LSU vs. Georgia Highlights (FV’s College Game of the Week)
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron gained perhaps his best signature win in his 2-year tenure after the Tigers defeated #2 Georgia 36-16 at home on Saturday.
Georgia entered the game as 7-point favorites against LSU and went home with a disappointing loss, dropping to #8 in the newest AP rankings. LSU moved up eight spots to #5.
LSU’s success came from all sides of the ball. Offensively, their run game was explosive. Leading rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 133 yards, one for 47 yards to the Georgia 10-yard line, which led to ending the drive in a touchdown. Even quarterback Joe Burrow recorded a 59-yard run to put LSU within five yards of Georgia’s endzone.
In addition the run game, the Tigers weren’t afraid of the deep ball. WR Justin Jefferson finished with six receptions for 108 yards, one of them coming from a 50-yard pass from Joe Burrow that took advantage of Georgia’s busted coverage. The play led to a field goal that put LSU ahead 13-0 in the 2nd quarter.
LSU also took risks in 4th-down situations. Of the five attempts on fourth-and-short, four of them resulted in 1st downs. The fifth was a punt that put forced Jake Fromm to throw out of his own endzone, which resulted in an interception.
Defensively, LSU recorded 3 sacks against Jake Fromm and two interceptions. Fromm finished 16 of 34, walking away with 209 yards and only one touchdown.
Initially, Georgia came out rushing the ball well but were stopped due to adjustments of the Tigers’ defense after the first half. A Georgia squad that was averaging 245 rushing yards a game walked away with only 113.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart suggested that the Bulldogs need to reevaluate their team identity, as he feels they have not consistently played as physically as they are capable of. Smart attributed much of LSU’s offensive explosiveness on tackling issues.
LSU’s evasiveness in the running and passing game was extremely effective against Georgia. Smart said that Georgia’s defense was struggling to be ready for what play was next.
“They did a good job of mixing it up. When people go fast ball and they go quick on you, a lot of times they just run the ball, run the ball, run the ball,” Smart said. “They took shots.”
Despite the loss, Smart looks forward to Georgia’s future battles optimistically.
“The good news is, we get an opportunity to go out and get to work and get better,” Smart said.
While the loss drops the Bulldog’s six spots, it isn’t the end of their chase for a spot in the playoffs. However, they have a lot to prove – this was their first game against a ranked opponent and they did not execute. Now, Georgia looks to face #11 Florida on the road after a bye week. If the Bulldogs can put on a strong performance and finish out the season without another loss and hope for an upset, the SEC contender has a good chance of sliding back in.
LSU finds themselves in good position despite their loss to Florida. If they can put up the same consistent physicality seen against Georgia in the rest of their games, they are in prime territory to take advantage of an at-risk top four.
Ohio State still has difficult matchups ahead of them, including a end-of-season matchup against current #6 Michigan, a significant conference rival. If Clemson records a loss in a weaker ACC conference matchup, they are sure to have a more difficult time climbing back. In addition, Notre Dame is coming off a win after a very disappointing performance against unranked Pittsburgh.
#8 Georgia will take a bye week and go on to face #11 Florida on the road on October 27th.
#5 LSU will face #22 Mississippi State at home.