theknightswhosay

Rivalry Series: LSU vs. Georgia

In College Football, General LSU, Rivalry on September 27, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Series Facts
(All records updated as of 2018)

LSU leads the series, 17-13-1
In Baton Rouge, LSU leads, 6-5-1
In Athens, the series is tied, 7-7
In other locations (Atlanta 4 times, the first in 1944; and Columbus, Ga., once), LSU leads, 4-1

Other facts:
* Before the 2018 game, each team had won 7 of the last 14 games in the series. In those games, Georgia had outscored LSU 353-348.
• Six games in the series have been decided by 3 points or fewer.
• LSU won the first 7 meetings (including the last 3 in a row in Georgia [5 total]), which has not been duplicated), before Georgia won the next 3.
• Georgia has only won back-to-back games in Baton Rouge once, 1952 and 1978. The Bulldogs did go 3-0-1 in Baton Rouge from 1948-1978. LSU won two in a row at home twice, 1936&1943 and 1986&1990.
• LSU last won consecutive games in Athens in 1951 and 1953.
• The 90 points scored between the two teams in 2008 were easily the most in series history. Then in 2013, Georgia won, 44-41. There is a tie for third at 61 points between the 2004 game (45-16, Georgia) and the 1944 game (34-27, LSU).
• The lowest-scoring games were a 7-0 Georgia win in 1949 and a 7-0 LSU win in 1951. There has not been a shutout since, although there were three before 1949.
• The 27 total points scored in 2003 are the lowest point total in the series since LSU won 14-6 in 1953.

Since 2003, the year of the Saban national championship, there have been several important games between LSU and Georgia. Unlike LSU-Florida and LSU-Auburn, these games aren’t close on the scoreboard with any regularity.

That only leaves 3 games worth talking about in detail, so I decided to center the discussion around those. The games before 2003 are mentioned at the end.

2003

In 2003, LSU was ranked #11 and Georgia was ranked #7 going into the game. Both programs were ascendant under Nick Saban (in his 4th year) and Mark Richt (in his 3rd year), respectively. After neither had come close for several years, LSU (2001) and Georgia (2002) had been the two most-recent SEC Champions. It was the first time Saban was the head coach against Georgia and the first time Richt was the head coach against LSU. Richt isn’t even in the SEC anymore, but LSU saw him again just a few weeks ago; and I don’t have to remind Georgia fans of the last time they saw Saban.

After LSU led 7-3 at halftime and 10-3 after three quarters, Georgia scored a touchdown on a 93-yard screen pass with 4:25 left on the clock. LSU responded in just over 3 minutes with a touchdown of its own, a 34-yard pass from Matt Mauck to Skyler Green to win 17-10, the lowest-scoring game in the series since 1953.
LSU won that game after being out-gained 411-285. Georgia had 23 first downs to 16 for LSU, which was only 5 of 18 on third downs. The Bulldogs had more yards per rush, had more yards per pass, and were penalized for fewer yards. Georgia lost by missing three field goals and losing the turnover battle 3-2. The Bulldogs also turned the ball over on downs once in LSU territory. LSU also did very well in kickoff returns: 86 yards in 3 attempts.

After LSU had a 19-7 loss at the hands of Florida a few weeks later, it appeared the season was headed downhill after the big win over the Bulldogs, but the Tiger offense really got going in Columbia the week after the Florida game and except for a couple of speed-bumps (Ole Miss and the second half against Oklahoma), it would carry the Tigers to their second SEC Championship in 3 years and first major-poll national championship in 45 years.

But on the way there, they had to get past that same Georgia team (whose only other loss was also to Florida). It was much easier the second time even though it was just about in the Bulldogs’ back yard in Atlanta. The game was a contest between the last two SEC champions, who had each won for the first time after the Florida-Tennessee-Alabama stranglehold had begun to loosen.

The game wasn’t very interesting, as LSU won 34-13, but the story outside the game was interesting. Somehow Oklahoma, #1 going into the day, got blown out but stayed #1 in the BCS, while LSU moved up to #2. There was a bonus for beating quality opponents, but there was some controversy since LSU could not get the bonus twice for beating Georgia. But ultimately, it didn’t matter because Georgia fell out of the top 10 after LSU beat them anyway.

The BCS had so many different wrinkles at that time that it was hard to predict. LSU even arguably got an assist when Boise St. finished off Hawaii early the next morning Eastern time. It improved LSU’s strength of schedule since the Tigers had beaten Louisiana Tech, which played Boise St., and weakened USC’s strength of schedule since the Trojans had beaten Hawaii. That was just the last of a number of games that in some way had a bearing on the final numbers.

Georgia would finish 11-3, with the only other loss coming to Florida by a field goal. So in hindsight, these were probably two of the four best teams that season.

Close Games since 2003

I’ll backtrack to the 2004, 2005, and 2008 games, but I wanted to cover the only other one that was competitive.

Neither LSU nor Georgia was close to as good as the 2003 teams in 2009 in Athens, LSU’s first game between the hedges since the 2004 blowout loss.

It was another low-scoring game, but the last 3 minutes were intense. Early in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs scored the game’s first touchdown to take a 7-6 lead after an 18-play, 80-yard drive. The next four drives all ended in punts. LSU then had a 13-play, 88-yard drive to take back the lead with 2:53 remaining.
The next drive was much easier for the Bulldogs. Although there was an incompletion and a couple of runs of no significance, it only took Georgia three completed passes (the last one to A.J. Green) to get all the way down the field and into the end zone.

