It couldn’t have been written into the script of a sports movie any better. The No. 1 defense in all of college football this season versus one of the most potent offenses. Of course, I’m talking about this Saturday’s SEC Championship game which pits the No. 4 ranked Georgia Bulldogs versus the No. 2 ranked LSU Tigers.
The Bulldogs have the D and the Tigers have the O, and it seems like a monumental challenge for Georgia, but Kirby Smart and his football team are ready to accept and embrace that challenge.
“So this will be as great a challenge as we have had, I know since I’ve been here as far as playing an opponent,” said Kirby during his opening remarks of Monday’s UGA football press conference
“They got an outstanding all-around team,” said Kirby added. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to measure where you are as a team when you get an opportunity to play a team like this that is firing on all cylinders.
And during player interviews on Tuesday, after Georgia’s second practice of the week, redshirt sophomore cornerback Eric Stokes shared his thoughts about what he thought the Bulldogs chances were of going up against LSU and covering the Tiger receivers.
“As a unit, we believe we can play with the best out there. We believe we have the best defensive back corps out there,” said Stokes. “You’ve always got to have that confidence that you can defend anybody. That’s especially true for DBs. If you don’t have confidence, it’s pretty hard to play.”
That confidence Stokes is speaking of and exuding is also mixed with a healthy dose of respect for the LSU receivers. He knows that Georgia has to be on their toes and play one of their best games of the season so far.
“They match up really good. I know they have some really good wide receivers out there. They’ve got two with over 1,000 yards, and they have some people coming back. They call mismatches any and everywhere, so we’ve just got to do our best with matching up with them,” said Stokes. “We’ve got the talent and everything, so now we’ve got to go out there and do our assigned man. We’ve got to lock in and keep watching film, like we are right now.”
The two LSU wideouts Stokes is referring to are Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. Chase is a 6-foot-1 and 200 lbs sophomore who has hauled in 70 receptions for 1,457 yards and 17 touchdowns. Jefferson is a 6-foot-3 and 192 lbs junior who has also put up over 1,000 yards receiving (1,092) and has more receptions that Chase with 81 and a healthy number of touchdowns with 13.
Those performances this season have landed Chase and Jefferson as the No. 1 and No. 3 in the Southeastern Conference respectively, and nationally, Chase is statistically the top receiver in yards per game, 132.5, and touchdowns.
Is the Bulldogs’ secondary up to the task? What story will be written in this year’s 2019 SEC Championship game? Will it be a red and black tragedy or a victorious happy ending? We will find out come Saturday. Grab your popcorn. This one is going to be a good one.