LSU moved to 4-0 after Saturday’s victory over Mississippi State, and next up for the Tigers is a trip to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
Week 5 of the season is when most figured that LSU would face its first difficult test of the season when the Tigers traveled to Georgia to take on Mark Richt’s Bulldogs.
However, three of LSU’s first four games have proved to be challenges for Les Miles and co. If not for a goal line stand against Mississippi State late in the fourth quarter, the Tigers could be heading to Georgia off one of their most disappointing conference losses under Miles.
LSU has plenty to work on as the Tigers begin a treacherous stretch that includes this weekend’s battle Between the Hedges, followed by a home game against No. 1 Florida the following week, then Auburn comes to town two weeks later after an open week.
The Tigers have not shown any consistency on the offensive side of the ball, and there has no been semblance of a running game between the tackles. The defense has had problems as well with stopping the run at times, and the secondary has been hit or miss. Breakdowns on special teams have also reared its ugly head, and all in all, LSU must get its act together in all three phases of the game or October could be a long month for Tiger fans.
Georgia (3-1, 2-0) has issues of their own to work out, but after a season opening loss at Oklahoma State, the Bulldogs have won three straight.
The Bulldogs are coming off a victory over Arizona State on Saturday where Blair Walsh kicked a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the game to lift them to a 20-17 victory over the Sun Devils (2-1) at home.
Georgia turned the ball over three times in the second half with two leading to ASU touchdowns and erasing a 14-3 Bulldog lead. The Sun Devils had a chance to break a 17-17 tie with 4:31 left, but Danny Wenzig had a 37-yard field goal blocked.
The Bulldogs then marched 60 yards in 10 plays on their game-winning drive.
Joe Cox passed for 242 yards and a touchdown in the victory, but the story of the day was Georgia’s defense held the Sun Devils to only 202 yards of total offense.
The Bulldog “D” had been carved up in the first three contests of the 2009 campaign and entered Saturday’s tilt yielding 406 yards a game.
But defensive coordinator Willie Martinez’s group stepped up against the Sun Devils and held them to just 88 yards rushing. ASU signal caller Danny Sullivan didn’t fare well against Georgia’s secondary as he completed only 10-of-32 passes for 116 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
This was a tremendous improvement for Georgia as Arkansas’ Ryan Mallet threw for 408 yards last week, and South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia had a 313-yard outing two weeks earlier.
The chore for LSU’s defense against Georgia will be stopping Joe Cox and the Bulldog passing game that features one of the top wide receivers in the conference in A.J. Green, who blocked ASU’s field goal attempt that could have given the Sun Devils a 20-17 lead late in the fourth period.
Neither defense has been overly impressive at any point in the season, so there could be plenty of offensive fireworks in Athens.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. next Saturday and TigerSportsDigest.com will have all of your coverage leading up to the big game.
Here is a quick glance at Georgia and how the Tigers and Bulldogs measure up in a few categories.
Tale of the Tape
Scoring Offense PPG
Scoring Defense PPG
Rushing Offense AVG
Rushing Defense AVG
Passing Offense AVG
Passing Defense AVG
Total Offense AVG
Total Defense AVG
3rd Down Conversions
Field Goal Attempts