The only time Georgia and Ohio State have played against each other was in the Florida Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 1993.
ESPN broadcasters Kirk Herbstreit and Joey Galloway were the QB-WR duo for the No. 15 Buckeyes during that time. Fox Sports broadcaster Robert Smith formed a talented backfield with then freshman running back Eddie George, who later won the Heisman trophy in 1995.
The No. 8 Bulldogs were led by All-American running back Garrison Hearst, while Terrell Davis was waiting in the reigns as his backup.
Georgia ended up beating Ohio State in that bowl game 21-14.
30 years later, the Bulldogs and Buckeyes square off again on New Year’s Eve with higher stakes. They will battle it out in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA) in the first round of the College Football Playoff.
No. 4 Ohio State (11-1) features a lot of talent on both sides of the ball as usual. However, they will be without running back TreVeyon Henderson (season-ending foot surgery) and wide receiver Jaxon Smith Njigba (preparing for NFL draft).
Nevertheless, the Buckeyes’ offense doesn’t have a shortage of weapons at their disposal. Third-year quarterback and Heisman finalist C.J. Stroud is one of the best in the country at his position after having a stellar season. Redshirt sophomore running back Miyan Williams has been cleared to play in this game after dealing with an illness. Williams is a powerful running back that will punish defenders running behind a very talented Ohio State offensive line.
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. has proven to be one of the best wide receivers in the country. Harrison Jr. was named a Biletnikoff Award finalist after posting 72 catches, 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
On defense, Ohio State continues their tradition of having NFL talent on the defensive line and in the secondary. They have bookends JT Tuimoloau and Zach Harrison that will be rushing off the edge and defensive backs Denzel Burke and Josh Proctor will be two guys that the Bulldogs need to watch out for as well.
The reigning national champion Bulldogs (13-0) enter as the No. 1 team in the country and are a 6.5-point favorite in this semifinal game.
The Bulldogs have already had a lot of success playing in Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season. They scored 49 points in their season-opening win against Oregon and 50 points in their SEC championship victory over LSU.
Georgia might be without top wide receiver Ladd McConkey (questionable), who left the SEC Championship game with a knee injury. However, they will get back wide receiver AD Mitchell as a full participant after dressing and playing limited snaps in the SEC Championship.
This will be a heavyweight showdown between two storied college football programs. Ohio State currently has the 8th-ranked offense in the country and the 12th-ranked overall defense. Georgia comes in with the 9th-ranked offense and the 8th-ranked overall defense.
Ohio State has the potential talent-wise to match up well against Georgia, but the Bulldogs still have the better overall team and the better head coach in this game. They will also have the crowd advantage playing in their home state.