LSU Three Keys: Georgia

Three-keys-LSU

The formula wasn’t sustained.

LSU beat Auburn by avoiding big mistakes, but Ed Orgeron’s team still required small margins to win that contest. Florida didn’t commit a bunch of obvious defensive pass interference penalties in the final minutes.

By Matt Zemek

The Gators generated more of a pass rush than Auburn did. Florida wasn’t better on offense compared to Auburn, but the difference was that LSU’s offense was worse. Joe Burrow committed multiple turnovers. Receivers dropped key passes late. The offensive line regressed. The Tigers were sloppy enough to lose against a team with a very ordinary offense. They won 22-21 at Auburn. Take away Florida’s pick-six at the end and change it into a non-scoring interception, and LSU lost to UF, 20-19.

Did I say these were small margins?

LSU now faces a pivotal game for its season and its New Year’s Six bowl hopes. Beating Georgia will make it hard for LSU to NOT play in an NY6 game. Losing to the Bulldogs, with Alabama on the horizon, will put LSU near the cut line with no guarantee of favorable treatment. You know LSU can’t make the big mistake, but now that the Tigers have lost a game due to their failure to uphold “The Formula,” we will not include that as a central game key anymore. Assume it always applies, though.

1 – ROLL BURROW

This isn’t a dumb “Roll Tide” wordplay. This is a reference to the need to roll Joe Burrow on pass plays, moving the pocket to give him more time and space to throw. Burrow was crushed on blindside sacks against Florida. Speed and spin moves from the Gators’ highly talented defensive ends left the Tigers undressed and Burrow exposed. Designing plays with moving pockets or features that create protection without having to sacrifice too many bodies will be essential for the LSU offensive coaching staff against Kirby Smart’s defense, which should rightly feel that it can dominate that portion of Saturday’s matchup.

2 – WIN IN THE AIR

The Tigers would love to spring Nick Brossette for a few 50-yard runs and establish total dominance at the point of attack.

Springing Brossette for one big run at the right time is something LSU can achieve, but the idea of destroying UGA at the line of scrimmage probably isn’t. LSU has to collect big plays and find them at the times of the game when it needs to have them – much as Florida bundled together its big plays in the important moments against LSU this past weekend.

One component of a winning performance for LSU will be its receivers on the edge in one-on-one battles with the Georgia cornerbacks. LSU would love to go 14 plays and 80 yards in eight minutes for seven points against the Bulldogs’ defense, but that probably won’t happen. Receivers need to step up and win jump balls. Those kinds of plays have to enter the equation for Coach O’s offense.

3 – FRONTLINE FURY

The one game last year in which Georgia’s Jake Fromm didn’t do well was the road game at Auburn in which those Tigers got in Fromm’s face and robbed him of time and comfort. LSU’s defensive front must do the same to give the home team a chance to win in Tiger Stadium.

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