LSU rushing offense vs. Georgia rushing defense
Many people praised Auburn's heralded backfield, but the LSU Tigers may possess the deepest backfield in America. A lineup virtually 5-deep, Justin Vincent, Alley Broussard, Joseph Addai, Shyrone Carey and Barrington Edwards have formed the most effective rushing attack in the SEC. The Georgia defense, like LSU's, ranks among the best in the nation giving up just 90 yards per game. It will be interesting to see who gets the best of who.
LSU passing offense vs. Georgia passing defense
Georgia's passing defense held quarterback Matt Mauck in check for most of the Tigers' 17-10 win over the Dawgs in September, except for the game-winning toss to Skyler Green that is. However, Mauck has improved by leaps and bounds since his 14 of 29 performance that day and leads the SEC in efficiency. Did we mention has thrown 27 touchdowns. The Georgia pass rush has been less than impressive this season and super-stud defensive end David Pollack has hardly been a factor.
Georgia rushing offense vs. LSU rushing defense
Like most of the Georgia offense, the Bulldogs rushing attack has been for the most part – average. The Bulldogs run for just 143 yards per game with Michael Cooper leading all Georgia rushers with only 648 yards and six touchdowns. LSU's defense gave up its most of rushing of the season to Arkansas last week (200), but the Tigers allow a mere 69 yards on the ground per game.
Georgia passing offense vs. LSU passing defense:
If there has been any suspect area of the LSU stoppers, the passing defense has been the most exploited. The Tigers' secondary has surrendered its fair share of big plays and those long gainers have led to a bulk of the points generated by opponents. However, the Tiger defense kept Georgia out of the end zone in the first game letting Greene do whatever he wanted between the 20s. Considering Greene does not throw a great deal of touchdowns anyway (only nine this season), look for the LSU pass defense to do uch of the same.
LSU special teams vs. Georgia special teams:
When these teams met the first time, Georgia came into the game with what was supposed to be the nation's best kicker in Billy Bennett. Bennett, though, missed three field goals and has been average every since hitting only 25 of 32 field goals. Punter Gordon Ely-Kelso hasn't been all that impressive either averaging just 38.9 yards per punt. LSU's Chris Jackson on the other hand has been money over the last couple of games and punter Donnie Jones continues to punt well. Throw in Skyler Green, still the nation's top punt return specialist, and LSU has a clear cut advantage.
The fact Georgia will be playing in its backyard means the intangible factor leans heavily in the Bulldogs favor. Much like when Tennessee packed the GeorgiaDome in 2001, LSU will face a hostile environment when they meet the Dawgs in a Red and Black sea of Bulldog backers. Plus, LSU will have to deal with the issue of beating a team twice in the same season. Also, throw in the fact a trip to the national title game could be on the line for LSU…..
Since these teams met in September, LSU has clearly improved more than the Georgia Bulldogs. Using a sputtering offense to upend UGA in Tiger Stadium, the LSU offensive attack has improved with a newfound running game and an even better Matt Mauck. Georgia has struggled at times since the loss in Baton Rouge, including a loss to Florida and a home squeaker with UAB. Although there is a lot on the line for LSU in terms of national implications, Georgia will be defending its SEC championship, something no one has done since Tennessee won back-to-back league titles in 1997 and 1998.
LSU 27, Georgia 17