It turns out that the Michigan coaching staff played a key role in helping the Georgia football team beat Alabama in the 2022 College Football Playoff national championship game. After beating Michigan in the CFP Semifinal, Georgia football coach Kirby Smart learned from the Wolverines staff that Alabama believed the Bulldogs needed to be better conditioned.
Smart explains in his book “How Bout Them Dawgs” that Michigan’s information gave Georgia both motivation and insight for its national championship matchup with Alabama.
“Yeah, that was big, that probably I think gave us the biggest difference in the final game,” Smart told Sports Radio 92.9 The Game. “It was almost a phone call that didn’t happen. You know, it was not that long from the semifinal game to the final game and you got to use your time wisely. And a lot of times when you look back and talk to the opposing team you just played, you can gain some kind of insight maybe they had on you but that was a key ingredient talking to them.
“They had talked to Alabama who had just beaten us in the SEC Championship, so they wanted information from Alabama. So some of the information we gathered from Michigan came from information they gathered from Alabama. So it was very unique to hear that perspective. And they gave us a little extra incentive and motivation on some things that Alabama had said about us. And of course, I was able to parlay that into motivation for our guys.”
Georgia routed Michigan 34-11 in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve. Ten days later the Bulldogs beat the Crimson Tide 33-18 to win the national title. One month earlier, Alabama beat Georgia 41-24 in the SEC Championship Game.
“It doesn’t matter what Michigan told us if our kids didn’t buy into it, right?” Smart said. “Like the kids bought into it more because they heard it from a reliable source than it just came from me. So that part really helped and we had about five or six guys that got up at 6:30, seven o’clock in the morning, ran extra those 10 days. And really the conditioning level in the national championship game was a big, big piece to help us.”
Smart and the Georgia football team will look to win their third straight national title in the 2023 season.
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