We knew Saturday’s game would be an entirely different animal going in.
Georgia’s the highest ranked and most well-rounded team the Tigers have faced all season, equipped with a defense unlike any other they’ve faced. But the Tigers took it to the Bulldogs and dominated the fourth quarter for a 36-16 win.
The Bulldogs’ “two high” strategy was expected to make the deep ball even more of a task than it’s been lately for the Tigers, but LSU outsmarted the Bulldogs on both fronts, sending them back to Athens with a 36-16 loss.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm remembers a nightmarish outing against Auburn last year in which he was sacked four times in a 40-17 beatdown. In the first half, it looked like he’d be adding Week 7’s game against LSU in with that, as he went 16 for 34 passes for 209 yards, 2 interceptions and 1 TD in one of the roughest showings we’ve ever seen from him.
To kick off the action, Georgia won the toss and chose to defer, putting the Tigers’ offense on the field first. The Tigers were unable to make anything of the drive that ended with Burrow being sacked on only the third play of the game.
Georgia looked like they were going to get the chains moving early on offense, with a big 19-yard gain from Jake Fromm to tight end Isaac Nauta, but were forced to punt before even making it to midfield.
LSU opened its next drive with three consecutive first downs to move the ball down the field, using an up-tempo offense. The drive resulted in a 33-yard field goal from Cole Tracy to put the Tigers up 3-0 with 9:32 remaining in the first quarter.
Georgia pummeled LSU with its run game to make its way deep into Tiger territory on its second drive of the day, propelled by a pair of big rushes from D’Andre Swift.
But the Bulldogs’ efforts were brought to a halt near the end zone, with Fromm’s final pass attempt broken up by cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. The Bulldogs then tried a trick play on a fake field goal that didn’t pan out, as Devin White recovered the fumbled ball to allow LSU to take over at its own 16 with just over three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Burrow and the Tigers marched their way down the field yet again, with a 47-yard rush by running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire capping off the first quarter.
When they returned in the second quarter, Burrow kept it for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Tigers up, 10-0 with 13:34 remaining in the half.
The Tigers put on an equally impressive performance on defense as Georgia attempted to answer back, sending them off the field with a quick three-and-out in which Fromm only completed one pass.
LSU continued to be aggressive on the air attack, with a 50-yard reception by Justin Jefferson placing them within striking range in the top of the second quarter. The drive ended in a 36-yard field goal by Cole Tracy to extend the LSU lead to 13-0 with 11:22 left in the half.
The next score would come on a drive in which LSU went for it twice on fourth down, a 39-yard field goal by Tracy brought the Tigers’ lead to 16-0 with 5:09 remaining before halftime.
The Bulldogs looked to establish something with resemblance to a rhythm on offense in their final drive of the half, with Fromm completing three back-to-back passes for the first time of the afternoon.
Georgia was unable to do anything with the string of receptions, though, as the ball was quickly LSU’s once more. Burrow took a knee to send the Tigers into halftime with the 16-0 lead.
Despite a poor overall showing and many badly thrown balls in the first half, Georgia stuck with Fromm to open the second half. The QB was sacked twice on the Bulldogs’ first offensive effort of the third quarter, which ended in the Bulldogs’ first score of the day.
A 40-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship was good to trim the LSU lead, 16-3 with 9:03 left in the quarter.
The momentum once more shifted in LSU’s favor as Fromm was intercepted by cornerback Kristian Fulton at the 23-yard line at the bottom of the third to give the Tigers’ offense yet another opportunity.
The offense capitalized on the turnover, as Tracy sent a 24-yard attempt through the uprights to bring the Tigers’ lead to 19-3.
We had mentioned Georgia’s use of Justin Fields in short-yardage situations, and they continued that trend into Saturday as they began mixing the dual-threat QB with the offense in the bottom of the third quarter.
With seconds remaining in the third quarter, a 10-yard rush by Elijah Holyfield gave the Bulldogs their first touchdown of the afternoon. The failed two-point conversion left them trailing, 19-9.
In the final quarter, safety Jacoby Stevens recorded his first sack of the season, shutting down Fromm and the Georgia offense early and setting the Tigers up for their next scoring scoring drive of the half.
Burrow recorded his second touchdown of the game with a one-yard rush set up by a 36-yard pass to Jefferson and 17-yard rush by Edwards-Helaire.
But the offense would return the field shortly, after a fumble by Mecole Hardman on the punt was recovered by Avery Atkins to instantly put the Tigers back in the red zone on a drive that resulted in a 30-yard field goal by Tracy to give LSU a solid 29-9 lead.
Fromm and the offense responded on a 75-yard drive that ended with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Ridley to cut LSU’s lead, 29-16 with 6:00 left in the game.
The LSU offense wasn’t done yet, though, as a 59-yard rush by Burrow set up a Nick Brossette rushing touchdown in the final minutes of the game to make it 36-16, LSU.
The Tigers return to action on their own turf again as Mississippi State travels to Tiger Stadium next weekend.