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coleryan
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LSU Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs: Preview and Pick

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On 09/22/2013 02:21 PM in NCAA Football
LSU Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs: Preview and Pick

The college football action heats up in week five, especially in the SEC, arguably the best conference in the country. There are several games that highlight the schedule in this conference, but the biggest one of the week belongs to the game between the LSU Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs.

LSU Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs Odds

The college football odds for this game opened up with the Georgia Bulldogs as (-3) point favorites and of course that did not go unnoticed by the betting public. After a big win against Auburn the sports consensus sites are showing that over 70 percent of the early money is coming in on the Tigers. The line is still at (-3) but could change.

The Georgia Bulldogs had to survive an early scare when they went up against North Texas in what was supposed to be an easy victory leading up to the game with the Tigers. Aaron Murray threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score while leading the Bulldogs to a 45-21 victory over pesky North Texas on a dreary Saturday between the hedges. He will go up against a much tougher defense this week when they host the Tigers led by Les Miles.

The Tigers had to face another Tiger team, Auburn in a prime time, rain soaked game featured on ESPN. Jeremy Hill rushed for a career-high 184 yards and tied a career high with three touchdowns, helping LSU defeat previously unbeaten Auburn, 35-21 in what was really an easy victory. The Tigers will need more balance on offense if they hope to put up points against a desperate Bulldogs team that will not be able to suffer another loss in the SEC if they want a show at the Championship.

The college football betting trends for this game reveal some interesting angles. LSU is 9-1 straight up in its last 10 games on the road and 7-1 straight up in the last eight games overall. However this same Tigers team is just 2-5 against the spread (ATS). Georgia is 14-3 straight up in its last 17 games and 11-1 straight up in the last 12 games at home. The total has gone over in 4 of Georgia's last 5 games at home and the total has gone over in 5 of Georgia's last 6 games when playing LSU.

LSU Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs Pick

With plenty of time before kickoff we will wait for more information to come in before we select a side on this contest. Make sure to check back on the day of the game to see who we select as our winner for this big game.
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09/23/2013 01:20 PM
Arthur Lynch refused to let snapper Nathan Theus remain the only scapegoat after North Texas blocked a Georgia punt for a touchdown, the fourth huge special teams error by the Bulldogs in three games.

Although Theus' snap was high -- an error that led Georgia's coaching staff to replace him with Trent Frix later in the game -- senior punt protector Lynch said he misdiagnosed what the Mean Green's rushers were preparing to do and shifted the Bulldogs' coverage.

“That was my fault,” Lynch said. “I should have shifted the protection to the left. The snap and the punter had nothing to do with that. If I would have just gotten the protection corrected … I'll put that on me. We'll correct that.

“It's unfortunate, I knew what was going on and I should have called timeout so we could have shifted it. And that's inexcusable, especially for the fact that I've been doing it for three years.”

No. 9 Georgia (2-1) thoroughly dominated Saturday's game statistically, but two special teams touchdowns by North Texas -- the Mean Green also returned a kickoff for a 99-yard score -- helped make it 21-all early in the third quarter.

It continued a string of early mishaps in the kicking game -- Theus' high snap late in the third quarter against Clemson prevented the Bulldogs from attempting a potential game-tying 20-yard field goal, plus punter Collin Barber dropped a snap in the second quarter against South Carolina, setting up a short touchdown drive – that form an alarming trend.



“We've probably had 100 special teams plays by now, but you just hate that the bad ones have been really bad,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

The timing of those errors might be useful for Georgia's coaches, however, considering the opponent preparing to visit on Saturday. Traditionally dangerous on special teams, players from No. 6 LSU (4-0) are no doubt excited over the possibility of making a game-changing play off a return or fake kick against the Bulldogs.

That's a convenient reminder where Richt's coaching staff can reinforce the importance of special teams in this week's practices.

“It's OK to be on high alert this week, so maybe it will help us,” Richt said.

The older players on Georgia's roster probably don't need the reminder on how LSU's return teams can shift the course of a game. The last time these teams played, in the 2011 SEC championship game, LSU punt returner Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu helped swing a game that Georgia controlled early with a 62-yard touchdown return and helped turn it into a rout with a 47-yard runback later in the game.

