Georgia will take on the LSU Tigers Saturday in its fifth SEC championship game in seven seasons under Kirby Smart. These two teams have a long history together in this game, most recently in 2019 when the Tigers marched their way through the Bulldogs to a national title.
This time, however, Georgia is the favorite for the SEC title. The Bulldogs are currently listed as the 17.5-point favorite. A win this weekend for Georgia would secure them first place in the playoffs and allow them to play their semifinal game at Georgia’s Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Here’s how the staff see this weekend’s game:
Brooks Austin: Georgia 34, LSU 10
When I think of what great coaching and coordination looks like, I boil it down to this; How often do you capitalize on the things your opponent is bad at. Smart and his staff have a history of taking an opponent’s mistakes and flaunting them for four quarters. This LSU football team can’t lead the football, Georgia led the SEC in rushing yards allowed for the three straight seasons. LSU has a problem stopping the run, having allowed 100+ yards on the floor in all but 3 games and giving up 200+ yards on three occasions. Georgia, on the other hand, is fresh off a football game where they ran 6.5 yards per try. This is 2019 LSU vs Georgia in reversal or should be.
Jonathan Williams: Georgia 34, LSU 13
LSU’s biggest advantage on offense this season has been quarterback Jayden Daniels and his ability to use his legs to take the pressure off, but he’s been battling a foot injury this week that I think could limit his mobility. The Tigers have also allowed 41 sacks this season, averaging nearly four per game. Georgia also has a good history of shutting down mobile quarterbacks this season, so I don’t think Daniel’s running ability should threaten the Bulldogs.
I think Georgia will keep LSU’s offense and the Bulldogs will again rely on their running game this week to win the team’s second SEC title under Kirby Smart and keep them in good position for the playoffs.
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Christian Kirby II: Georgia 30, LSU 10
Texas A&M came up with a really good plan last week on how to dominate this LSU team. Run straight to the defense and make Harold Perkins a non-factor. Georgia has a more than capable running game to do the same this Saturday. However, the Bulldogs have had a lot of trouble getting touchdowns when they’re in the redzone in the last few games. Be aware that this becomes a factor early in the game.
LSU and Jayden Daniels are literally limping into this game. The Tigers have struggled to protect Daniels for most of the season and will most likely face more of the same issues against this proud Georgia defense. Aside from disastrous sales for the Bulldogs. I don’t see a way for LSU to get 25 points.
Joseph Griffin: Georgia 35, LSU 14
It seems that both teams are going into Saturday with two completely different mindsets. One took their 3rd loss of the season to a Texas A&M. A team that struggled for goals all year and allowed them to score 38 points in their 15-point loss. While the other team treats this game like a business.
Georgia comes into this game wanting to win for more than one reason. An SEC championship would be nice, but the No. 1 and a chance to play the first playoff game, essentially at home, are better. Georgia seemed to be slowly coming out of the gate at times this year. Even though the stage was the brightest, they showed up and showed themselves. Watch for Georgia to get out of the box fast and get up early against LSU. Who might still be licking his wounds from last Saturday. Big day for Kenny McIntosh arriving.
Christian Goeckel: Georgia 41 – LSU 10
For the first time since 2016, a 3-loss team is playing in the SEC Championship. The Florida Gators were defeated by undefeated No. 1 Alabama 54-16. For Alabama, there was no playoff outlook, no slow start, no playing at the opponent’s level. There was only carnage. The Crimson Tide understood that while their ultimate goal was a national title, an SEC championship is incredibly difficult to come by.
Kirby Smart repeated this sentiment all week. This Georgia team has a national title, but no player on the roster has an SEC championship. Saturday is a chance for Georgia to prove they are the best team in the best conference. LSU is the lowest-ranked team to achieve the SEC championship since that Florida team in 2016. Expect a similar result.