Sometimes it is easy to criticize coaches on a national stage, but Gary Patterson, Lane Kiffin and the rest of Twitter all agreed on one thing during the first quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game: Georgia isn’t running the ball enough.
The Bulldogs came out with 7 (!) consecutive pass plays with freshman quarterback Jake Fromm to open the title game. That resulted in an interception and a punt.
After that, Kiffin and Patterson were among many on Twitter sounding off about Georgia’s offensive strategy:
Georgia must run the ball!
— Gary Patterson (@TCUCoachP) January 9, 2018
Georgia. Run the ball!!!
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) January 9, 2018
Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney evidently listened. The Bulldogs came out with 6 consecutive runs to start the third series, moving the ball near midfield. Then, when facing third-and-20, Georgia turned to Sony Michel for a 26-yard gain. The drive ended with Georgia taking a 3-0 lead in the opening minute of the second quarter.
The Bulldogs are in this game thanks to the strength of their rushing attack. Michel and Nick Chubb scored a combined 5 touchdowns vs. Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl last Monday, including the game-tying and winning scores.