Mathieu is now in the NFL, but the Tigers' current return specialist, Odell Beckham Jr., is nearly as explosive.

“Unfortunately for us, we've seen what their return teams can do: The Honey Badger,” Lynch said.

Auburn didn't give Beckham many opportunities to break a long return on Saturday night. He was able to return just one kickoff and one punt thanks to Auburn's deep and high kicks, neutralizing an explosive player who returned a missed UAB field goal 109 yards for a touchdown earlier this season.

There were still a couple of big special teams plays on Saturday, however -- one that helped LSU and one that hurt. Auburn punter Steven Clark dropped a snap and dove on the ball for a 16-yard loss at his own 10 early in the game, setting up an LSU touchdown on the next play that helped the Tigers go up 14-0.

Leading 28-7 in the third quarter, LSU coach Les Miles elected to fake a field goal at Auburn's 14. Seth Fruge ran 8 yards on the fake, but was stopped short of a first down. Auburn then drove 94 yards for a touchdown that made it a more competitive game, although LSU still won 35-21.

That aggressiveness is part of the reason the Bulldogs know they can't afford to keep making sloppy errors in the kicking game.

“We've just had a couple of off calls. I'm not worried about it,” said Barber, who averaged 49.8 yards per punt against North Texas. “I trust my protection, pride team. We're going to be the best. There's no doubt in my mind that we can't fix it and get it better by LSU.”

That could mean using different personnel on the coverage units, Richt said, beyond simply using Frix as the punt snapper -- although he said it's likely that change will remain in place this week.

“Your center can't afford to be spraying one a game. You can't afford it,” Richt said. “It's got to be on the money. It's got to be where it's supposed to be when it's supposed to be there.”

The coaches will make those decisions this week after reviewing what went wrong -- as well as what went right -- against the Mean Green. And Richt made the point on his Sunday teleconference that there has been more right than wrong.

“We'd been really covering kicks extremely well all year long and then you get one like that [touchdown],” he said. “You might think it's broken, but it's really not broken. We've just got to go back to doing what we've been doing all year long and that's placing the ball where we want it and getting guys down there covering it, being in the right spots and making the play when they get there.”

The Bulldogs would do themselves an enormous favor if they get back to doing that on Saturday. Beckham is one of the nation's most dangerous all-purpose performers and he will absolutely exploit any crack in Georgia's kick coverage schemes.

Cleaning up those mistakes was one of the first objectives when the Bulldogs began preparing for LSU on Sunday afternoon.

“Trust me, we know what kind of guys they've got,” Lynch said. “… Special teams will be a deciding factor in this game, I think.”
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09/24/2013 02:15 PM
ESPN’s College GameDay and UGA have decided again to set up on the Meyers Quad off Sanford Drive. Meanwhile, the Bayou Bengal faithful should be descending upon Athens about the time construction is completed on Thursday.

There is much to get to this week, and we promise to have it all covered before Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. kickoff (CBS). Of course, I’ve already written my first piece on Zach Mettenberger’s homecoming. UGA gave his mom, an administrative assistant in the football office, the week off. I should probably share here that my requests for interviews of Mettenberger’s parents, Tammy and Bernie, have been declined going back to this summer. Zach also has declined my requests for some one-on-one time. LSU’s sports communications office has offered to share some of his comments with me when he meets with the local media briefly tonight. I’ll have a full story on the Mettenberger’s journey in Wednesday’s paper.

The Mettenberger’s bunker mentality is understandable considering the magnitude of Saturday’s contest. Let’s go ahead and call it what it is – it is a national championship playoff for Georgia. The Bulldogs have already lost one Top 10 matchup to No. 3-ranked Clemson on the road. If they intend to get to Pasadena for the BCS Championship game – and that’s their stated goal – you can’t lose at home to No. 6 LSU. It’s all or nothing in that regard.

A loss won’t preclude Georgia from winning the SEC East. That will still be there for the taking. But the Bulldogs’ national championship hopes will effectively be gone with a defeat.

