Georgia football-secondary-ohio state
The ball just gets by the finger tips of Georgia Bulldogs defensive backs Malaki Starks (24) as LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) catches a 34-yard touchdown against Starks and Kelee Ringo (5) during the third quarter of the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Atlanta. Georgia won 50-30. (Jason Getz /

Kirk Herbstreit: Concerns for Georgia against TCU, but Kirby Smart ‘now the standard’

LOS ANGELES — Kirk Herbstreit is all in on Georgia football, but he has some concerns about Monday night’s game.

The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs could be on the verge of becoming the first team of the CFP Era — and only the fourth in the past 45 years — to win back-to-back championships.

“Kirby is now the standard,” Herbstreit said on Saturday at the CFP Media Day at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“I think it’s pretty clear if you are being objective and fair, with the job they do in recruiting every year, and most importantly, the job they do in developing the players, and the staff that he has,” he said.

“The fact they don’t ever take their foot off the gas …. and his own way of coming up with ways to get guys mad and motivated, I give him all the credit in the world.”

Georgia, of course, still has a game to play at 7:30 p.m. on Monday night against No. 3 TCU in the CFP Championship at SoFi Stadium.

“The thing that concerns me for Georgia is that in back-to-back games for that secondary, they’ve given up a lot of big plays through the air,” Herbstreit said.

“Now, they’ve gone up against some really good quarterbacks, and Georgia was up 35-7 and LSU was just slinging it. But still, you’ve got to make plays as a secondary.”

RELATED: Max Duggan plans to ‘thrive’ amid Georgia defensive chaos

The Tigers passed for 502 yards, with starter Jayden Daniels 16-of-24 passing for 208 yards with a TD and interception, and backup Garrett Nussmeier 15-of-27 passing for 294 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.

“C.J. Stroud had maybe a career game against them, with his scrambling ability and ability to keep plays alive,” Herbstreit said, “and to me, if you fast forward that to Monday night, Max Duggan has similar capabilities.”

Stroud was 23-of-34 passing for 348 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions and had 8 carries that netted 70 yards.

“(Duggan) is a scrambler and a runner, and they have to account for his ability with his legs,” Herbstreit said. “And if you do that, you’ve got to bring an extra guy down, and to get an extra guy down, you have to be one-on-one on the outside.

“Can those corners hold up against Quinten Johnston and the rest of the playmakers they have? That, to me, is kind of the whole story of the game.”

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