Friday, October 2, 2009
LSU at Georgia Prediction October 3
LSU Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs
Saturday October 3rd 3:30PM ET
Line: UGA -3 (open -2.5)
The Bulldogs have won six of the last eight meetings and the last three by a 21 point average against their Saturday opponent LSU. But the visitor is 5-2 in the last seven meetings. Each week a team in the top five has lost this season. Is it number four LSU's turn this week?
The Tigers comes into the contest off a 30-26 victory over Miss State on the road. But LSU needed a goal line stand from the one with a two minutes left to win. LSU was out gained and out first downed 21-12 by Miss State and needed a 97 yard punt return and 37 yard interception return for touchdowns.
Miss State rushed for 151 yards to LSU's 30. The Tigers also gave up 223 yards through the air. In the last two games, John Chavis' defense has not gotten a sack. The Tigers have benefited from a plus six turnover margin in their last two games.
Georgia's defense held Arizona State, who had been averaging 44 ppg, to just 10 offensive points last week. The Bulldogs allowed just 204 total yards of offense. But turnovers plagued Georgia again finishing with three giveaways and just one takeaway. UGA is minus 9 in turnovers on the season.
Last season, Georgia ran back two interceptions for touchdowns in a 52-38 win. The Tigers out gained UGA by 54 yards but the interceptions (3) did them in with Jarrett Lee starting for LSU. The 443 yards allowed by LSU was their second highest allowed all season. UGA's 497 yards allowed was their highest by a good margin.
Five Key Areas To Victory
UGA QBs are completing 60% of their passes this season for 245 yards per game. Joe Cox has nine touchdowns to five interceptions.
LSU is completing 62% but for 180 ypg. Jordan Jefferson does present a running threat at QB but has just 83 yards on 31 carries this year. Jefferson had 7 TDs to just 1 INT.
Slight Edge UGA
2. Line of Scrimmage
The Tigers are averaging 130 ypg on the ground, but giving up 135. That is a little unusual for a team to be minus in ground yardage with an undefeated record (without being a pass happy offense). LSU's offensive line has allowed seven sacks occurring on 6.8 percent of their pass plays. The defense has just four sacks and zero in the last two games - good for just 2.7 percent of pass plays.
UGA is gaining 112.3 ypg rushing and giving up 112.8. Their o-line is doing a pretty good job protecting Cox giving up sacks on just 4.5 percent of passing plays (5 sacks). The defensive line has struggled in pass rush accumulating five sacks, but only on 3.7 percent of opponent pass plays.
Les Miles has a BCS Championship to his credit, but new DC John Chavis does not have the LSU defense playing much better than last. OC Gary Crowton is known for his play calling abilities and offensive imagination, but the offense has not been overwhelming this season.
Both of Georgia's coordinators have come under heat this year with each week seeming to be a different performance by the respective units. Head coach Mark Richt has had at least nine wins in his eight seasons in Athens.
Every week I think UGA is going to solve the turnover bug, but they have failed three straight weeks. Sooner or later the Bulldogs luck is going to run out on the turnover margin. And it is not just limited to interceptions with Georgia.
LSU was helped greatly from a plus four margin last week. The week before LSU was plus two and is plus seven on the season. Usually the team who wins the turnover battle wins the game (unless they are playing Georgia this season seemingly).
5. Intangibles/Special Teams
LSU will have the revenge factor going. But they are going on the road for the second straight week knowing they barely escaped against an inferior Miss State team.
UGA will have the home crowd which should be much more lively this Saturday with better weather expected (it was a down pour last week).
Both teams have shown ability to take returns to the house. Georgia's K Blair Walsh has shown range and accuracy this season.
Slight Edge UGA
LSU has not been overly impressive in any of their four wins. Georgia has been consistently inconsistent with their performance each week, struggling on offense one week and defense the next.
I like Georgia to win at home with a better defense that is able to force a couple of turnovers while the Bulldogs do a better job holding on to the ball.
Georgia 28 LSU 24
Georgia Covers -3