When and where: December 7, 2019, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA, 4:00 PM ET
The SEC Championship crown will be up for grabs at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday for a powerhouse collision between the No. 2-ranked LSU Tigers and No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs. Leading Heisman candidate Joe Burrow will aim to keep the Tigers’ perfect season intact when matching wits with the Bulldogs’ star-studded defense. LSU has signature wins over Alabama, Georgia and Texas this season, while the Bulldogs have defeated Auburn, Notre Dame and Florida. The lone loss for Georgia came in a stunning upset to South Carolina earlier in the season.
Can Georgia pull off the upset?There will be plenty of fans watching Saturday’s SEC showdown between Georgia and LSU, hoping one of the bubble contenders manage to slip through the backdoor in the College Football Playoffs. Georgia has held strong in avoiding late-season upset losses to Auburn and Texas A&M. The lone slip-up in their 2019 campaign was a 20-17 home upset the likes of which few saw coming against South Carolina.
An end of the season run-in with Georgia Tech served as hors d’oeuvres before Georgia’s main course meal in Atlanta against LSU. The No. 1 defense in the conference gets a crack at Heisman candidate Joe Burrow and LSU’s top-ranked offense. These two teams faced off a year ago in Baton Rouge, but that game might as well have been light years ago considering the massive transformation of the stars involved.
Burrow has evolved into the top quarterback prospect in college football, and Georgia running back D’Andre Swift is the best player on his team. The latter is dealing with a shoulder injury, and while he’s expected to play on Saturday, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on heading into a game against the fourth-ranked rushing defense in the conference.
Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm can’t allow himself to get in the way of his team’s success. He threw two costly interceptions against Georgia last season that contributed to them getting blown out 36-15. LSU has come away with 14 interceptions this season. You can rest assured the buzzards will be swarming in the secondary looking for takeaways.
Along with Swift, defensive back Eric Stokes, who leads the Bulldogs in pass deflections, is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury. Devonte Watt and Tyson Campbell’s game statuses are also up in the air. Georgia will also have to deal with leading receiving George Pickens being suspended for the first-half of the game for his role in the fight that broke out against Georgia Tech.
LSU faces its greatest defensive threatThe Tigers have rolled through Texas, Florida, Auburn and even the perennially contending Alabama Crimson Tide. They’ve survived the regular season gauntlet filled with a murderer’s row of opponents.
Quarterback Joe Burrow’s Heisman bid remains intact, and the team is still undefeated.
However, it would be short-sighted to call this season a success if the Tigers roll into Atlanta on Saturday and fall flat on their face. The neutral site isn’t neutral at all, and Burrow will be tasked with going on the road and playing in front of thousands of Georgia fans against the best defense in the conference. The Bulldogs defense is only allowing 257.0 total yards per game to opposing teams, while limiting them to 10.4 points. Moving the ball against that defense is like running suicides through quicksand with bricks tied to your feet.
But the Tigers will enter this game confident that their No. 1-ranked offense with Burrow behind center will find the solution to the problem. LSU is averaging a ridiculous 560.4 total yards and 48.7 points per game. This game is the real-life example of an unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object.
There are still some rightful reservations about Fromm behind center for the Bulldogs. At least Alabama had Tua Tagovailoa to go blow-for-blow with Burrow when things got out of hand. If LSU cracks open Georgia’s defense, there may be no putting it together again. Who would have ever thought a Humpty Dumpty reference would fit for the most important game of the weekend?
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Bulldogs are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games as an underdog of 0.5-3.0.
- Bulldogs are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
- Bulldogs are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Tigers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games as an underdog.
- Tigers are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games in December.
- Tigers are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 conference games.
- Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0.