Three keys to today’s game
1. Turnovers! Georgia is a dreadful minus-9 in turnover ratio this season (12 giveaways, three takeaways), while LSU is an excellent plus-7 (10 takeaways, 3 giveaways). If both trends continue, a Georgia win would be highly unlikely.
2. Georgia’s defense. It played better last week, although Arizona State’s offense was mediocre at best. While LSU has struggled at times on offense, the Tigers have talented receivers (Brandon LaFell and Terrance Toliver) who will be a big test for Georgia’s shaky secondary.
3. Running games. Neither team has run the ball effectively this season, with LSU ranking 10th and Georgia 11th in the SEC in rushing offense. If either team can establish the run, that could be pivotal. Georgia is looking for improvement from its offensive line.
A Georgia win would ...
Be the Bulldogs’ fourth in a row over LSU, dating to 2004.
Make the Dogs 3-0 in the SEC for the first time since 2005.
Probably mean a big move up in the polls.
An LSU win would ...
Be LSU’s first in Athens since a 26-23 victory in 1987 (0-3 there since then).
Give Les Miles his first victory over Georgia, the only SEC opponent he has not beaten as LSU coach (0-2).
Set the stage for a showdown of undefeated top-5 teams when Florida visits Baton Rouge on Oct. 10.
Keep an eye on ...
For Georgia: The Bulldogs’ past two wins are due in large part to blockbuster games by wide receiver A. J. Green, who will need to deliver again.
For LSU: The Tigers’ secondary has the talent and size to pose Green’s biggest challenge this season. Cornerback Patrick Peterson was, like Green, one of the nation’s most coveted prospects in the 2008 recruiting class, and safety Chad Jones is an elite playmaker.
The numbers game
44.8: Yards rushing per game this season by LSU senior running back Charles Scott, down from 90.3 last season.
105th: LSU’s rank among 120 major-college teams in total offense (310 yards per game).
Last meeting: Georgia won 52-38 in Baton Rouge last year.
Series record: LSU leads 14-12-1, the schools having met only 27 times in football despite both being charter members of the SEC.
The bottom line
Is LSU, ranked No. 4 in both the AP and coaches’ polls, really that good? Is Georgia, ranked No. 18 by AP and No. 14 by the coaches, capable of a special season? This game could provide some answers.
Compiled by Tim Tucker