ATLANTA (WAFB) - No. 2 LSU dominated No. 4 Georgia in all three phases of the game to crush the Bulldogs in the SEC championship.
The Tigers (13-0) came away with a 37-10 complete team win over the Bulldogs (11-2). The College Football Playoff Selection Show starts at 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPN. LSU will learn its ranking, semifinal game location, and opponent.
Joe Burrow was named game MVP. He completed 28-of-38 passes for 347 yards and four touchdowns. He now has 48 touchdowns on the season to break the previous SEC single-season touchdown record of 44 that was set by Drew Lock in 2017. He also ran the ball 11 times for 41 yards.
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson had seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. He now has 2,082 career receiving yards as a Tiger. Fellow wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. had five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Ja’Marr Chase added three catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. He now has 18 touchdowns on the season. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 15 carries for 57 yards. He also caught seven passes for 61 yards.
LSU won the toss and deferred to the second half. On the first play from scrimmage, Georgia went deep to wide receiver Tyler Simmons but the pass was incomplete. LSU got Georgia into a third-and-seven and sacked Jake Fromm but Damone Clark was called for a face mask to extend the Bulldog drive. The Tiger defense clamped down and forced the Bulldogs to punt a few plays later. LSU marched down the field in eight plays on a drive capped off with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to Chase to put LSU up 7-0 with 9:09 left in the first quarter. Burrow was 4-of-5 for 66 yards on the drive.
Fromm and the Bulldog offense was once again stifled by the Tiger defense. On LSU's next drive, Edwards-Helaire caught a short pass from Burrow and appeared to have fumbled the ball but a review of the play showed his elbow was down before the ball popped out. The Tigers did not go anywhere on the drive and were forced to punt but the defense stood its ground once again. Georgia tried a 52-yard field goal but Rodrigo Blankenship put it just outside the left upright. LSU's quick-strike offense went right to work and put the ball in the endzone for the second time in the game on a five-play, 66-yard drive that ended with Burrow finding a wide open Terrace Marshall Jr. from seven yards out to make it 14-0 with just :12 left in the first.
The Bulldogs finally got on the board with a 39-yard field goal from Blankenship to make it 14-3 with 11:28 left in the half. On Georgia's next possession, on a second-and-eight, safety Grant Delpit turned into a missile and got to Fromm in a hurry for a nine-yard loss. Fromm was injured on the play and had to leave the game. He later returned.
However, before he was able to, Burrow worked some magic and showed what makes him so dangerous. On first-and-10 from the Bulldog 31-yard line, Georgia blitzed right up the midde. Burrow was able to avoid the rush and took off for a 13-yard gain. The Tigers were not able to reach the endzone on the drive but a 41-yard field goal by Cade York extended the lead to 17-3 with 2:22 left in the half.
Upon his return, Fromm tried to test cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and lost badly. The freshman phenom was right in the receiver's hip pocket and picked off the pass. Burrow and the offense went right back to work with 1:35 remaining in the half. LSU was able to gain chunks of yardage before the half ended but not enough. The Tigers tried to put at least a few more points on the board but York missed a 48-yard field goal.
LSU received the opening kickoff of the second half. Specialist and fullback Tory Carter was ejected after being called for targeting on the kickoff. The Tigers put together a nice drive but again couldn’t cross the goalline and they settled for a 28-yard field goal from York to make it 20-3. Later, Georgia got pressure on Burrow but he was able to elude defenders and heaved the ball, while on the run, to a wide open Justin Jefferson, who then ran after the catch to net a gain of 71 yards.
Two plays later, Burrow hooked up with Marshall again on a four-yard touchdown to extend LSU’s lead to 27-3 with a little more than 2:00 left in the third quarter. On Georgia’s first play of the next drive, Stingley got his second interception of the game to set the Tigers up in the red zone. Three plays after the pick, it was Burrow to Jefferson for an 8-yard touchdown to make it 34-3 with less than 1:00 left in the third.
Georgia scored its only touchdown on a 2-yard pass from Fromm to George Pickens to make it 34-10 with 11:41 left in the game. York later added a 50-yard field goal to make it 37-10.
Georgia is ranked No. 4 nationally in total defense, giving up 257 yards per game. LSU gained 481 yards of offense against the Bulldog defense. The Dawgs were No. 2 in points per game given up, only relinquishing 10.4 points per game. LSU put up 37 points. Georgia is also No. 2 in rushing yards given up. The defense only allows 71 rushing yards per game. LSU gained 132 yards on the ground, 41 of those by Burrow.
The LSU defense only allowed 286 total yards. Fromm was 20-of-42 for 225 yards and a touchdown. He threw two interceptions. He was also sacked three times. D’Andre Swift, the Bulldogs’ leading rusher, was limited due to a shoulder injury. He only had two carries for 13 yards. Brian Herrien led the ground attack for Georgia but he was only able to get 24 yards on eight carries. The Bulldogs only gained 61 yards on the ground.
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