Seniors understand impact of LSU game

ATHENS – There are only two SEC teams this year's senior class has not beaten: LSU and Florida.

It's a short list, but the Bulldogs' four losses since 2002 have cost them dearly. The loss to Florida in 2002 knocked the Dawgs from the ranks of the undefeated, and cost them a shot at the national title. In 2003 the loss to the Gators cost the Bulldogs an outright SEC East Championship.

However, Florida has never beaten Georgia twice in the same season. It's unlikely that the feat will ever happen because both teams are in the same division. But when LSU beat Georgia twice last year, it was the first time ever a Georgia team lost to the same opponent twice in one season. Both games were painful for different reasons.

In the first meeting in Baton Rouge, Georgia lost a 17-10 decision. It was a game they thought they should have won.

"In the first game we came out and had some opportunities to do some good things and put some points on the board, and we didn't do it. We ended up having 400 yards of offense and had only 13 points to show for it," said senior quarterback David Greene.

In the SEC Championship game it was a different story, and the Bulldogs admit it.

"They beat up on us pretty good in the SEC Championship game," said senior fullback Jeremy Thomas. "They just came out and flat out beat us. It was tough," Greene said. LSU went on the win the national title with a convincing win over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

This year, Georgia's senior class has circled the game in Athens against the Tigers. A Bulldog win would likely eliminate LSU from the SEC Championship race, or at the very least, it would make their road back to Atlanta very difficult.

"This game is a very big game for us, for us and for LSU," said senior wide receiver Fred Gibson. He did not travel with the team to Baton Rouge last season because of injures. "We are 3-0 right now, and we are trying to look at the big picture. For us to look at the big picture, we have got to get through this game."

"We want to come out and play a lot better, especially offensively," said Greene. "We feel like we have a lot to prove."

"No one is going to come in there and blow LSU's doors off," said Thomas of the struggle he expects on Saturday. In fact it could come down to the one on one match ups of Georgia's wide receivers against LSU's cornerbacks. Gibson and fellow senior wide receiver Reggie Brown will have plenty of chances to make big plays with LSU's style of coverage.

"Anytime you lose to a team twice in one season, it is tough. This is my last time playing LSU, and we haven't beaten them yet. It is a huge game for us in the SEC race. Right now we are 3-0 and have a chance to do something special, but if we lose, our backs are against the wall," said Greene.

Thomas was less expressive with Greene: "This game will set the tone for the rest of the year."

Indeed.


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