After a turnover during its first possession, Georgia rebounded to score a touchdown on its next nine drives. Florida State only managed a field goal early in the second quarter.
Georgia quarterback Carson Beck recorded 203 yards and two touchdowns. Veteran running back Kendall Melton added 104 yards and two scores on the ground while Dominique Lovett, Anthony Evans III, Arian Smith and Lawson Luckey each fumbled for receiving TDs.
FSU QB Brock Glenn, testing to turn this highlight reel into a regular gig in 2024, completed 9 of 26 passes for 139 yards and two interceptions. He lost 9 yards on the ground.
As a team, Georgia totaled 673 yards, the most ever accumulated in an Orange Bowl game.
By the third quarter, Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart pulled Beck and turned him over to his second players. It was a luxury the state of Florida did not have.
The Seminoles were spread thin, with nine players opting out to prepare for the NFL Draft, two unavailable due to injury, and more than a dozen players entering the transfer portal. Among those who opted out were star WR Keon Coleman, WR Johnny Wilson, RB Trey Benson, TE Jaheim Bell, defensive linemen Jared Fiers and Fabian Lovett, and defensive backs Renardo Green, Jarian Jones and Akeem Dent.
Star QB Jordan Travis, who finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting, suffered a season-ending leg injury against North Alabama on Nov. 18. Tate Rodmaker, who took over under center after Travis was injured, entered the transfer portal before the Orange Bowl.
But Georgia didn't have healthy players opting out. Tight end Brock Powers, right tackle Amarius Mims and inside linebacker Smael Mundon were all dealing with injuries.
Georgia's dominance is a reflection of its culture
As much as it was about Florida's opt-out, it was also about Georgia's culture. The team had no option to opt out due to injury, and took this game seriously. That goes back to Georgia's only loss under Smart, to Texas in the Sugar Bowl to end the 2018 season. Smart had players in the portal rallying around the team, including Justin Fields, and it was generally clear that the team had not invested enough after a year in the Playing in the national championship game. Since then the Bulldogs are 3-0 in their non-playoff games.
Of course, this is not only due to Smart's style, but also to the individual leadership of the players. The trick will be to replace that with Cedric van Pran Granger, Milton and others moving on. But the established culture also seems very strong. — Seth Emerson is a senior writer in Georgia
Georgia's Mike Bobo is under pressure and has something to prove after the SEC Championship
Take a bow, Milton
It was a satisfying end for players like Milton, who had struggled with injuries the past four years. It was also a hopeful look at players expected to be in bigger roles next year, like receiver Dillon Bell (five catches for 86 yards).
Georgia also got a big game from Mikel Williams (sack and forced fumble), who was playing in his new role at outside linebacker.
Gunner Stockton, now the No. 2 quarterback, got to play the entire second half and threw two touchdown passes. Younger players saw a lot of snaps, including cornerback Daniel Harris, inside linebacker Raylen Wilson and offensive tackle Monroe Freeling. — Emerson
The Seminoles must find QB help
New quarterback Glenn is a player the coaching staff was really excited about before the injuries to Travis and Rodemaker. But it's hard to imagine the coaches feeling confident that Glenn is the answer going forward at quarterback.
He had a full arsenal of weapons around him in the ACC Championship Game and looked completely unprepared in his first college start, completing just 8 of his 21 attempts for 55 yards. FSU was missing two of its starting receivers, a tight end and its leading rusher when it played Georgia on Saturday — and Glenn didn't play any better. He was 8 of 25 for 127 yards, two interceptions and a loss in the fourth quarter, and made only one good throw when the game was still up for grabs at halftime. It was a 55-yard strike to receiver Kentron Poitier.
Glenn may have more success in his career moving forward, but there's no way the Seminoles can go into 2024 without finding a starter in the transfer portal. Cam Ward and DJ Uiagalelei both visited Tallahassee this month as transfers, and the Seminoles should land one of them to take over for Travis in 2024. Manny Navarro is a Florida College Sports staff writer