5 Keys to a Georgia Victory

5 Keys to Georgia beating LSU on Saturday for the SEC Championship Game.

5 Key Questions:

Can Georgia protect David Greene?

Answer: The Bulldogs will prepare for another all-out blitzkrieg, but LSU expects Georgia to adjust and change its own game plan. Greene has struggled with decision-making and holding onto the ball too long all year, so LSU will mix the blitz with disguising coverages. Georgia almost never throws the ball deep, so the Tiger defensive backs will also be close enough to play the run and come up with pressure as well. Protecting Greene is as important as Georgia being unpredictable.

Question: Who will run the ball better?

Answer: Georgia will probably start Michael Cooper, but Kregg Lumpkin's the better runner, followed by Tyson Browning. Against Florida, Georgia had 202 yards but LSU only 56. Against the other three common opponents, Georgia averaged 3.1 yards per run compared to LSU's 5.1. Both have a corps of backs who offer defenses different abilities. One advantage Georgia may have is at fullback with Jeremy Thomas, who is a running and catching threat. No LSU fullback has run the ball this year.

Question: Whose special teams are better?

LSU has averaged at least 40 yards a punt in seven games, and didn't punt against Western Illinois. Georgia's matched that six times, but had poor efforts - sub-35 yards a try - in four games to one for the Tigers. LSU's had two field goals blocked, Georgia none. UGA's Billy Bennett has more range, and has tried twice as many field goals at LSU's duo, and missed the same amount, seven. The Tigers are much more dangerous in the return games and coverage, leading to some interesting field-position chess matches.

Question: Does the Dome offer a home-field advantage?

Probably not. LSU will bring more people than Arkansas, and even if the Tiger fans are outnumbered, they'll be louder than Georgia fans, and louder longer. The bigger thing about the Dome is playing on turf. Granted, it's the FieldTurf, which is unlike normal astro turf. Both teams are used to noise and big games, like when they played in Baton Rouge. LSU won at the Dome two years ago as an underdog against Tennessee, which isn't far away. And Georgia won last year as a favorite.

Question: Which underrated player from each team will end up playing a huge role?

Answer: Georgia fullback Jeremy Thomas has had as good a year as a fullback can have. He looked for Georgia Tech defenders to hit, and has hands as soft as any receiver. If Greene looks down the middle of the field and gets time to do it, tight end Ben Watson could be huge. LSU defensive back Travis Daniels has played safety and corner, and delivers: seventh in tackles (48 ), sixth in tackles for loss (5.5), has returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown, and leads the team in passes defended. He's also part of the return unit, and has a blocked kick. Not bad for a guy who began the year as No. 2 free safety.

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