I’m not making any predictions on today’s outcome, other than to say that Chris Burnette understates the case a little here:
“I don’t feel like we have to play a perfect game,” Burnette said. “But we have to play probably the best game that we’ve played all season.”
Forget the “probably”, son. The Dawgs will have to play their best game of the year to have a shot at the upset of the number one team in the country.
Let’s get real for a minute. LSU went into Tuscaloosa and won in overtime. I don’t want to get sidetracked with an argument of the relative merits of ‘Bama and Georgia this year, so let’s just leave it that Alabama certainly isn’t a worse team than Georgia. The Dawgs have one helluva fight on their hands today.
That doesn’t mean they can’t win. Their defense says they can. Paul Myerberg makes the case for that here.
… Grantham is no Erk Russell, and no, this defense is not yet a pack of Junkyard Dogs. But you see the similarities, most notably in the simple formula of getting stops on first down, getting to the quarterback on clear passing downs and playing the football in the secondary. Russell, one of the all-time greats, would appreciate this defense. High praise.
And what does L.S.U. have on defense that Georgia doesn’t? Name value. Depth, especially along the defensive line. Cockiness — that the Tigers have in spades. Meanness? That’s a shared trait. Ability to stop the run? Also shared. Rush the quarterback? Shut things down in the secondary? Shared and shared.
The point is this: Georgia can win this game. Would it come with beauty points? Beauty has left the building, replaced by two nasty, talented defenses. One, the one in Athens, has something to prove. As does a Georgia team unwisely left for dead in September.
Yeah, they can win. But they can’t screw up… at least not much. And they’ve got to hold their emotional and mental ground for the full 60 minutes. Today’s musical theme is brought to you by Tom Petty:
I can’t confidently predict a win, because LSU is too good to dismiss. But you know what else I can’t predict? I can’t go along with all the pundits calling for a close game for three quarters and then seeing LSU pull away to win by 18. Unless Georgia starts making a bunch of mistakes with turnovers and special teams snafus, I don’t believe these Dawgs will wear down like that.
And with that, I’m getting ready to head out to the Dome. Consider this your game day thread.