The Georgia Bulldogs took home the SEC Championship trophy in a fashion that not many were expecting, but one that wound up victorious nonetheless. A lot was learned about this team. After beating the LSU Tigers 50-30, there’s a fair share of good and bad to go and “visit the doctor” about.
Offensively, Stetson Bennett and company were on fire. Getting it done on both the ground and through the air exemplified just how good this team can be when everything is going smoothly. There’s just something about the Benz that Bennett likes, and he alluded to it in his postgame press conference.
Defensively, the Dawgs left a lot on the table. LSU may have exposed some things in the Georgia secondary last Saturday because they had almost anything they wanted out there. Third down conversions for them were like taking candy from a baby, and Georgia ain’t no baby.
If it weren’t for a few lucky breaks that went Georgia’s way early in the game, a win may not have been guaranteed. Momentum was leaning Georgia from the beginning, and it drowned out anything LSU was trying to get going. But while momentum is great to have in-game, the Dawgs cannot rely on momentum to win them another Natty.
Luckily the next game Kirby Smart and company play will be in a couple weeks, so they’ll have time to address whatever issues need addressing. In the meantime here’s a breakdown of some statistics that put Georgia on top of the SEC.
This was the biggest story of the night once the game was over. Todd Monken and the Georgia Bulldogs put up 50 points against the LSU Tigers. Defense isn’t the only thing that wins championships in the Classic City. The entirety of the offense had a day. Bennett amassed 274 passing yards and threw four touchdowns. The ground game ran for 255 and got 2 touchdowns. Almost every mouth was fed from an offensive standpoint in the Benz, but the most impressive touchdown wasn’t scored by the offense. It was scored by special teams.
Don’t let the name fool you, special teams is a very real part of the Georgia football team, and it was proven in the Benz. On LSU’s first field goal attempt of the day, Nazir Stackhouse forced himself into the backfield, put a hand up and blocked it. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Once the ball hit the ground almost everyone thought the play was dead. Not fifth-year senior Chris Smith though. After clearly thinking over the decision, he picked it up and ran 96 yards to the house to give the Dawgs an early lead.
A win is great, but a lot had to happen to get there, and quite frankly a good bit of it was out of Georgia’s control. If it weren’t for the early blocked kick and lucky interception, who knows what would have happened. Regardless, one of the best defenses in the nation got exposed yesterday. The Junkyard Dawgs uncharacteristically gave up 549 offensive yards against the Tigers. The most they allowed previously this season was Florida at 371. Not only were the Dawgs outplayed, they were outgained. The secondary needs some fixing after LSU quarterbacks (Daniels and Nussmeier) combined for 502 passing yards. LSU was doing its job. Georgia just did it better.
Shifting back to the bright side of things, Georgia was doing fine and dandy in red zone offense. They only called on kicker Jack Podlesny once, but if they were down there, it was going in for the most part. Five of Georgia’s seven touchdowns were scored in the red area, and it could have been six if Ladd McConkey’s touchdown pass was two yards shorter. Hopefully whatever groove they found themselves in versus LSU continues into the postseason, because their ability to score was beyond impressive given the woes they’ve faced to this point in the season.