The Georgia Bulldogs have made it to back-to-back Southeastern Conference Championships. This week, No. 9-ranked Georgia plays in their toughest regular season matchup against No. 6-ranked LSU. As big as this SEC matchup will be, a third straight SEC Championship bid will not be on the line for the Georgia Bulldogs. What will be the line, however, is a chance to play in Pasadena in January.
Georgia knocked off South Carolina in Week 2, which instantly made the Bulldogs favored to win the SEC East. However, Georgia faced a heartbreaking loss to Clemson in the season opener. Although a loss to LSU would be Georgia’s first SEC loss this season, a two-loss record won’t get any team to the National Championship.
Quarterback Aaron Murray is coming off a week in which he passed for over 400 yards and became the second SEC quarterback ever to throw for 100 passing touchdowns in his career, Murray (102) likely will be the all-time SEC leader in touchdown passes ahead of 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (114) by the end of the season.
Although it was the dismal performance by the special teams unit of Georgia that scared fans last week against North Texas, the Bulldogs defense should be the area of concern going up against LSU’s high-powered offense. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger has improved immensely since last season, with a QB rating of 193.61 thus far into the season, which trails only Aaron Murray in the SEC. Last season, Mettenberger ranked 11th in the SEC in QB rating. Running back Jeremy Hill is coming off of a 184-yard, three touchdown performance against Auburn. In addition, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry suddenly look like one of the strongest wide receiver duos in the country.
Murray and the entire Bulldogs offense needs to be playing at the top of their games on Saturday if they want to beat LSU, as the Georgia defense is not likely to help them out much. With a young defense and a talented offense, every one of Georgia’s SEC matchups this season are expected to be high-scoring affairs.
This game holds far more significance for Georgia than it does for LSU. If LSU loses, they can still beat Alabama, play for the SEC Championship and go on to win the National Championship. If Georgia loses this game and then proceeds to win the rest of their games including the SEC Championship, then Georgia could very well be the reason an SEC team does not win, or even play for, a National Championship this season.