ATLANTA — The LSU Tigers are Southeastern Conference champions once again.
With Saturday’s 37-10 victory over Georgia, LSU wrapped up its first SEC championship since 2011 — that season the Tigers played for the national championship in New Orleans. The victory also ensures LSU a spot in the top four for the final College Football Playoff rankings which will be released Sunday.
How It Happened:
LSU’s defense established the tone right off the bat as it forced Georgia to punt on its first possession. In fact, the Tigers’ defense was dominant forcing the Bulldogs to punt three times, held them to two field-goal attempts and picked off a Jake Fromm pass in the first half.
LSU went 75 yards on just 8 plays on its first drive which ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase. After punting on their second possession, LSU would add to its lead with a touchdown drive on its third drive of the game. This time the Tigers went 65 yards on only 5 plays and found the end zone with a 7-yard pass from Burrow to Terrace Marshall Jr.
Georgia would respond with a 39-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship, who had earlier missed a 52–yard attempt, and made it 14-3.
After another punt, LSU would add to its lead with an 11-play, 57-yard scoring drive but the Tigers were unable to get in the end zone and settled for a 41-yard field goal by Cade York.
LSU’s defense came up huge on the ensuing Georgia drive as LSU freshman Derek Stingley Jr. intercepted Fromm down the sideline inside the red zone.
LSU put together a 10-play, 57-yard drive but came up empty as York missed the 48-yard field goal attempt.
At halftime, LSU held a 17-3 lead with Burrow having completed 17-of-25 passes (to eight different receivers) for 204 yards and two touchdowns. Fromm meanwhile was 10-of-20 for 117 yards and no touchdowns and one interception.
LSU pulled away in the third quarter.
The Tigers opened up the second half with a 16-play, 65-yard scoring drive but had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by York.
After Georgia’s ensuing drive ended with a missed 37-yard field goal by Blankenship, LSU didn’t waste time finding the end zone.
The Tigers needed only 1:59 and four plays to go 80 yards as the drive ended with a 4-yard TD pass from Burrow to Terrace Marshall Jr.
UGA’s ensuing drive saw Stingley Jr. record his second interception of the game and that set up LSU with a short field with the ball at the 13-yard line.
Three plays later, Burrow hit Justin Jefferson for an eight-yard touchdown.
At the end of the third, the rout was on as LSU led 34-3.
Georgia would finally get in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs our together a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive which was capped with a two-yard TD pass from Fromm to George Pickens.
LSU answered with a 50-yard York field goal that extended the Tigers’ lead to 37-10 which ended up being the final score.
Big Number: 286
LSU’s defense put together another lights out effort against UGA on Saturday night holding the Bulldogs to a mere 286 yards of offense and only 61 yards on the ground. UGA averaged only 2.4 yards per carry in the game.
Players of the Game: Joe Burrow and Derek Stingley Jr.
The record-breaking Burrow completes 28-of-38 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns while also adding 41 rushing yards on 11 carries and one reception for 16 yards. Stingley meanwhile hauled in two interceptions as the Tigers defense shut down the Dawgs.
Next Up: LSU will find out Sunday if it will be playing in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta or at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. Both games will be played on Saturday, Dec. 28.