The formula LSU used to beat Georgia on Saturday was pretty simple.

First, the Tigers didn’t beat themselves. They didn’t commit a turnover and were penalized just twice.

Then, they beat the Bulldogs by taking the ball away four times, being balanced on offense and outstanding on defense and winning the kicking game.

If you can do all of that – and go 4-for-4 on fourth-down conversions to boot – you can beat just about anybody. In fact, you can beat the No. 2 team in the country handily, 36-16.

First and foremost, the Tigers had to clean up their own act. Turnovers had become an issue in recent games and were a major factor in a 27-19 loss at Florida a week earlier, when LSU committed three turnovers, one with the offense in field-goal range and another a pick-six.

The Tigers had to overcome nine penalties to beat Auburn by a point, and they couldn’t overcome eight in the loss to Florida. But they were disciplined against Georgia, with ball security and penalties.

Joe Burrow  who committed all three turnovers against Florida, giving him five in a three-game stretch  threw the ball 30 times against Georgia without an interception and ran it 13 times (for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns) without fumbling.

Speaking of running the football, LSU rushed for more than twice as many yards as the leading rushing team in the SEC (275-113) as the Bulldogs had fewer than half of their average of 245.

The Tigers never let Georgia get into any rhythm offensively as they harassed Jake Fromm and didn’t allow a touchdown until the final seconds of the third quarter.

As for the kicking game, Cole Tracy was as reliable as ever, making all five of his field-goal attempts (from 33, 36, 39, 24 and 30 yards), and he helped the Tigers build a 16-0 halftime lead and respond to a Bulldogs field goal on the first possession of the second half to create a 19-3 edge.

Meanwhile, LSU – leading just 3-0 at the time – stuffed a first-quarter fake field-goal attempt after one of Georgia’s best drives of the game and recovered a fumble on a kickoff return, leading to Tracy’s final field goal late in the fourth quarter.

The final piece to the puzzle was head coach Ed Orgeron choosing to go for it on fourth down on four occasions, and the Tigers converting each.

Orgeron said he was angry with himself for opting for a field goal rather than going for fourth and less than a yard in the second quarter of the Florida game. Had LSU gone for it and converted, it might have had four more points in a one-score game that could have been altered by a touchdown and a seven-point Tigers lead at the time.

But just as significantly, Orgeron’s decision didn’t show confidence in his offense, and he didn’t display the aggressiveness he wants his team to display.

Things turned 180 degrees against Georgia, and Orgeron and the Tigers turned their season back in the right direction just seven days after they appeared headed to irrelevancy in the SEC and CFP races.

Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU had an early 3-0 lead when Orgeron opted to go for it on fourth and goal from the 1, and Burrow sneaked in for a touchdown.

On the Tigers’ next possession, Orgeron made his boldest choice when he chose to go for it on fourth and 1 at the Tigers 38. Burrow sneaked again for a yard. Later in the drive, on fourth and 1 from the Bulldogs 36, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who wound up with 145 yards on 19 rushes, broke free for 16 yards to set up a Tracy field goal.

After an interception by Kristian Fulton gave the Tigers a third-quarter scoring opportunity, Burrow ran for 2 yards on fourth and 1. The drive ended with another Tracy field goal, but more importantly, LSU had clearly established which was the better team up front.

Eventually, Georgia would threaten to make it a tight game, but it could never get within one score. The Bulldogs’ first touchdown got them within 10, and they tried to make it a one-score game by going for two, but they failed.

They forced a Tigers punt and reached the LSU 38, but two runs netted just 4 yards, and on third down Fromm couldn’t find an open receiver and JaCoby Stevens sacked him, forcing a punt.

Then came an 86-yard drive that ended with Burrow’s 1-yard touchdown run.

Georgia drove to another touchdown to get within two scores with six minutes left, but Burrow’s 59-yard run set up Nick Brossette’s clinching touchdown run from 4 yards.

The enormous advantage in turnovers, virtually no penalties, excellent run defense, excellent pass defense, excellent run offense, solid pass offense, superior special teams and a bold coach whose faith was rewarded by flawless execution on pivotal play after pivotal play added up to a signature win.

LSU did it all in about as thorough a team effort as a team can have.

The loss to Florida put the Tigers’ season on the brink.

The victory against Georgia put them back in control of their fate.

But more important, it showed they can play at an even higher level than they had shown during a 5-0 start.