Tennessee’s Josh Heupel compares Georgia to LSU, could come down to quarterbacks
ATHENS — Tennesee coach Josh Heupel said he sees some key similarities in Georgia and LSU, to the extent the SEC title game could come down to a battle of quarterbacks.
The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs and No. 6-ranked Tigers play at 4 p.m. on Dec. 3 Mercedes-Benz Stadium, both looking to secure spots in the four-team CFP field.
Both teams have games this Saturday with UGA hosting Georgia Tech (noon) and LSU at Texas A&M (7 pm.).
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Georgia features 25-year-old, sixth-year senior Stetson Bennett, who transferred back to UGA in 2019 after a season at Jones (Miss.) Junior College.
LSU counters with 21-year-old junior Jayden Daniels, who transferred into the Baton Rouge school to play for Brian Kelly, who left Notre Dame to coach the Tigers.
“The similarities start with really good personnel,” the Tennessee head coach said last week on the SEC teleconference. “They are both athletic and good at the skill spots on both sides of the football.
Tennessee, which was favored to make the CFP Final Four before its stunning 63-38 loss at South Carolina last Saturday, handled LSU 40-13 and lost to Georgia 27-13 earlier this season.
“They are both big, strong and physical with athleticism on both sides of the line of scrimmage, two really good football teams,” Heupel said.
“There are subtleties in what they do as far as scheme, (but) they both match people out on the perimeter and are willing to play some form of man-type coverage, and both do a good job of applying pressure on the quarterback.”
LSU has 27 sacks this season and is averaging 2.27 per game, while Georgia has 18 sacks and averages 1.64 sacks per contest.
On the flip side, Georgia ranks second in the nation in the fewest sacks allowed (7), while LSU has been one of the most-sacked teams in the country, allowing 40.
Daniels has been more of a weapon running the ball than Bennett, tops among SEC quarterbacks and 10th overall in the league with 162 attempts for 740 yards.
Bennett has been more choosy, eighth among SEC quarterbacks in rushing with 40 carries for 169 yards.
RELATED: Stetson Bennett says Georgia must do better in short yardage
The Georgia quarterback has been more prolific throwing the football, 236-of-348 passing for 3,011 yards with 14 TDs and 6 interceptions and a 150.32 pass efficiency rating
LSU’s Daniels is 217-of-312 passing for 2,377 yards with 15 TDs and 2 interceptions and a 148.13 pass efficiency rating.