So with that little build-up, let’s get to the rewind:

- THE POSITIVES

The defense:
The Bulldogs gave up just 238 total yards – and fewer than 200 against the No. 1 defensive unit – to a veteran-laden North Texas captained by a quarterback that Todd Grantham says will be in an NFL camp next year. Georgia gave up a 10-play, 86-yard scoring drive early in the second quarter that ended with the Mean Green beating cornerback Damian Swann one-on-one. But the drive was facilitated by a questionable interference call. And at the end of the day, the Bulldogs allowed just 7 yards rushing with two sacks and 10 tackles for loss. A good day.

The offense:
Georgia ended up with 191 yards rushing, but it struggled to run the football. The good news about that is North Texas absolutely sold out to stop the run and was an impressive team from a tackling standpoint. That’s exactly what the Bulldogs are going to see – times 10 – against LSU. And here’s some reality. Georgia ended up with 641 yards offense and passed for 450 against the Mean Green. Aaron Murray and company could have thrown for 1,000 yards if they had chosen to take what the defense was giving. They’ll choose the path of least resistance against the Tigers.

- THE NEGATIVES

Special teams:
The Bulldogs have had four colossal breakdowns in four games, including two this past Saturday. The goal is to go the entire season without any. Georgia gave up a pair of touchdowns to North Texas on a 99-yard kickoff return and a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone. One change has already come as a result. Snapper Nathan Theus was replaced by walkon Trent Frix in Saturday’s game. Richt indicated the Bulldogs will stick with that this week. But they will also be exploring personnel changes on the kickoff coverage team and the punt team. They need to get it shored up before the Tigers arrive. They’re strong in every phase.

Jay Rome:
Tight end Arthur Lynch has done a fantastic job but the Bulldogs really need Rome to get healthy. The sophomore tight end is a formidable pass-catching threat, as he domonstrated getting open on yet another seam route against North Texas. But he took another shot on his trouble left ankle on the 27-yard play in the first quarter and did not return. His status remains questionable this week and he won't be close to 100 percent if he goes.

- INTANGIBLES

GameDay factor:
People like to cite Georgia’s record when ESPN’s College GameDay is on site for one of their games. The Bulldogs are 3-12 as I understand it coming into this game. The last time the crew broadcasted from Athens, No. 3 Georgia lost to No. 8 Alabama 41-30. Richt scoffed at their presence having any tangible effect on the way the Bulldogs play. “The difference is you’ve got to play well,” he said. “What matters is what happens on the field and not what happens out on a courtyard somewhere.”

He did add: “We’re not going to do a blackout.” That ’08 Alabama game is the last time the Bulldogs did that at home.
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09/25/2013 04:16 PM
Pay no attention to that LSU team that slogged around a 35-21 victory over Auburn.

Look closer at the LSU team that went up 21-0 in a blink, then coasted for the better part of three quarters. There are two significant takeaways from the first 20 minutes of the Auburn game: The Tigers are that good—and they’re not mentally strong enough to turn it on and off at will.

Especially with a trip to Georgia looming this weekend.

LSU could flip a switch the last two seasons on talent alone. This time around, there aren’t enough experienced leaders on a talented but young team that—with the right weekly motivation—can beat anyone in the nation.

“I don’t think we let up,” LSU tailback Jeremy Hill said of the Auburn game. “But I wish we would have finished a lot stronger than we did.”

Blame it on the weather or a young defense or a lack of concentration after it became clear following one quarter that Auburn couldn’t score (until it did when LSU got bored, but that’s part of the problem). Who cares at this point?

LSU will either take a big step this weekend toward making its November Alabama game another mega-showdown or give Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray his third career victory against a top 10 team (he’s 2-6).
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09/25/2013 04:18 PM
Times are changing on the Bayou, and so is LSU’s offense. It’s true that the Tigers can still bully you with their running game, especially now that Jeremy Hill is back in good graces.

But what makes this offense different is a passing game that can strike from anywhere on the field and two red-hot receivers who are making good on a promise they made to each other back in the offseason.

Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry have already combined for 44 catches and 11 total touchdowns in their first four games.

And remember all those explosive plays down the field the Tigers didn’t make last season?