Apparently even 6 years after the 2003 game, Georgia still had no answer to LSU’s kickoff returning. Trindon Holliday returned the ensuing kickoff 40 yards. With the help of two penalties (including a personal foul after the score), this gave LSU the ball at the Georgia 38. All LSU had to do at that point was hand off to Charles Scott twice, and the Tigers took the lead for good, 20-13.

And now for something completely different…

2013 was an offensive contest between LSU led by Zach Mettenberger (a Georgia transfer) and Georgia led by Aaron Murray.

With 11:31 left in the second quarter, LSU punted with the game tied at 14. No other drive ended with a punt. Georgia would kick a field goal on its next drive. LSU answered with a field goal. Georgia then scored a touchdown in the final 30 seconds of the first half. When LSU got the ball to start the second half, they kicked another field goal. Georgia then responded with a field goal of their own to go back up 7.

LSU’s ensuing drive stalled at about the Georgia 40. Then on 3rd and 9, Mettenberger found Jarvis Landry for a touchdown.

It was now up to the LSU defense to give the Tigers a chance to take the lead. Georgia went 3 and out, but the chance to take the lead was not to be. Punt returner Odell Beckham fumbled the 48-yard punt to give the Bulldogs the ball at the LSU 20.

LSU’s defense couldn’t come through a second time, and Georgia scored to go back up a touchdown.

Mettenberger, with the help of Landry, Beckham, and Jeremy Hill, tied the game again. Then, on the next possession, the Tigers had some life after Georgia had to settle for a field goal. LSU converted a 3rd and 22 on a pass to Beckham, who would give the Tigers a first and goal a few plays later. This did allow LSU to take the lead 41-37.

Then Georgia took just over two minutes to take the lead back, 44-41, with just under two minutes left in the game. After LSU got one first down (Mettenberger to Beckham), the next four passes all fell incomplete. I don’t know if the Georgia defense finally showed up or there ust wasn’t enough time left for LSU to stay in its comfort zone and have a credible running threat, but all that was left was for Georgia to kneel.

2013 was the closest LSU came to trying to win games with quarterback play in the last several years. Mettenberger threw for over 200 yards 9 times and for over 300 yards 3 times (including for 372 against Georgia).

2004-2008

The 2005 Georgia win was part of a three-game Georgia winning streak that started in 2004, when the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 45-10 in Athens.

Georgia had to wait until 2008, the season known by Tiger fans for Jarrett Lee pick-6 specials, to pick up the third win, 52-38. That was the most points scored by an opposing team in Tiger Stadium since Steve Spurrier’s Florida team won 58-3 15 years before.

1928-1999

I believe Georgia and Alabama are the only two SEC series where LSU has a better record on the road than at home (LSU won two true road games outside of Athens, so this is still true despite the 2013 result). LSU plays both on the road this season in what may be the two biggest games.

After playing with some frequency in the 1940s and earlly 1950s, the two teams went 25 years between games, finally meeting again in 1978. From that point forward, Georgia leads 8-7.

The series has proceed in streaks. Georgia won in 1978 and 1979. The next three games—1986, 1987, and 1990—were all won by LSU.

The Tigers would have some success in the mid-1990s, but they did not meet the Bulldogs in those years. Georgia would win in 1991, 1998, and 1999. The one-point win in 1998 was one of the games that started a downward spiral for LSU, eventually leading to Gerry DiNardo’s departure after 10 games (including another one-point loss to the Bulldogs) in 1999.

Team List:
Alabama (2011 pre-game)
Arkansas
Auburn (2010 post-game)
Florida
Mississippi St.
Ole Miss
(Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas A&M

Special editions:
Pac-12

Advertisements
  1. that was a he!! of a game. Surprised at all the O.

  2. […] List: Alabama (Pregames: 2011, 2013) Arkansas Auburn (2010 post-game) Florida Georgia Mississippi St. Ole Miss (Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina Tennessee Texas […]

  3. […] List: Alabama (Pregames: 2011, 2013) Arkansas Auburn (2010 post-game) Florida Georgia Mississippi St. Ole Miss (Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina Tennessee Texas […]

  4. […] List: Alabama (Pregames: 2011, 2013) Arkansas Auburn (2010 post-game) Florida Georgia Kentucky Mississippi St. (Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina Tennessee Texas […]

  5. […] List: Arkansas Auburn (2010 post-game) Florida Georgia Kentucky Mississippi St. Ole Miss (Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina Tennessee Texas […]

  6. […] Rivalry Entries eam List: Alabama (Pregames: 2011, 2013) Arkansas Auburn (2010 post-game) Florida Georgia Kentucky Mississippi St. Ole Miss (Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina Tennessee Texas […]

  7. […] List: Alabama (Pregames: 2011, 2013) Arkansas Auburn (2010 post-game) Florida Georgia Kentucky Mississippi St. Ole Miss (Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina Tennessee Texas […]

  8. […] I get to anything currently going on, I updated and revised my LSU-Georgia Series blog. Usually I only do this after games and it’s primarily to update the records, but it’s […]

  9. […] I get to anything currently going on, I updated and revised my LSU-Georgia Series blog. Usually I only do this after games and it’s primarily to update the records, but it’s […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: