Georgia football: 5 things I'd like to see from the Bulldogs against LSU
Georgia is 6-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country, but there’s still some concern about how good this team really is. And now comes a trip to Baton Rouge to take on LSU in what will be the Bulldogs’ biggest test to date.
LSU is 5-1 after losing at Florida last Saturday, and the Tigers are ranked No. 13 now, falling eight spots after the upset in Gainesville. Still, this is considered to be a tough one for Georgia.
Here are five things I want to see from the Bulldogs this weekend against LSU:
1. Keep forcing that early turnover
Georgia had a three-game stretch earlier this year in which the defense contributed an early first-quarter touchdown against South Carolina, Middle Tennessee and Missouri. There’s no better way to start a game than like that, getting an unexpected score and allowing the offense to ease into things. That would be huge Saturday at LSU, because whoever strikes first in a high-octane game like this will get a big edge. An interception might be especially useful since LSU quarterback Joe Burrow threw two last week. Getting into his head might be a good thing.
2. Take the crowd out of the game early
Whichever side of the ball the big play comes from, it’s very important for Georgia to strike first and get that legendarily loud crowd at Tiger Stadium out of the game. There may be no more difficult place to play in the SEC — at least from a noise standpoint — so it would be good to quiet the roar with some early points. One benefit is that this is a 3:30 p.m. kickoff and not a night game, when the noise — and the alcohol level — go up a few notches.
3. Jake Fromm continues to stay cool, even on the road
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm has had a great year so far, smoothly running the Bulldogs offense and leading them to at least 38 points in all six games. He handles pressure well, so playing in a hostile environment is not going to frighten him. Fromm has completed 72.8 percent of his passes and thrown 12 touchdown passes against just 2 interceptions. LSU’s pass rush will make him uncomfortable at times, but he has been very good on the run. It’ll be interesting to see if Georgia speeds it up on offense a little bit, too. Fromm looked really good in the two-minute drill last week.
4. Flip the field on special teams
It’s a conference road game against a quality opponent, so field position should matter a lot again on Saturday. Georgia has weapons in the return game, with Mecole Hardman being especially dangerous. Some long returns that give Georgia’s offense a short field would be nice. It will also be nice if kicker Rodrigo Blankenship continues to do his thing converting field goals. In a tight game, every scoring opportunity is going to matter.
5. Show the country you really are the No. 2 team in the nation
There are some who would argue that all this criticism about Georgia lately is a little unfounded. (Hand raised.) I cringe when I hear people say that Georgia isn’t a playoff team, that Georgia has beaten a bunch of patsies and on and on. Well, here’s Georgia’s chance to make a statement to the nation. LSU is very good, and they’re always tough at home. LSU losing at Florida last week takes a little luster out of what should have been a top-five matchup, but this is still a biggie. Going in and winning by a couple of touchdowns will send a good message.