Well, through four games, Beckham and Landry have combined for 26 plays of 15 yards or longer and nine touchdowns of 20 yards or longer, which includes Beckham’s 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against UAB.

“We told each other that our motto this year was going to be, ‘Don’t blink,’” Beckham said. “That’s because if you’re at home watching on TV and step away for a second, you might miss an exciting play.”

There’s no downplaying first-year coordinator Cam Cameron’s influence on the Tigers’ offense. It has much more of an NFL feel to it than it ever did in the past under Les Miles.

But there’s also no downplaying the role Beckham and Landry have played in helping to open up the offense for everybody else. What’s more, they’re a perfect complement for each other.

Beckham is the speed guy who can stretch the field and demoralize defenses with big plays. He’s averaging 19.5 yards per catch, and 10 of his 20 catches have been for 20 yards or longer.

Landry is one of the best route-runners in the SEC and is absolutely fearless. He’s also terrific after the catch, and though he’s not a burner, you rarely see people catching him from behind. He’s caught touchdown passes in each of his last six games and eight of his last nine contests dating back to last season.

“The great thing for a quarterback is that one of them always seems to be open,” said LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who’s thrown 10 touchdown passes and only one interception this season. “If you try to take one of them away, the other one’s going to get you.”

They’re more than just receivers, too.

Beckham is a dangerous return specialist and leads the SEC in all-purpose yardage (197.5 yards per game). Landry first made his mark at LSU by blowing people up while covering kicks, and in high school, was his team’s starting middle linebacker.

“I take a lot of pride in that, being a football player. Both of us do,” Landry said. “Those types of players are a rarity now, guys who can do a little bit of everything. Just because I’m on offense and catching passes doesn’t mean I’m not going out there and looking to attack. I believe that’s the way you’ve got to play this game no matter what position you’re playing.”

It’s not a coincidence that Beckham and Landry play so well off of each other on the field. They’ve known each other since their high school days and are extremely close off the field.

In fact, they hit it off at a 7-on-7 camp in Tuscaloosa during the summer prior to their senior year of high school and sort of decided then that they wanted to play together in college.

“Because we’re so close, we have the ability to critique each other and push each other, whether it be in practice or wherever,” Landry said. “Odell's got great speed, vision with the ball and the yards after the catch, and my strength is catching the ball and being physical. I’m always taking something out of his book or helping him with something I do well to complement his game.”

Added Beckham, “He’s like the brother I never had, and whenever he makes a big play, I just tell him, ‘Now, it’s my turn.’ ”

A few weeks ago, South Carolina had success going after freshman cornerback Brendan Langley, who was beaten on a couple of longer touchdown passes.

With so much success already this season, you can bet the Tigers will also take their shots down the field and test that Georgia secondary.

“Whoever we go up against, this offense is designed to create mismatches and put guys in position to win one-on-one matches, and one-on-one matches with guys like Odell Beckham is a nightmare,” Landry said. “But the biggest part of this offense gets down to guys making plays, and right now, we have a lot of those guys all over the field.”
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09/26/2013 12:58 PM
With new coordinator Cam Cameron in charge, LSU's offense this season is more diverse than it has been in several years -- and yet the overriding philosophy remains the same.

“If we don't slow down the run game,” Georgia coach Mark Richt told a caller on his Monday night radio show, “it's going to be a long day for Georgia.”

When Richt's Bulldogs last faced LSU -- in the 2011 SEC championship game -- LSU completed only five passes for a total of 30 yards, but the Tigers' stable of running backs combined for 207 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-10 victory.

Their pound-the-rock strategy was in place last season, as well, with quarterback Zach Mettenberger's 12 touchdown passes tying for the fewest among regular starters in the SEC and the Tigers relying on Jeremy Hill and the other tailbacks to make their offense go.

“Ain't no trickery, ain't no razzle-dazzle,” Georgia defensive lineman Garrison Smith said. “It's just all about playing the best you can and seeing who's going to make the fewest mistakes.”

