(WXYZ) — The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines will take on the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs Friday evening in the College Football Playoff Semifinals. They will play in the Orange Bowl from Miami at 7:30 p.m.
This is Michigan's first appearance in the College Football Playoffs since its inception, and this is Georgia's second appearance. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 3 in 2018 when they beat No. 2 Oklahoma to advance to the championship, where they eventually lost to Alabama.
The winner of the game on Saturday night will face the winner of No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati, which is being played at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 31.
Below are some of the game details
What: College Football Playoff Semifinal (Orange Bowl)
Who: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia
When: 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31
Where: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
How to watch: The game will air on ESPN and will be streaming on WatchESPN at ESPN.com/watch
How to listen: If you can't watch the game, you can hear it on the Wolverines Radio Network which has a list of stations throughout the state. In metro Detroit, you can hear it on 97.1 The Ticket. You can also listen on SiriusXM Channels 84, 82 and 80 at 7:30 p.m.
How did each team get here?
After a COVID-`19-shorted season in 2020 that found Michigan going just 2-4, the Wolverines were unranked to start the season and didn't get a ranking until the third game.
Michigan dominated its first three games, beating Western Michigan 47-1`4, Washington 31-10 and Northern Illinois 63-10. They beat Rutgers in the Big Ten opener 20-13, and moved up to No. 6 in the country by mid-October.
The Wolverines then went to East Lansing for a matchup against No. 8 Michigan State, which was Michigan's first and only loss of the season, 37-33.
Michigan bounced back with strong performances and needed a win against Ohio State, which they got at Michigan Stadium, dominating the Buckeyes 42-27.
It was then off to face Iowa at the Big Ten Championship game, which saw the Wolverines stout defense hold the Hawkeyes to just three points. The 42-3 victory made many think the Wolverines should be ranked No. 1 in the country, but the College Football Playoff Committee kept them at No. 2 and moved Alabama ahead of them.
Georgia started the season ranked fifth in the nation and faced off against then No. 3 Clemson to start the season. The Bulldogs beat the Tigers 10-3 and moved up to No. 2, and continued their domination, beating several teams including three straight ranked teams in Arkansas, Auburn and Kentucky.
They moved up to No. 1 in mid-October and stayed there through an undefeated season that took them to the SEC Championship to face No. 3 Alabama, who had almost lost to Auburn the week before.
In that game, the Crimson Tide dominated on their way to a 41-24 win, which bumped them up to No. 1 in the nation in the College Football Playoff rankings and moved Georgia down to No. 3.
Georgia has the No. 1 scoring defense in the country, giving up only 14 touchdowns and nine field goals all season, totaling 124 points. The next-best team is Clemson who has given up 21 touchdowns and 11 field goals.
Players to watch
DE Aidan Hutchinson - Hutchinson came in second in the Heisman Trophy Voting this year and won the Lombardi Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy and Ted Henricks Award this year. He was also named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the MVP of the Big Ten Championship game.
RBs Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum: Both players provide a 1-2 punch for Michigan in the backfield. Haskins rushed for 1,288 yards and 20 touchdowns, while Corum rushed for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
QB Cade McNamara: McNamara threw for 2,470 yards and 15 touchdowns against just four interceptions.
DE David Ojabo: Ojabo had an incredible season with 35 tackles and 11 sacks on the other side of the defensive line from Hutchinson. Offensive lines have to stop both of them from getting to the quarterback.
RBs Samir White and James Cook: The Bulldogs also have a 1-2 punch at running back with White and Cook. White rushed for 718 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Cook had 619 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
TE Brock Bowers: Bowers, a 6-foot-4 freshman tight end, was named the Coaches' SEC Freshman of the Year and an AP All-American second team. He had 47 catches for 791 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.