LSU, Georgia make final preps before SEC championship

LSU, Georgia make final preps before SEC championship
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart (Source: Jacques Doucet/WAFB-TV)

ATLANTA (WAFB) - LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart met with sports journalists Friday afternoon for their final comments before the teams battle each other in the SEC championship game. LSU is a seven-point favorite.

Both teams took the field in Mercedes-Benz Stadium for final walk-throughs.

SEC Championship Preview
LSU Walk-Thru
SEC Championship Preview: LSU head coach Ed Orgeron
Georgia Walk-Thru
SEC Championship Preview: Georgia head coach Kirby Smart

The Tigers (12-0, 8-0 SEC) dominated in a 50-7 win over the Aggies (7-5, 4-4 SEC) in their regular season finale. It was LSU’s first undefeated regular season since 2011. Georgia (11-1, 7-1 SEC) is coming off a dominant performance of its own. The Bulldogs routed Georgia Tech, 52-7. Their lone loss of the season was to South Carolina. The Gamecocks pulled off the 20-17 upset in double overtime.

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LSU is averaging nearly 49 points and more than 560 yards per game. The Tigers are holding opponents to about 22 points per game. Quarterback Joe Burrow was 23-of-32 for 352 yards and three touchdowns against Texas A&M. He now holds the LSU single-season passing yards (4,366) and touchdowns (44) records. He also broke Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch’s SEC passing yards record (4,725) that was set in 1998 and tied Missouri quarterback Drew Lock’s SEC touchdown passes record (44) set in 2017.

Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had seven catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns, one of which came on a 78-yard strike. He has 70 catches for 1,457 yards and 17 touchdowns for the season. It was his eighth 100-yard game. He is now No. 2 on the LSU single-season receiving yards list behind Josh Reed (1,740), who also holds the SEC record. Fellow wide receiver Justin Jefferson caught six passes for 55 yards and one touchdown. He has 81 catches for 1,092 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2019. He is now No. 2 on the LSU single-season list for receptions. He also trails Reed (94), who set the record in 2001.

Georgia is averaging nearly 33 points per game. The Bulldogs are led by quarterback Jake Fromm. He has thrown for 2,385 yards this season with 21 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Lawrence Cager is the team’s leading receiver but he is done for the season due to an ankle injury. He had 33 catches for 476 yards and four touchdowns before getting hurt. The No. 2 receiver on the team, George Pickens, will miss the first half of the game against LSU after getting ejected in the game against the Yellow Jackets. He has 33 catches for 498 yards and six touchdowns so far this season. On the ground, running back D’Andre Swift is the bell cow. He has 1,230 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Bulldog defense is quite impressive. It has only given up about 10 points and 257 yards per game. Middle linebacker Monty Rice is the leading tackler on the team. He has 41 solo tackles and has assisted on 38 others for a total of 79 on the season. Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari leads the team in sacks with 4.5. Defensive lineman Tyler Clark has eight tackles for loss. The Bulldogs have intercepted six passes this season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. The game will be shown on CBS.

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