On the occasions where that physical approach wasn't enough, LSU's offense bogged down, with the Tigers ranking 10th in the SEC in total offense (374.2 yards per game) and 11th in passing (200.5 ypg). LSU's defense was as imposing as ever, but its lack of offensive creativity was a clear liability.

Enter former NFL coordinator Cameron, who still leans heavily on Hill and the running game, but has helped Mettenberger (1,026 passing yards, 10 TDs, one interception through four games) rank among the nation's most improved quarterbacks. The senior is eighth nationally with an 88.3 Total QBR, up substantially from his dismal 47.1 rating a season ago.

“Sometimes a guy has a coach that may have a tremendous scheme, but doesn't really have a feel for how to handle your quarterback. You better handle him properly,” Richt said. “Cam's been doing that forever, and he's been doing it at all levels of ball. I'm just very impressed with what he's doing.”

It helps that Mettenberger has two impressive receivers at his disposal in Odell Beckham Jr. (third in the SEC with 97.2 receiving ypg) and Jarvis Landry (fourth, 91.0) -- a duo who make it difficult for an opponent to sell out to stop the run. And Mettenberger's continued development -- he's completing 64.8 percent of his passes and averaging 11.28 yards per attempt compared to 58.8 and 7.4 in 2012 -- makes LSU even more of a test at all levels of a defense.

“[Georgia, LSU and Alabama] run the ball very well, and I think that's what opened up the downfield passing game,” Georgia cornerback Damian Swann said. “Because once you're done trying to stack the box on a team that can throw the ball like [Georgia's Aaron] Murray can, like [Alabama's AJ] McCarron can, like Zach can, that's when people beat you.”

Nonetheless, the Bulldogs know that their defense won't have a prayer on Saturday if it fails to match LSU's physicality up front.

Slowing down the Tigers' running game remains every opposing defense's first objective, but it is not a particularly easy goal to accomplish. Auburn certainly knew Hill was the top player it had to stop last Saturday and LSU's bellcow back still rolled up 184 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-21 win.

Neutralizing LSU's running game will be the Bulldogs' first objective on Saturday, coming off an impressive performance against North Texas where Georgia allowed the Mean Green to accumulate just 7 rushing yards on 25 attempts. It's a difficult goal to meet, but if they can pull it off, the Bulldogs' chances of victory increase exponentially.

“That's just the style of football that they play with Les Miles being an offensive guy, and that's how he likes to run it” Swann said. “He's going to line it up and run it at you. You just have to prepare for it.

“You have to tackle well, you have to play your gaps well -- everything has to be fundamentally sound because it's not going to be no trickeration going on. It's going to be line up, smashmouth football. You have to be ready for that.”
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09/26/2013 12:59 PM
Quarterback Aaron Murray can't imagine any school going through the sort of gauntlet Georgia has faced in the opening month of the season.

After spending most of his young life cherishing every moment in Georgia's Sanford Stadium, LSU signal-caller Zach Mettenberger can't wait until this visit is done and over with.

The No. 9 Bulldogs will become the fourth team in the BCS era to play three top 10 teams in the first four games as they face sixth-ranked LSU and Mettenberger, who left the Bulldogs in disgrace in 2010.

According to STATS, North Carolina in 2001 and both Arizona and Tulsa in 2011 were the only other teams in the last 16 seasons to face such a daunting schedule at the beginning of the season.

The Tar Heels went 1-2 against their top 10 opponents; Arizona and Tulsa both dropped all three games.

Georgia is looking to win two of three, having lost at then-No. 8 Clemson 38-35 in the season opener before knocking off South Carolina 41-30 at home when the Gamecocks were ranked sixth. The Bulldogs (2-1, 1-0 SEC) beat North Texas 45-21 last Saturday.

"Everybody says, 'Oh man, that must stink.' But I think it's fun. I think everybody on this team thinks it's fun," Murray said. "It's fun preparing for these big type of games. It's fun playing in them. It adds a lot more excitement to the week."

If the Bulldogs can knock off the Tigers (4-0, 1-0), they'll likely be a serious national championship contender come late November.

"We definitely control our own fate," linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. "If we beat LSU ... that would boost us up in the polls. People would favor us more and realize we're still a title-worthy team."

