Uncensored play-by-play: SEC Championship Game
Well, after 15 weeks we’ve finally made it to Atlanta for the 2019 SEC Championship Game. It’s No. 2 LSU vs. No. 4 Georgia. The stakes are high as the Bulldogs have to win this game to make it into the Playoff. All they have to do is beat the best offense the SEC has ever seen. Good luck!
Georgia tries to catch LSU off guard by coming out throwing the football. Unfortunately for Georgia, a crucial part of throwing the football is having someone catch it. Lesson learned.
Meanwhile, Joe Burrow doesn’t even need receivers to lead his team down the field. He completes a 16-yard pass to himself and the Tigers’ offense picks right up where it left off against Texas A&M. Also, it makes it a lot easier when no one on Georgia’s defense as any interest in rushing the passer. UGA gives Joe Burrow about 9 seconds to stand in the pocket and throw his first touchdown. Kirby Smart calls it the “Reverse Psychology Defense”
Jake Fromm came out this first quarter determined to prove to his haters that they were right. He misses a couple of crucial throws, including one on 3rd down to a wide open receiver. If only there was some type of younger, more mobile, highly-touted quarterback they could put in to mix things up.
The good news for Georgia is that somehow, eventually they cross midfield and get it in the range for Hot Rod. Maybe he’s the lightning rod this team needs to really get going and get the fans back into it … and he missed it. Things are, what you might say, “bad.”
When things are going bad, the last thing you want to see on the other side of the field is Joe Burrow and this LSU offense. Unless you’re Alabama, then the last thing you want to see is your field-goal kicker.
Burrow leads the Tigers down the field in just a few plays, and on the edge of the goal line runs a perfect play-action fake that leads to a touchdown so easy Burrow jogs off the field while the ball is still in the air. I would say it was pretty disrespectful to Georgia, but Georgia was way to busy subbing guys on and off the field after the ball is snapped to even notice.
Georgia desperately needs its offense to do something here. A touchdown, a field goal, just do something to let the band play the fight song again. Thankfully, Fromm finally starts to heat up. He connects on a couple of big passes to his receivers, or whoever Georgia brought in from the stands to play receivers and they get the ball into Blankenship range once again. This time he hits it and Georgia is on the board. If UGA can just find a way to get 6 or 7 more field goals they will be right back in this thing.
At this point in the season, it’s way more surprising to see LSU punt than it is to see them score a touchdown. But the Dawgs’ defense gets a big stop by very smartly convincing an LSU receiver to drop a wide-open touchdown pass, and the Tigers have to punt.
Georgia has the tiniest ounce of momentum, but the football gods aren’t gonna let Dawg Nation ever be happy for more than few a moments this year. Jake Fromm goes down with an injury and UGA is forced to put in Stetson Bennett for a 3rd-and-long throw that looked like he was one of the kids trying to throw into the giant Dr. Pepper can. Next time, only chest passes Stetson, OK?
You know things aren’t going your way when Joe Burrow is making all of your 4- and 5-star recruits look like the kids on the other end of Zion Williamson’s high school highlight reel. Burrow is dodging, spinning and sprinting past every Bulldogs defender who comes his way.
The positive news for Georgia is that the defense stands and keeps the Dawgs in the ball game. All they need is a different quarterback, running back, offensive coordinator and entire receiving corps to really get this game close.
The beautiful thing about LSU’s offense is that it can beat you by scoring so quickly you barely have time to comprehend what happened, and also by slow, long, miserable, sustained drives that feel like Coach O has you in a sleeper hold and you know you only have a very limited amounts of breath left before you pass out.
In the end though, the Georgia defense holds again on the goal line and forces a field goal to keep the Dawgs still within reach. Mathematically speaking, anyway.
Georgia has its back against the wall, times are so desperate that Jake Fromm tries to pick up first downs with his leg. It’s not quite as graceful as when Joe Burrow does it, but it’s effective nonetheless.
Eventually, Georgia is forced to send Blankenship back out to get 3 more points. At this point, Kirby seems less interested in winning and more interested in taking the classic Jimbo Fisher approach of just doing whatever it takes to keep the score respectable.
Unfortunately, Hot Rod doesn’t play by anyone else’s rules. He misses his 2nd kick of the game and the entire Georgia section of the stadium has turned into the SpongeBob “Alright, I’ma head out” meme.
Joe Burrow could play the rest of this one with one hand tied behind his back and LSU could still moonwalk to the Playoff, but he still has one more Heisman Trophy moment in him before the votes are cast. He ducks under and around the blitzing Georgia defense, steps up and hits a receiver 50-yards out in stride to set up LSU’s next touchdown. His season-long transformation from Mother of Dragons to the Mad Queen is complete. And the writing was way better than the last season on Game of Thrones, anyway.
Before Georgia fans could even get back to their couch after screaming into their pillow all commercial break, Fromm throws another interception. A few plays later, LSU is in the end zone again.
Everything is falling apart for the Dawgs now. Maybe the lesson here is next time Georgia gets invited to play a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, just politely say no.
Georgia is just playing for pride at this point. Where that pride comes from? Who knows, but it’s a nice thought. With George Pickens back, the Georgia offense improves from embarrassing to just regular bad. So at least there’s something to build on heading into the bowl game.
With the game out of hand and the Georgia SEC Champs gear well on its way to an impoverished country, Joe Burrow gets a curtain call and the Tigers get to bask in the glory of their 13-0 season. The only drama left now is finding out who LSU will play in the semifinals.
For Georgia, the only positive takeaway from this game is the knowledge that Florida fans had to angrily watch the game on TV wondering how in the world they lost to you. It’s better than nothing.
FINAL: LSU 37-10.