BATON ROUGE, La. — Backs to the wall, LSU looked and played like the hungrier team from the onset of Saturday’s game against Georgia.
The Tigers fans loved it when coach Ed Orgeron went for a fourth-and-goal at the Georgia 1-yard line in the second quarter, with quarterback Joe Burrow plunging in to give LSU a 10-0 lead.
But the No. 13-ranked Tigers (6-1, 3-1 SEC) were just getting warmed up, as they went for three other fourth down situations against the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1), converting all of them en route to the 36-16 upset.
“That was the message we were going to send,” said Orgeron, now 7-0 at LSU in games following a loss. “We were going to be as aggressive as we can. We were going to take shots and go for it.
“Play to win the whole time.”
The Tigers pounded Georgia for 275 yards on the ground and 475 yards in all, exposing a Bulldogs’ defense that entered the day leading the SEC in total defense (283.2 per game).
“They did a good job and took some good risks at getting those conversions with some sneaks and stuff,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “The key is you don’t want to be in fourth-and-1. It’s hard to stop those plays.”
It marked the first time this season that LSU started the same offensive line combination in consecutive games, and that seemed to pay off.
Up 13-0 in the second quarter, Orgeron looked to catch Smart and the Georgia defense off guard, going for a fourth-and-1 at the LSU 38.
Burrow, a graduate transfer quarterback from Ohio State, converted for a 1-yard gain and a first down on a somewhat controversial spot.
Later, on the same drive, Burrow handed to Clyde Edwards-Helaire on a fourth-and-1 at the Georgia 36, and the running back ran for 16 yards to the Bulldogs’ 20.
The Tigers ended up kicking a field goal on the drive, increasing their lead to 16-0 and keeping the Bulldogs’ offense off the field during a scoring drive that lasted 4:43.
“I thought one of them we had a chance to stop and didn’t, give them credit,” Smart said. “They kept the ball on third-and-ones and fourth-and-ones by running some good plays and converting and keeping their offense on the field.”
LSU didn’t let up in the second half, going for yet another fourth-and-1 at the Georgia 14-yard line with a 16-3 lead in the third quarter.
Burrow, again, kept the ball for a 2-yard gain, and the Tigers kicked another field goal.
Orgeron said the LSU offensive line wanted to make amends for a poor performance in last week’s 27-19 loss at Florida.
“They felt bad all week. They were hungry. They’d felt like they let the team down,” Orgeron said. “Obviously, they took it upon themselves to play better today and they did.”
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