After LSU, though, the schedule breaks largely in Georgia's favor.

No. 20 Florida is the only team among the last eight regular-season opponents currently ranked, and the Gators are hardly in a good place after losing quarterback Jeff Driskel to a season-ending injury last weekend.

Not that the Bulldogs are getting ahead of themselves, but the Tigers look like the last major stumbling block for a team that came oh-so-close to reaching the BCS title game last season.

"If you have a chance to win the SEC, you pretty much know every game has national championship implications," tight end Arthur Lynch said. "First and foremost, the goal is to win the SEC East. We've been SEC East champions twice. We've been in the SEC championship game the last two years, but haven't had a chance to win. The next goal is to make that step. Whatever comes after that is gravy."

LSU has top-ranked Alabama in its way as it tries to win the SEC West and visits the Crimson Tide on Nov. 9, but the Tigers are focused on Georgia - especially Mettenberger, who is on pace to have one of the best seasons ever by an LSU quarterback.

His 10 scoring passes and 1,026 yards passing are the most by an LSU quarterback through four games. Earlier this season, his five scoring passes against UAB set an LSU single-game record. He ranks second in the SEC in passing efficiency, behind only Murray, his former teammate.

Georgia coach Mark Richt watched Mettenberger grow up in the football operations building, where Tammy Mettenberger has worked since her son was 8 years old. He remembers a young Zach visiting his mom at work, often wearing Georgia red, being on the field on game days and meeting his players.

Richt later gave Mettenberger a scholarship, but then had to dismiss him when the redshirt freshman was embroiled in legal trouble over his treatment of a woman at a bar not long after 2010 spring practice.

"We all really like Zach and want the best for him, but just don't want him to win the game this weekend," Richt said.

When LSU last played Georgia in the 2011 SEC title game and won 42-10, Mettenberger was a third-string quarterback in his first year with the Tigers after transferring from junior college. He didn't play a snap, but remembers a number of Bulldogs fans expressing their opinions about him in the Georgia Dome that night.

"It was pretty bad two years ago getting heckled and I didn't even play so I can imagine it's just going to be that much better this time around," Mettenberger said. "I'm expecting the worst, but I've just got to go in there with a level head and play football. ... I'm looking forward to Sunday morning tremendously."

Mettenberger doesn't deny he used to dream of charging out of the tunnel at Sanford Stadium wearing that trademark red helmet with the black 'G' on the side. He readily acknowledges he has no one to blame but himself for the fact that never happened, but also says he's learned from it and grown comfortable with the unexpected turn his career took thereafter.

"My life has ended up here at LSU and I couldn't be happier with it," Mettenberger said. "I'm proud to call myself a Tiger. I'm just excited to go into another SEC opponent's stadium and go in there and get a win."
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09/27/2013 09:29 AM
As an SEC West school, LSU is hardly a fixture on Georgia's annual football schedule. But when the Tigers and Bulldogs do get together, the results are almost always memorable.

Just think back over the past decade. Two meetings in the SEC championship game – one won by each school. The phantom celebration penalty against Georgia receiver A.J. Green in 2009, helping pave the way for LSU's comeback victory. Georgia putting huge point totals on LSU's defending BCS champion teams in 2004 and 2008.

There's a lot to remember – and just like in Saturday's meeting between No. 6 LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC) and No. 9 Georgia (2-1, 1-0) – there are often major SEC and BCS implications in play.

“[I told the younger players] any game can go down to the last second, but what kind of fight that they're going to have to be ready for,” said Georgia fifth-year senior receiver Rantavious Wooten, one of the few Bulldogs who were on the team when LSU last visited Athens in 2009. “They've got aspirations just like we do. They want a championship and we want a championship and this game right here, this is the game for it. So I just let them know what to expect and how it's going to be and just to get ready for it.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt is 3-4 against LSU since arriving at UGA in 2001 and Tigers coach Les Miles is 2-2 against the Bulldogs. Let's take a look at the last five times their programs squared off:


2011 SEC Championship Game (Atlanta): No. 1 LSU 42, No. 16 Georgia 10
In one of the most bizarre games of Richt's tenure, Georgia's defense thoroughly dominated the first half. LSU didn't muster a single first down and was in danger of falling down by a big margin, but Georgia receivers dropped a pair of potential first-half touchdown passes and LSU punt returner Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu took a kick back for a touchdown to make it 10-7 Georgia at halftime. The second half was a completely different story, as the Bulldogs committed a couple of turnovers, LSU's pounding rushing attack began to have its intended effect and Todd Grantham's defense seemed helpless as the Tigers rushed for 202 yards and three touchdowns after intermission, turning the game into a rout.

