On Georgia’s second drive, Bennett accomplished three passes before a successful handoff to Kenny McIntosh, a junior tailback. McIntosh ran a bit, mostly toward the sideline, before he lifted his right arm and lofted a pass toward the tip zone. Mitchell caught the 18-yard throw on the maize-stained “A” in Michigan’s block lettering in the long run zone.
It gave Georgia a 14-point lead at the tip of the primary quarter. Within the second quarter, it became clearer that the sort of magic that Michigan had been capable of conjure all season was absent.
McNamara, a junior with 2,470 passing yards to his name entering Friday’s semifinal, connected with Roman Wilson to realize 42 yards and thrust Michigan to Georgia’s 19.
Nineteen yards, after all, offered 19 yards of potential tripwires to account for. But perhaps Michigan didn’t count on Nakobe Dean, the nation’s top linebacker, threatening behind the road of scrimmage. In any case, Dean had arrived in Florida with 6.5 sacks over everything of his three-season profession — not even half of Aidan Hutchinson’s tally this season at Michigan.
But Dean stormed ahead and punctured the Michigan offensive line that had so dazzled John Madden just greater than a month ago, when the Wolverines picked apart Ohio State. McNamara went to the bottom for an 8-yard loss. The Wolverines, who never recorded a sack of their very own on Friday, soon settled for a field goal.
Michigan later replaced McNamara because the scoreless third quarter dragged to an end and deployed J.J. McCarthy, a freshman who had attempted just 42 passes this season.
Georgia, though, had already added a pair of field goals after which, with a 57-yard throw to Jermaine Burton, yet one more touchdown. Within the fourth quarter, Bennett crashed to the turf after a blue-jerseyed Wolverine plowed into him — but only after the quarterback had hurled yet one more touchdown, this one going 39 yards to James Cook, the younger brother of the star Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.