Georgia and Ohio State will meet Saturday night in Atlanta in the Peach Bowl for a right to play for the national championship. The College Football Playoff semifinal pits the No. 1 team in the land in Georgia against the No. 4 Buckeyes, who reached the Playoff after Southern Cal’s Pac-12 Championship loss on championship weekend.

Georgia vs. Ohio State: Prediction and preview

Both teams are experienced in this kind of setting.

The Bulldogs (13-0) are in their third CFP appearance (fifth game) while the Buckeyes (11-1) are making their fifth appearance in a CFP game. The winner of this game advances to the CFP National Championship in Inglewood, California, on Jan. 9 against either Michigan or TCU. Georgia is trying to become the first team since Alabama in 2011-12 to win back-to-back national titles.

The programs met in the 1993 Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and the No. 8 Bulldogs claimed a 21-14 victory over No. 15 OSU to finish 10-2 under Ray Goff. Georgia was led by Doak Walker Award winner Garrison Hearst and quarterback Eric Zeier while the Buckeyes featured Kirk Herbstreit at quarterback and Robert Smith at running back. That game was discussed this week by Georgia co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who recalled that he knew Georgia would win once he saw Herbstreit throw a football at a luncheon. Herbstreit admitted to the sub-par pass, but said it was also with a white-paneled autograph football.

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Leading up to the game, Ohio State has faced repeated questions about the loss to Michigan, and how it would bounce back from the humbling defeat. But the Buckeyes are also rare underdogs, and have repeatedly noted how unusual it is, and even provides a dose of motivation.

This shapes up to be a test of strengths, as Georgia ranks second in the nation with an average of 12.8 points allowed. Ohio State is also second in scoring 44.5 points per game. And after LSU passed for 502 yards, there’s a question about Georgia’s vulnerabilities in pass defense. Similarly, Ohio State’s defense is facing questions about giving up big plays after Michigan put up 530 yards of offense, including 5 plays of 45 yards or more that went for touchdowns.

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Georgia is making its third appearance of the season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, about 75 miles from its Athens campus. The Bulldogs opened with a 49-3 win over Oregon, and then had a 50-30 rout of LSU gave Georgia its first SEC title since 2017.

The game will be called on ESPN by Chris Fowler, Herbstreit, and sideline reporters Holly Rowe and Laura Rutledge.

Prediction: Georgia 35, Ohio State 24