The No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs are rolling though their schedule. Next up though is a game in Death Valley against an LSU team that was unbeaten prior to losing to Florida last time out.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys:
Turn Jake Burrow over
The LSU quarterback had been clean and efficient until he was asked to win the game for LSU in the fourth quarter against the Gators on Saturday. While Burrow is a nice quarterback, he feels more like a game manager type, the sort of quarterback who will keep you there or thereabouts in close games but without the ability to really take over a contest.
He had thrown zero interceptions until the final few minutes against Florida, but then – when chasing the game – he threw a couple of dagger interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Florida defensive front was able to pressure Burrow and – accompanied by well-timed blitzes – he was throwing and hoping rather than making his passes count.
If the Georgia defensive line is able to pressure Burrow – remember they have only six sacks through six games – then the odds are good that there will be some passes that the Georgia defensive backs can get after and pick off.
Keep LSU off schedule
The key to the LSU offense is to be efficient. They don’t want Burrow chasing the first down marker in down and distance situations that he can’t handle.
Florida beat LSU by constantly keeping the Tigers behind the chains. Part of this was the Florida ability to slow the LSU running attack, while part of it was the Tigers hurting themselves. They committed eight penalties for 75 yards, with some of those coming from an offensive line that was holding on seemingly every play and jumping the snap count for false starts.
The result was that Burrow was stuck in unmanageable third downs, where he converted only 4-of-17 to keep drives going. If Georgia can chase the LSU offense off of the field by making them play long down and distance situations, then the Bulldogs will win.
Protect Jake Fromm
Georgia has been even better this year in the passing game than it was in 2017. The reason for this is that Fromm has been able to air out the ball, hitting his downfield targets with more regularity than he did last season.
That is all thanks to the offensive line.
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron called this Georgia protective unit the best he has seen so far in 2018. Given that the Tigers failed to sack Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks one time last weekend that is quite a statement.
If Fromm is given the time to cycle through his reads and find receivers over the top of the LSU defense it will be a long day at the office for the Tigers.