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Behind the Box Score: Georgia

Behind a blowout

NCAA Football: Georgia at Louisiana State
One. Number of fields stormed.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a week makes. Playing inside the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium, LSU got all of the breaks that they didn’t get the week before. LSU got that favorable spot, the opposing QB missed the open receiver, and the lost fumble rolled into a Tiger’s waiting arms.

LSU did play better this week than it did the last, but not significantly so. It’s just that against Georgia, the receivers hauled down those big catches and Ed O actually went for it on fourth and one. Aggression paid off, and the football gods smiled upon our Tigers.

50%. Joe Burrow’s completion percentage. Yeah, I know. It didn’t feel like a 50% game, but it was. This was the most effective 15-30 game you’ll ever see out of a quarterback. Importantly, he started hot and then made big completions late. Sure, he missed on half of his targets, but he also ended up with 200 yards on those 30 attempts. And that’s what matters.

19. Combined rushing attempts for D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield. The two Georgia backs combined for 128 yards and a touchdown. Swift averaged 6.0 yards/carry and Holyfield 8.0. Four other players combined for 4 yards on 5 carries and Jake Fromm had -19 yards on 6 carries. LSU never really stopped Georgia’s top two running backs, Kirby Smart simply moved away from the two and put the ball in Fromm’s hand. And for that, needless to say, we are very, very thankful.

108. Justin Jefferson receiving yards. Jefferson finally reaches that elusive 100-yard mark for the first time, having topped out at 97 and 99 yards previously. He accounted for over half of the team’s passing offense, and he had perhaps the biggest catch of the game. Part of being a great player is having no memory, and he completely mind-wiped last week’s drop in the final minutes against Florida. He was back to being the security blanket.

1. Avery Atkins fumble recoveries. Yeah, our kicker had a fumble recovery. It wasn’t a huge difference in the game, though it nipped any comeback possibility in the bud, but it sure was funny. But speaking of kickers…

5-5. Cole Tracy’s field goal accuracy. Tracy is now a perfect 15-15 from inside 50 yards this season. He has completely transformed this team because they are virtually assured of getting three points once the offense crosses the 30. Honestly, you don’t want to see quite so many attempts, but if you’re gonna kick so many field goals, you better hit them. Our kicking game is weapon. Good thing, too. Because…

3-8. LSU’s red zone touchdown rate. First thing, getting to the red zone eight times in one game is remarkable. That’s the most important part of this stat. If you make it to the red zone eight times in a game, you are almost always going to win. That’s the good news. The bad news is that a team should average around 5 points per red zone trip. LSU should have had 40 points, on average, but instead settled for a red zone field goal five different times. Hell, one of those red zone touchdowns came on fourth down, too. This team has got to learn to cash in on its chances. It never should have been close.

+4. LSU’s turnover ratio. Normally, in a blowout win, you would think a turnover ratio like this would be a key player, but this is how stats can mislead. The first turnover was a fumble on Georgia’s fake field goal. Georgia would also turn the ball over twice in the game’s dying minutes, dooming any chance of a comeback. Really, the only significant turnover was the interception thrown from the shadow of their own end zone, which LSU could only turn into 3 points.

275. LSU yards rushing. A dominant day on the ground, keyed by Clyde Edwards-Helaire going for 145 on 19 carries. He could have scored twice, but ended up with zero scores due to some bad luck. He needs to talk to Joe Burrow about vulturing his scores. Burrow again ended up with a ton of yards, outrushing Brossette 66 to 64. His 59 yard scamper put the game way.