Time to Answer the Bell

LSU and Georgia both enter Saturday's contest with more questions than answers. Come Saturday night, one team will exit Sanford Stadium feeling better about its chances in the Southeastern Conference race, while the other goes back to the drawing board.

Forget about the fact that LSU ranks close to dead last in the SEC in most offensive and defensive categories. Forget about the fact that Georgia ranks 115th in the nation in turnover margin. Forget about LSU having to pull off a goal line stand to beat Mississippi State. Forget about Georgia needing a last second field goal to beat Arizona State.


Forget about all of it. None of it matters.


On Saturday, both teams will have the opportunity to show the entire country they are for real. One team will move forward, the other will be left with more questions to answer.


Gameweek Links:
  • TSD Television: Brandon Taylor
  • Risky Business
  • TSD Television: RJ Jackson
  • Q&A: UGA Style
  • Injury Bug and Redshirt Plans
  • Tale of Third Down
  • TSD Television: Jordan Jefferson
  • Waiting for More
  • TSD Television: Patrick Peterson
  • Les Miles Monday Presser
  • A Look Ahead: Georgia
  • For LSU in particular, the concerns about the offense and the defense are real, but more worrisome is the attitude in Tiger Nation. There is a mutiny brewing amongst the LSU fan base.


    In a sense, the program itself has created this problem. It's no longer good enough to be 4-0. No sir. You have to win convincingly, with big plays, and ferocious hits. There is some credence to the criticism.


    LSU should've put Mississippi State away last weekend. They had their chances, and they did not convert. It almost cost them dearly. Forget about that as well, because due to a high level of incompetence amongst other highly ranked teams, LSU moved up three spots to No. 4 in the AP and Coaches Poll.


    Will they be exposed as paper Tigers in Athens? We'll know soon enough. To all the fans and players, your time is now. Let's hope you embrace it.



    When Georgia Has the Ball


    Georgia is averaging just over 30 points per game so far this season. In the previous four contests they've totaled 980 yards passing which essentially doubles their rushing total.


    Look for Georgia to throw early and often. Quarterback Joe Cox will look to force feed the ball to all-world receiver A.J. Green. Green's total of 25 receptions doubles that of any other receiver on the Bulldogs roster.


    Michael Moore comes in second with 12 receptions, and he and Green will be Cox's primary targets on Saturday. Green has four touchdown receptions, while Moore has two.


    When attempting to rush the ball, Georgia will look to tailbacks Richard Samuel and Caleb King. 


    Samuel has 62 rushing attempts on the year for 301 total yards and two touchdowns. Included is an 80-yard run which definitely pads his stats. Take that away and you have 61 carries for 221 yards and an average of 3.6 yards a carry.


    King, a former five-star back from the 2007 class, is used less frequently. He's carried the ball 22 times for a total of 119 yards – an average of 5.2 yards a rush. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Georgia prefers to throw the football.

    Patrick Peterson will find himself matched up with A.J. Green

    It will make for an interesting matchup as Georgia's strength on offense plays right into LSU's strength on defense.


    If LSU doesn't act stubbornly, they will double Green all game long. As good as Patrick Peterson is, no one should be left on an island guarding Green. Force Moore, the tailbacks, or anyone else to win the game. It's simple. If another player steps up, and is able to make enough plays, you tip your cap.


    However, if Green ends up with something like eight catches for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns, the natives in Baton Rouge will be calling for someone's head.



    When LSU Has the Ball


    Les Miles says that he made a mistake against Mississippi State. He said that he should've thrown more and protected Jordan Jefferson better. Agreed. Will he make the necessary adjustments?


    If you believe the headman, then expect LSU to spend a lot of time in three-wide and five-wide sets. Expect the Tigers to throw bubble screens, to run the end around, to run reverses, to literally unleash the caged Tiger. 


    Expect Jefferson, Brandon LaFell and Terrance Toliver to continue to post good numbers. Tiger fans should also expect to see a lot more of true freshman Rueben Randle, and more action for Russell Shepard. Wouldn't it be something to see Shepard and Trindon Holliday on the field at the same time?


    If LSU has been playing the so-called vanilla offense, if they've been holding their horses back, now is the time to turn them loose. Otherwise, this game gets away from LSU.

    LSU's running game must get going on Saturday

    Certainly, LSU will try to run the ball with Keiland Williams and Charles Scott. Shepard and Holliday will get touches running the ball as well. However, if the Tigers are trying to break tendencies, then you'll see more delays, option plays, and hopefully, more of the pistol formation. If LSU does line up in the I-formation, how about a toss sweep?


    We will see on Saturday. You will hear a collective groan from the LSU fan base if on the first play from scrimmage LSU lines up in the I-formation and hands it to Scott or Williams. Of course, that would be better than the first play from scrimmage last year when Jarrett Lee threw a pick-six to Georgia’s Darryl Gamble.


    Expect Georgia to come out with an aggressive game plan. The Bulldogs have been porous defensively, surrendering 37 points to South Carolina and 41 to Arkansas. They will probably try to crowd the line of scrimmage and force Jefferson to make plays.


    Jefferson will make plays, and at some point, the Bulldogs will fall back into a shell or base defense.



    How We See It


    It's hard to pick against LSU because there is so much talent on this football team. In my opinion they have more talent than Georgia, but it's not an overall talent advantage like they had against Washington or Mississippi State.


    LSU will have to play their best game of the season, and they will, but an early lead gets squeezed and the coaches try and salt the game away at the end.


    However, a late field goal makes it……



    Georgia 31 LSU 28

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