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CFP National Championship Preview: TCU special teams vs. Georgia special teams

How will the Horned Frogs match up against the Bulldogs in the third phase?

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Texas Christian at Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

TCU’s special teamers performed well during the team’s 51-45 win over Michigan in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. Griffin Kell went 6-for-6 on extra-point attempts and booted a 33-yard field goal after a 31-yard punt return from Derius Davis, while Jordy Sandy averaged 44.5 yards per punt with a 51-yard long and one punt downed inside the 20-yard line. How will the Horned Frogs fare in the third phase against top-ranked Georgia, who overcame two missed field goals in the team’s 42-41 victory over Ohio State in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl?

Australian freshman Brett Thorson only punted the ball twice against the Buckeyes, averaging 44.5 yards per punt with a long of 52 and one punt downed inside the 20. Georgia’s offense has been so successful that the Bulldogs only punt an average of 2.5 times per game, which ranks tied for third-best behind only UCLA and Washington. Despite two misses in the Peach Bowl, Jack Podlesny has enjoyed a rather solid senior season for the Bulldogs, converting 25-of-30 attempts for an 83.3 percent clip with a 50-yard long. Podlesny has been perfect inside of 40 yards, going 22-for-22 with all five of his misses coming from beyond 40 yards. Podlesny is also a perfect 65-for-65 on extra points.

Wide receiver Kearis Jackson handles kick return and punt return duties for Georgia, which averages 19.52 yards per kick return (68th nationally) and 11.52 yards per punt return (19th nationally). The Bulldogs record touchbacks on 69.23 percent of all kickoffs, which ranks 17th nationally. Georgia’s 44.91 yards-per-punt average ranks 20th in the nation as well. Jackson finished with two kick returns for 50 yards and one punt return for 22 yards during Georgia’s Peach Bowl win over the Buckeyes. While TCU has returned two punts for touchdowns, Georgia has not brought home a kick return or a punt return this season.