What the national media is saying about Georgia football before 2019 SEC Championship Game
The No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs take on the No. 2 ranked LSU Tigers this week in the 2019 SEC championship game. College GameDay will be on hand and just about everyone will be tuning in because of the massive College Football Playoff implications for the game.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich ranked the game as the most important game this weekend from a College Football Playoff perspective. Despite the assumption that LSU is in regardless of a result, a Georgia win might actually put an end to any and all playoff discussions for teams like Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor.
“There is no debate for the fourth spot unless LSU knocks Georgia out of contention,” Dinich wrote. “If the Bulldogs pull off the upset, though, the one-loss SEC champs would likely finish in the top four with LSU — eliminating both the Big 12 and Pac-12 champions in the process.”
Georgia and LSU met last season, with the Tigers winning 36-16. But this will be the first time since 2011 that LSU has played in this game while it will be Georgia’s thrid-consecutive appearance in the game.
As for the fight itself, Georgia and LSU are a clear clash of styles. LSU has an explosive offense, which ranks second in the country in points and yards per game. Georgia conversely ranks second in points allowed per game and rushing yards allowed per game.
The Tigers are led by quarterback Joe Burrow, who many expect to win the Heisman Trophy this year. LSU has scored 50 points a game six times this year and been held under 40 only twice. But ESPN’s Greg McElroy points out the Georgia secondary will be by far the best Burrow and company have faced to this point in the year.
And while the Georgia offense has been struggling — and be without freshman George Pickens in the first half due to his ejection against Georgia Tech — Marcus Spears brought up one thing that will be working in the favor of Georgia’s offense.
“Jake Fromm just seems to rise in these type of situations in these games,” Spears said.
As for how the game might go, most see the Tigers winning. ESPN’s gambling experts Stanford Steve and Chris Falica both have Georgia covering the 7.5-point spread but ultimately have the Tigers winning the game.
Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde sees something similar.
“This is a great matchup of strengths: The Tigers’ offense, averaging 48.7 points per game; against the Bulldogs defense, allowing 10.4 per game,” Forde wrote. “Both units rank second nationally. But the weak link here is Georgia’s No. 40-ranked scoring offense, a faltering unit that will be further inhibited by the absence of receivers Lawrence Cager (full game due to injury) and George Pickens.”
The Bulldogs and Tigers kick off at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game will air on CBS.
In one non-SEC championship game bit of news, there has been a lot speculation about where former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo might end up. Bobo parted ways with Colorado State after serving as the head coach for five seasons. Given Georgia’s offensive issues this year, many would like to see him back working at Georgia in some way.
But former Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason — who led Bobo’s final offense at Georgia in 2014 — doesn’t exactly see a potential fit between Bobo and Georgia coach Kirby Smart working out.
My two cents on Coach Bobo coming back to Athens is that Bobo and Kirby are best friends. Basically family. Usually mixing business & family doesn’t turnout well.
— Hutson Mason (@HMason14) December 4, 2019
Mason added that he thinks South Carolina, which has an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach opening, would be a much better fit for Bobo. In his final season at Georgia, Bobo’s offense ranked first in the SEC in points per game with 41.3 per game. No Georgia offense under Smart has eclipsed that total.
Georgia currently employs James Coley as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.