Oct. 3, 2009 (Athens): No. 4 LSU 20, No. 18 Georgia 13
This one will forever be remembered among Georgia fans for a referee's questionable decision to penalize Georgia superstar Green for excessive celebration following his leaping, go-ahead touchdown catch with 1:09 to play, giving Georgia its first lead at 13-12. The penalty forced the Bulldogs to kick off from their own 15 and LSU return specialist Trindon Holliday made them pay by returning the kickoff to the Georgia 43, with a 5-yard penalty against the Bulldogs on the kickoff moving LSU even closer to the UGA end zone. Two plays later, Charles Scott rushed for his second touchdown of the fourth quarter, a 33-yard run with 46 seconds to play allowing LSU to improve to 5-0.

Oct. 25, 2008 (Baton Rouge): No. 7 Georgia 52, No. 13 LSU 38
As wild as the ending of the 2009 game was, this one was crazy from the very beginning. Georgia linebacker Darryl Gamble returned an interception for a 40-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and added a 53-yard pick six in the game's closing minutes as the Bulldogs hung half-a-hundred on LSU's porous defense. The Tigers surrendered 50-plus twice that season – the first time in school history that had happened – leading Miles to dump co-defensive coordinators Doug Mallory and Bradley Dale Peveto after the season in favor of former Tennessee coordinator John Chavis, who has been in Baton Rouge ever since.

2005 SEC Championship Game (Atlanta): No. 13 Georgia 34, No. 3 LSU 14
Although fellow receiver Sean Bailey caught a pair of first-quarter touchdowns from D.J. Shockley that got Georgia off on the right foot, Bulldogs senior Bryan McClendon – now the team's running backs coach – might have delivered the play of the game when he blocked a punt midway through the second quarter deep in LSU territory. That helped Georgia score to take a commanding 21-7 halftime lead which LSU never threatened. The Bulldogs' defense also did its job that day, limiting an LSU rushing attack that dominated in their 2003 meeting in Atlanta to just 74 rushing yards.

Oct. 2, 2004 (Athens): No. 3 Georgia 45, No. 13 LSU 16
Nick Saban's final game against Georgia while at LSU ended with a humiliating loss, as the Tigers surrendered the most points allowed by an LSU defense since Florida hung 56 on them in 1996. Georgia quarterback David Greene threw only 19 passes, but set a school record by completing five of them for touchdowns. The Bulldogs had lost twice to Saban's Tigers in 2003 – 17-10 in Baton Rouge and 34-13 in the SEC Championship Game – but they quickly exacted a degree of revenge by jumping out to a 24-0 lead before LSU could answer. The Bulldogs also generated three turnovers and sacked LSU quarterbacks Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell five times.

Both teams have been ranked in the top-20 in all seven of their meetings in the Richt era, and this will be the second time they've both been in the top-10. While not every meeting between the two has produced a close contest, they've all been memorable – and almost always impacted their respective championship chases.

“They've been great games. ... Just about every one of them, both teams are ranked teams and at least in the Top 25,” Richt said. “It is a cross-conference rival, so it doesn't hold quite the weight of an Eastern Division [game] when it comes to who plays in Atlanta. We could lose the game and still control our destiny, and they could lose the game and still control their destiny, so it's not do-or-die as far as league play, but it's very important for any national title hopes.”
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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09/28/2013 09:19 AM
Pick: Georgia -3

The pressure is on the Bulldogs to win this big game. The Bulldogs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 conference games and LSU still needs to get better throwing the ball. Georgia wins a big game at home to get back into the national picture as far as the championship is concerned.
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