The road did not go through Alabama; therefore, Georgia thought they had a clear path to the National Championship. Along the way, they ran into a buzz saw called the LSU Tigers featuring Joe Burrow. At game time, he was the front runner for the Heisman Trophy. After his spectacular performance [28-39 passes for 349 yards and 4 touchdowns] that earned him the SEC Championship player of the game, he sealed it. The Heisman Trust can crank up the engraving machine.
With no Alabama the UGA Nemesis, it was thought to be Kirby Smarts year, but not so, says Ed Orgeron to the tune of an embarrassing beatdown 37-10 in the 2019 SEC Championship game. Georgia featured the #1 ranked defense in the SEC, and they were ranked #2 nationally. Today it didn’t matter the Tigers ate them alive in particular Joe Burrow. The offensive line provided him with six to eight seconds to lounge around in the pocket. When he was pressured, he danced through the defense with a zig-zag motion that made them wonder from where he came. They couldn’t figure out how to contain him. They walked away stating he was no ordinary Joe.
Georgia was a bit banged up in particular star running back Deandre Swift. They were without wide receiver George Pickens for the first half due to a fight in last week’s rivalry game against Georgia Tech.
They call it “Good Ole Fashion Hate” somehow it spilled over into a Good Ole Fashion slugfest with Georgia getting the worst end. NCAA rules states for fighting players are suspended the first half of the following game, for the Georgia Tech player, its next season for Pickens, a much-needed star player was penalized in the SEC Championship game.
Pickens finished the game as the Bulldogs leading receiver with 4 catches for 54 yards leaving us to wonder what his impact could have been should he played the entire game. To make things worst, Dominick Blaylock, the other wide receiver, went down with a knee injury in the first quarter undoubtedly that stymied the Bulldogs offense. But this is big-time college football; there are no excuses. LSU dominated in every phase of the game. They deserve to be anointed as the #1 team in the CFP Playoffs.
Deandre Swift tried to tough it out, but he could only produce 13 yards on 2 carries. The entire herd of Bulldog running backs could only produce 61 rushing yards. And Georgia isn’t built that way, “this is running back U.”
Jake Fromm put up his average 225 passing yards completing 20 out of 42 attempts and 1 touchdown. The 2 interceptions were devastating. However, we must give credit where it is due they were caused by the outstanding play of the LSU defense, particularly Derek Stingley; he is NFL ready.
Georgia came out with the right idea, guns a-blazing. A deep dime of a throw by Jake Fromm down the middle of the field, the ball went through the receiver’s hand. It was a great plan, but it did not come together. It was there. That play was symbolic of the outcome, opportunities missed.
Joe Burrows started smoking hot, marching 8 plays covering 75 yards before Ja’Marr chase scored on a 23-yard pass. The key play was a batted pass that went back to Joe Burrows, who turned into a running back and escaped the would-be tacklers to pick up a first down, talk about a ball bouncing your way.
Georgia rushed only three linemen, and Burrow picked them apart. He had six seconds to scan the field on the touchdown pass. It was enough time to make a sandwich in the pocket. Instant replay can be a friend or foe; sometimes, it works for you. Others, it goes against you. The purpose is to get it right. The running backs forearm was down before the ball came out. Georgia thought they had the break of the game with a short field.
A few plays later, Rodrigo Blankenship, the SEC’s deadliest weapon, missed a 52-yard field goal. The decision was understandable, but on the flip side, it gave LSU a short field. They took advantage and put up another touchdown. The key play on the drive was a double-clutched catch by Terrance Marshall as he was falling to the ground that put them in the red zone. They followed that up with an up-tempo strategy and caught Georgia trying to substitute and drew a penalty.
On the surface, that appears to be a small thing; it’s the opposite; it’s big. It showed the detailed preparation by the LSU coaching staff. Georgia was in the fox hole down 14-0. Rodrigo Blankenship got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard at the 11:28 mark of the second quarter with a 39-yard field goal.
Georgia got a gift from Terrance Marshall as he dropped a game-sealing deep pass from Joe Burrow.
On the next drive, Georgia fans got the scare of the season. Grant Delpit executed the blitz with Jake Fromm in his target. After the sack, he lingered on the ground forcing his backup to take the next snap.
After a successful 41-yard field goal by Cade York, Jake Fromm returned to throw an interception. He was pick-pocketed by true freshman Derek Stingley. He was stride for stride with the receiver, and then at the last moment, he turned to make the interception a much need drive was denied. At the half, the Bulldogs were officially in trouble down 17-3 with no rushing attack only 19 yards on the ground. Defensively Georgia had allowed only 12 yards to the LSU running backs, but Joe Burrow had a highlight real for 39 key rushing yards that extended plays and set up scoring drives.
Georgia came out of the break determined, but they got hit in the mouth with a double whammy, time off the clock [6:40], and a successful 28-yard field goal by Cade York. The 16 play 77-yard drive was a backbreaker. The avalanche was in the making.
George Pickens made his presence known with a big catch to put the Bulldogs in scoring position. The drive stalled Rodrigo came to the rescue with a 37-yard field goal. The term ordinary Joe; is often used to paraphrase being average.
There is nothing average about Bayou Joe the Houdini of a star quarterback, instead of a loss of 10-15 yards he made defenders miss with some fancy footwork, and delivered a 71-yard pass to Justin Jefferson that set up the 4-yard touchdown to Terrence Marshall.
Georgia got its first touchdown in the fourth quarter by that time the writing was on the wall another year, no championship for Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs.