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Oklahoma Football vs. Georgia: 2018 Rose Bowl Game Thread, how to watch, predictions and final thoughts

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It’s finally here! Today, the Sooners will take on the Bulldogs in the “Granddaddy of Them All” in Pasadena. Head to the comments sections to discuss all things Oklahoma and the College Football Playoffs!

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas Christian vs Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year, Sooner Nation! Alas, we’ve finally arrived at the 2018 Rose Bowl where the nation’s No. 2 team, the Oklahoma Sooners, will take on the third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the first of two College Football Playoff matchups on New Year’s Day. No reminders needed that the winner of this game plays for all the marbles next Monday night in Atlanta.

Head down to the comments section for the game thread, where we’ll be asking questions, making predictions and discussing the day’s action with y’all.

It’s been an eventful month leading up to the Sooners’ clash against the SEC champions in Pasadena. Fans are relieved for running back Rodney Anderson and to have him available to play. And we all certainly hope the best for Baker Mayfield’s health come gametime this afternoon.

Whether or not the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner is 100% by kickoff remains to be seen. But we all know Baker the Touchdown Maker will bring everything he’s got, every play, every drive, and not relent until the clock hits zeroes. Those are odds I can get behind on any given gameday.

This game has been talked about for weeks now, and everyone’s ready to finally get the game underway. A few of the guys on the staff gave their predictions, which appear below.

Feel free to share your thoughts and predictions in the comments section. We look forward to talking all things Oklahoma football with you on this College Football Playoff gameday. And, of course, all the ways you can watch or follow the Rose Bowl game appear below our predictions.

RJ Young

The Sooners have their hands full in Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. But it is not as if defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and the Sooner defense hasn’t seen those sorts of tailbacks before, fam. Stoops actually saw them as recently as last year.

Their names are Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine.

I don’t expect the Sooners to be overwhelmed by the UGA rushing attack, and I fully expect Baker Mayfield to carve up the Bulldog secondary. Mayfield is primed to have his Flu Game in Pasadena. I expect the Sooner offense to thrive, even against a vaunted SEC defense—just as it has for the last four years. Oklahoma 38, Georgia 24.

Seth Oliveras

After the long layoff, the Sooners and the Bulldogs will both get off to slow starts, but the scoring will pick up in the second quarter. Georgia's stout defense will hold Oklahoma's running game in check for the most part, but Baker Mayfield will connect with Rodney Anderson for a number of big gains out of the backfield. Dimitri Flowers will be the X-factor in this game, much like he was against Ohio State. UGA won't have an answer for No. 36. On defense, OU will give up several long runs from Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, but when it comes time for Jake Fromm to convert on third and long, OU's secondary will make enough plays to limit Georgia's success through the air. Austin Seibert will come up big with a couple field goals in the second half, and with a two-possession lead late in the 4th, OU will call upon Trey Sermon to get physical and run the clock out. Oklahoma 30, Georgia 20.

Jack Shields

What’s the good word? TO HELL WITH GEORGIA! That’s all I’ve got. It’s New Year’s Day and it’s very early. Oklahoma 38, Georgia 31.

Austin Brown

OU wins if they’re able to prevent the deep ball and make Georgia rely solely on the ground game. OU’s defense doesn’t have to play perfect, just get stops on over half of UGA’s offensive possessions. Baker does Baker things and Rodney Anderson breaks off a few big plays. Sooners win 31-27.

Kartik Rajendran

I have to think even Mike Stoops knows what’s coming from Georgia’s run-heavy attack, and he and his staff have schemed a solid gameplan to slow down the stable of Bulldog rushers who’ll take handoffs from freshman Jake Fromm this evening. While a ground-and-pound scheme like Georgia’s could, in theory, neutralize the pass-rushing talents of All-Big 12 linebacker Obo Okoronkwo, an early Sooners lead means the Bulldogs may be forced to go to the air more than they prefer.

This could lead to the Sooners’ defense feasting up front and on the back end. Though Kirby Smart’s offense would like to hopes to control the clock and keep the ball away from the nation’s best offense, it will only be possible if Chubb, Michel and company have success early and often, and if OU is unable to have any on the other side when it has possession. Though this is certainly possible, it is also more unlikely.

I expect Baker to be his usual self, while Oklahoma’s running backs on the ground and through the air will be key in disrupting Georgia’s fast and aggressive defense led by linebacker Roquan Smith. Paced by a relentless, up-tempo attack of almost poetic run-pass balance, the Sooners will race out front and not really look back (fingers crossed). An assortment of pass-catchers including Dimitri Flowers will be too much to cover all game long for the SEC champions and make it tough to complete the comeback.

Although Georgia will likely find some success on the ground through sheer relentlessness and talent alone, an early deficit would mean the game’s in the hands of the freshman Fromm — and those are odds I like, as well. Oklahoma pulls out front early and ultimately closes out the Bulldogs, 35-24, to march on to face the Sugar Bowl winner in the National Championship Game next Monday.

Enjoy the game, Sooner Nation!

Coverage Info:

TV: ESPN 4:00 P.M. CT

Live Stream: WatchESPN, Megacast

TV Commentary: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Tom Rinaldi, Maria Taylor

Radio: OU Radio / TuneIn / Español: 106.7 (OKC), 101.9 (Tulsa)

Rose Bowl Q&A with Dawg Sports

Rose Bowl Preview

Head down to the comments section for the game thread, where we’ll be asking questions, making predictions and discussing the day’s action with y’all.

Monday TV Schedule

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina 12:00 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: #12 UCF vs. #7 Auburn 12:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Citrus Bowl: #14 Notre Dame vs. #17 LSU 1:00 PM ABC WatchESPN.com
Rose Bowl/CFP Semifinal: #3 Georgia vs. #2 Oklahoma 5:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Sugar Bowl/CFP Semifinal: #4 Alabama vs. #1 Clemson 8:45 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com

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