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Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said the Bulldogs need to play more physical, and inside linebacker Natrez Patrick is one of the players with that style of play.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart: Bulldogs ‘better knuckle up’ for physical LSU

ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart isn’t wasting words this week where Saturday’s showdown at LSU is concerned.

“As far as questions about our defense or our defensive line, they’ll be answered this week,” Smart said at his Monday press conference. “They better knuckle up, because it’s going to be physical, hard-nosed football game.”

The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (6-0 4-0 SEC) travel to play at No. 13 LSU (5-1, 2-1) at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday (TV: CBS, Radio: WSB 750 AM, 95.5 FM).

It’s the 11th meeting between the teams when both have been ranked, and first since 2013.

Smart said he expects Saturday’s game to be as physical as any of the games between the teams have been.

“Coach (Ed) Orgeron has installed a lot of toughness in their program, they play extremely physical,” Smart said. “They’ve got big people, that’s how LSU is built. They are physical across the board, that’s who they are,”

Smart had said after the 41-13 Vanderbilt win last Saturday that Georgia would need to step up and play more physical.

“We’re a physical football team, but we’ve got to play physical,” Smart said. “I haven’t seen this team play with physicality, at least defensively, that it needs to.

“At times, offensively, we do (play physically) offensively because we’re big, especially when we’re healthy. But defensively, I don’t know, we’ll find out.”

Smart said it’s up to himself and the Georgia coaching staff to get the Bulldogs prepared for what figures to be the most physical game of the season to this point.

“We have a lot of guys bought in, and they are trying to, but we’ve got to help them and do a better job as coaches,” Smart said. “We certainly have to play the run better.”

Georgia vs. LSU when both teams are ranked

• (2013) No. 9 Georgia beats No. 6 LSU, 44-41 (Athens)

• (2011) No. 1 LSU beats No. 12 Georgia, 42-10 (Atlanta, SEC title game)

• (2009) No. 4 LSU beats No. 18 Georgia, 20-13 (Athens)

• (2008) No. 9 Georgia beats No. 11 LSU, 52-38 (Baton Rouge)

• (2005) No. 13 Georgia beats No. 3 LSU, 34-14 (Atlanta, SEC title game)

• (2004) No. 3 Georgia beats No. 13 LSU, 45-16 (Athens)

• (2003) No. 3 LSU beats No. 5 Georgia, 34-13 (Atlanta, SEC title game)

• (2003) No. 11 LSU beat No. 7 Georgia, 17-10 (Baton Rouge)

• (1998) No. 12 Georgia beat No. 6 LSU, 28-27 (Baton Rouge)

• (1987) No. 7 LSU beat No. 16 Georgia, 26-23 (Athens)

Georgia-LSU football stories

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Statistical profile of Georgia football vs. LSU

Bulldogs may need to bring blitz on Tigers

LSU stirs memories for Kirby Smart and his 12-tackle effort

• Georgia football opens as favorite in LSU’s Death Valley

• Georgia football will head to LSU ranked No. 2

• UGA tight ends gain pass-catching momentum