A week after seeing its undefeated season disappear with a loss to Florida, LSU did the same to Georgia.
The No. 13 Tigers dominated the No. 2 Bulldogs in nearly every facet of the game in a 36-16 win Saturday in Baton Rouge. The win solidifies LSU’s status as Alabama’s biggest challenger in the SEC West and gives life to Florida and Kentucky in their hopes to win the SEC East.
LSU had to settle for five short field goals from kicker Cole Tracy. Constantly having to kick short field goals is typically a recipe for a loss. But that’s not the case when your opponent can’t score. Georgia’s passing game was all out of sorts yet the Bulldogs kept trying to throw it for some reason.
Running backs Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift combined for just 19 carries and 128 yards. Quarterback Jake Fromm was 14-of-31 passing and flustered throughout the day.
Need an example? Fromm’s ill-advised scramble effectively took Georgia out of the game early in the fourth quarter with the Tigers leading 19-9. On third down with six yards to go at the LSU 34, Fromm went towards the left sideline instead of cutting upfield for a few yards and a shot at a field goal. He was sacked for a loss of nine and Georgia was forced to punt.
LSU then went 86 yards in six plays for the game-clinching touchdown on a sneak by QB Joe Burrow. The Tigers then got another field goal after Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman fumbled the kickoff and gave the ball back to LSU.
The Tigers never trailed after taking a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Georgia entered the game trailing for a combined 15 seconds in its first six games of 2018.
What it means in the SEC
Alabama is now the conference’s only undefeated team entering its game against Missouri on Saturday night. The Tide are four-touchdown favorites. LSU remains tied with Texas A&M as a team with one loss in the SEC West but the Aggies have already lost to Alabama. LSU plays Alabama on Nov. 3. If LSU doesn’t lose to anyone else in the conference, the winner of that game will more than likely win the division. And it’s in Baton Rouge.
The East is suddenly much more up in the air. Florida, Georgia and Kentucky are now all tied atop the division with one loss and have yet to play each other. The winner of that three-game series will probably head to the SEC championship game.
But Georgia has bigger plans than simply the SEC championship game. And Saturday is a big setback for those aspirations. Since a two-loss team has never made the playoff, the Bulldogs will likely have to win the rest of their regular season games and the SEC championship game to sniff the playoff.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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