Stetson Bennett flashed a wry grin as he walked off the sector, stopping to hug coach Kirby Good as the gang roared.
It was all standing ovations and sideline snacks within the fourth quarter of faculty soccer’s most lopsided title sport.
In emphatic and overwhelming style, Georgia turned the primary crew to repeat as School Soccer Playoff nationwide champions and left little question the ’Dawgs are the brand new bullies on the block.
Bennett threw two landing passes and ran for 2 scores — within the first half — as No. 1 Georgia demolished No. 3 TCU 65-7 on Monday evening.
The Bulldogs (15-0) are the primary repeat champs in main faculty soccer since Alabama went back-to-back a decade in the past. There seems to be a brand new dynasty rising from the Southeastern Convention.
“We needed our youngsters to play with out concern,” Good stated. “All yr I informed them, I stated, ‘We ain’t getting hunted guys, we’re doing the searching, and searching season’s virtually over. We’ve solely received yet one more probability to hunt,’ and we hunted tonight.”
TCU (13-2), the primary Cinderella crew of the playoff period, by no means had an opportunity in opposition to the Georgia juggernaut. Not like Michigan within the Fiesta Bowl semifinal, the Bulldogs wouldn’t succumb to the Hypnotoads’ spell.
Georgia turned in one of many all-time beatdowns in an enormous sport, paying homage to Nebraska working over Florida by 38 within the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, USC’s 36-point rout of Oklahoma within the 2005 Orange Bowl and Alabama’s 28-point BCS blowout over Notre Dame in 2013.
However this was worse.
An excessive amount of expertise. Too well-coached. Two straight titles for the ’Dawgs.
No crew has ever scored extra factors in a national championship sport, courting to the start of the BCS in 1998.
With 13:25 left within the fourth quarter, Good referred to as timeout in the midst of an offensive drive so Bennett may exit to hero’s ovation within the closing sport of his circuitous faculty profession.
“That was particular,” stated Bennett, who completed 18 for 25 for 304 yards and 4 landing passes. “I’ll keep in mind that for the remainder of my life.”
Georgia offensive linemen had been munching on hen wings on the sideline as the sport wound down. Then, for the second straight yr, the Bulldogs had been showered by confetti and introduced a championship trophy.
“I really like this crew, I really like these followers, I really like our band. I really like all people,” Bennett stated in the course of the presentation ceremony. “Again-to-back, child. Again-to-back.”
Good is now 81-15 in his first seven seasons at Georgia with two nationwide titles. His mentor, Alabama coach Nick Saban, was 79-15 with three titles in his first seven seasons with the Tide.
The Bulldogs had been a distinct form of dominant this season after dropping 15 NFL draft picks from the 2021 crew: not fairly as stingy on protection, however extra explosive on offense.
“Final yr’s crew most likely had extra expertise on it,” Good stated. “However this yr’s crew was totally different, like that they had this eye of the tiger. They weren’t going to lose.”
Earlier in Good’s tenure at his alma mater, Georgia followers worried about whether or not the previous defensive coordinator for Saban would have the ability to construct an offense to match this high-scoring period of faculty soccer.
Underneath third-year coordinator Todd Monken, the Bulldogs have turn into prolific, inventive and numerous offensively. They picked aside TCU’s 3-3-5 protection from all angles.
Versatile tight finish Brock Bowers had seven catches for 152 yards. Receiver Ladd McConkey caught two TDs. Georgia ran for 254 yards with seven gamers gaining at the very least 10.
The Bulldogs scored all six occasions they touched the ball within the first half. Twice Bennett ran it in himself; the previous walk-on turned two-time nationwide champion was barely touched on the 2 quarterback keepers.
He hit a wide-open McConkey for a 34-yard rating within the first quarter, a wonderfully executed play out of a bunched formation that had TCU’s defensive backs in disarray. Bennett’s 22-yard rating to Adonai Mitchell was the next diploma of issue, dropped in over a defender who had tight protection.
It appeared so much just like the Bennett-to-Mitchell landing that gave Georgia a fourth-quarter lead it will not relinquish in opposition to Alabama in final yr’s CFP title sport.
Georgia vanquished the Tide to interrupt a 41-year nationwide title drought final season, avenging its solely regular-season loss within the course of.
There was no such drama in opposition to the upstart Horned Frogs.
“The journey was nice. It’s one thing I’ll always remember,” TCU working again Emari Demercado stated. “Clearly, didn’t finish how we needed it, however on the finish of the day this journey was one thing nice.”
These Bulldogs by no means needed to fear about Alabama. They rolled via the SEC, survived Ohio State in a basic CFP semifinal after which accomplished an ideal season with an historic blowout.
“Do it’s important to take a loss to study?” Good stated. “I imply, why?”
Bennett hit Bowers for a 22-yard rating with 10:52 left within the third quarter to make it 45-7. The sophomore from Northern California signaled landing whereas mendacity on the turf at Sofi Stadium. Bennett smiled as he tapped helmets with one in every of his linemen.
“He’s received GOAT standing and in Athens, Georgia endlessly,” Good stated.
Georgia’s well-known bulldog mascot UGA couldn’t make cross-country journey to root on his crew, but it surely nonetheless felt somewhat like Sanford Stadium in SoCal.
Lots of the TCU followers cleared out with greater than half the fourth quarter left, selecting to enterprise out right into a wet and chilly evening fairly than watch any extra of the large mismatch.
“I’m upset we didn’t make a greater present tonight as a result of that’s not indicative of who we’re. However we’ll look again — it’s going to take a while for the sting to go away, I guarantee you — however we’ll look again on the season and construct on it from right here,” first-year coach Sonny Dykes stated.
Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan threw two first-half interceptions within the closing sport of his roller-coaster TCU profession. A four-year starter who by no means performed in a bowl earlier than this season, Duggan led TCU on one of the unbelievable runs in faculty soccer historical past.
Unranked after a dropping 2021 season and picked seventh within the Massive 12, the Frogs gained 9 video games by 10 or fewer factors. They had been inside a victory of this system’s first nationwide title since 1938.
However they ran right into a monster.
“So long as you don’t have entitlement in your program, you’ve received a shot,” Good stated. “And proper now we don’t have that.”