs didn’t exactly instill confidence in the loss to Alabama, which ended their perfect season, but they’re also built to withstand an attack like they’ll see on Friday night. It’ll be low scoring but never in doubt.

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Brett Hiltbrand: Georgia 27, Michigan 10

I initially picked this game as a shutout for Georgia but I think that was a little too hyperbolic and in the interest of, well, interest, I'm hoping that my gut feeling is wrong. I don't trust Michigan's offense and I certainly don't think they will be able to do anything against Georgia. I hope I'm wrong...because I'm not sure the world needs another Bama/Georgia matchup. In fact, that's probably the only thing of which I'm certain. Maybe the Wolverines defense keeps them in the game? Maybe? Doubtful.


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