In its 31st meeting with LSU, Georgia finds itself in another Top 25 matchup against the Tigers.
On Saturday, No. 2 Georgia will travel to Baton Rouge to face the No. 13 Tigers (3:30 p.m., CBS; News 95.5 and AM-750 WSB). The game will mark the eleventh time since 1987 that the teams met with both ranked.
“They better knuckle up because it’s going to be a physical, tough, hard-nosed football team,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “They got big people, and that’s the way LSU is built.”
In ranked meetings, the all-time record is tied at 5-5. The most recent time it happened was in 2013, when No. 9 Georgia scored in the final two minutes to defeat No. 6 LSU 44-41 in Athens. The teams haven’t met in Baton Rouge since 2008, when the No. 9 Bulldogs routed the No. 11 Tigers 52-38.
With experience in Tiger Stadium as a player and as a coach, Smart knows the difficulty of playing in an atmosphere like Death Valley.
“It’s one of the loudest places in the country to play,” Smart said. “I don’t think our fans will be able to help us when we get inside those lines.”
The Bulldogs have fared well in ranked matchups at Tiger Stadium, holding a 2-1 record. The Bulldogs’ most recent loss in Baton Rouge came in 2003, when LSU was ranked eleventh and the Bulldogs ranked seventh. The teams were ranked in the top five when they met at the end of that regular season — in the SEC Championship game — where LSU claimed the conference title with a 34-13 win at the Georgia Dome.
This season the Tigers suffered a loss the Saturday before hosting the Bulldogs. Wide receiver Terry Godwin understands the feeling that flares after a loss, stemming from Georgia’s loss in Auburn last season before routing Kentucky 42-13 at home.
“They’re going to be greedy, try to be hard-nosed, and they’re going to have a chip on their shoulder,” Godwin said.
The Tigers are 6-0 following a loss under coach Ed Orgeron. The last time LSU lost back-to-back games came in 2015, when the Tigers lost consecutive games to SEC opponents Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss –– two of which were on the road.
“Every week teams get better, get more experienced,” Georgia tight end Isaac Nauta said. “It’s obviously exciting knowing you’re going to go into some of these big games, and that’s what you want to be a part of as a football player.”
While LSU looks to redeem itself after its loss to Florida, Georgia looks to continue its winning streak through four consecutive conference and Top 25 games.
“We just know from this point on we have to be on our ‘A’ game because we know this is our stretch and the meat of our schedule,” Godwin said.
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