Georgia vs. LSU: The Crowd, the Line of Scrimmage and The Win
In true DudeYouCrazy fashion, we followed up one of the biggest wins in recent Georgia history with a day of complete radio silence yesterday. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
If you watched the game – either in person or at home – and saw the display on the field and the emotional celebration that followed, you would have only been disappointed with anything that we could have added.
But now that everyone is rested and recovered, we will be doing some analysis, and this should be a really fun week on DudeYouCrazy.
This was the best game I can remember attending in Sanford Stadium. I hesitate to call it the “best I’ve ever seen,” because I can’t stop thinking about this game and such a narrow focus is surely causing me to forget another classic or two.
Every part of the game was enjoyable. The weather was incredible; the crowd was early and loud. Men’s basketball coach Mark Fox was painted like a freak. Bubba Watson was in the house.
Outside of the crowd itself, I don’t know how much any of those factors affected what happened on the field, but little things like sunlight and rolling breezes go a long way in adding to the value.
Obviously, the crowd was a factor. For the second time this season (the first being South Carolina), it felt like Sanford Stadium was a bona fide hostile environment.
If you’re looking for the impact of the crowd, look no further than LSU’s timeout usage. Five of the six timeouts called by the Tigers came with their offense on the field. One was to set up a field goal, one was to stop the clock late in the game. One was followed by a false start penalty on 2nd and 10. The other two came on third and long scenarios.
After Georgia marched the field on its opening possession I told my buddy Cory that LSU might have lost the game by deferring after winning the coin toss. Had LSU gone on a similar march to open the game, the crowd might have lost its luster. Instead, an eight play, 75 yard drive in just over 3 minutes served as an appetizer a ravenous contingent in Sanford Stadium.
The crowd showed up. Hard.
Two Impressive Teams
Lost in the carnage of this shootout is just how good both of these teams are, especially on offense. When two SEC teams combine for 85 points, it’s easy to assume that everything went right for both offenses. That wasn’t the case.
Georgia lost a turnover on a tipped ball early in the game, and the Bulldogs’ best player (Todd Gurley) was lost early in the second quarter. At that point Gurley had already accounted for 73 yards on just eight carries. It seems foolish to do so, but I like things like this: Extrapolate his performance over the game’s first 19 minutes and he could have finished with 230 yards rushing on 25 carries. Woof!
Losing Gurley hurt Georgia more than anyone would like to admit, and the Bulldogs still put up 45 points thanks to strong running by Keith Marshall (20 carries for 96 yards) and JJ Green (one clutch carry for 18 yards) and a balanced passing attack.
LSU has its fair share of obstacles as well. The Tigers were held to 77 yards rushing on 36 carries. Mettenberer spent a large portion of his day on his back.
UGA Special Teams
This game was the anti-North Texas as far as Georgia Special Teams was concerned. LSU’s Odell Beckham accounted for 175 kickoff return yards, which sounds absolutely ludicrous. But on seven chances, a 25 yard average is quite manageable and below his season average.
Georgia punted just twice. No return yards were yielded and one punt was fumbled by Beckham and recovered by Georgia.
Marshall Morgan was perfect on extra points, but more importantly he was 3/3 on field goals from 24, 38 and 55 yards out!
Line of Scrimmage
Georgia absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Aaron Murray was not sacked, and LSU managed just two tackles for loss for a total result of four yards lost. Hell of an effort by Georgia’s offensive line.
On the other side, Mettenberger was sacked four times for a combined loss of 26 yards. Georgia managed seven tackles for loss.
And, the running yards tell this line of scrimmage story quite nicely.
- LSU: 36 carries for 77 yards.
- Georgia: 36 carries for 196 yards.
Murray, Yeah He Was Alright
Full disclosure: I realize that Mettenberger played a great game. But he’s not my quarterback.
So let’s talk about the Murr-Man. Murray played a pretty darn good game. Forget his whole game (which was obviously great) and focus on Georgia’s last scoring drive. After taking over with 4:14 to play and trailing by four points, the Bulldogs put together this series beginning on their own 25 yard line:
- Murray pass complete to Justin Scott-Wesley for 11 Yards.
- Aaron Murray pass complete to Arthur Lynch for 9 yards.
- Keith Marshall run for 2 yards.
- Aaron Murray pass complete to Arthur Lynch for 10 yards.
- JJ Green run for 18 yards.
- Aaron Murray pass to Justin Scott-Wesley for 25 yard Touchdown.
Marshall and Green both ran for huge first downs. Murray was 4/4 for 55 yards and a touchdown. But he can’t win the big one.
This was a huge win for Georgia. No way around that. Let’s hope the Dawgs can stay sharp and the defense can improve over the coming weeks. As always, Florida will be a challenge, but overlooking Tennessee, Missouri or Vanderbilt could be costly.
That’s all I got/