Lee Corso and College Gameday will be in Athens for the top ten showdown between the 6th ranked LSU Tigers and 9th ranked Georgia Bulldogs. This marquee matchup features two teams with their sights set on playing for the National Championship.
A loss in this game would be detrimental for either team’s title hopes, but would all but eliminate the ‘Dawgs from contention. Georgia lost its season opener to Clemson so avoiding a second loss makes this as close to a must-win in September as you can get. If Georgia can get past LSU, Florida will be the only team remaining on their schedule that should prove challenging.
LSU comes to Athens undefeated and a loss would not necessarily remove BCS National Championship aspirations. However, the toughest part of the LSU schedule is still to come. Including the Georgia game, LSU has five top 25 games and three top 10 opponents left on their schedule. A loss against Georgia would be tough to overcome as the Tigers still have to play Alabama in Tuscaloosa and host Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in Death Valley.
The game features two elite SEC Quarterbacks with Aaron Murray fresh off a game that saw him eclipse the 100 career touchdown mark and Zach Mettenberger who is playing his best football of his career. Mettenberger originally signed with Georgia out of high school and was roommates with the quarterback he will oppose on Saturday.
“I don’t know anybody else who’s had to go back and play the team that they got kicked off of,” Mettenberger told Glenn Guillbeau of USA TODAY Sports in July. “It could be easy for myself to go out there and want to throw for 500 yards and eight touchdowns. You can’t force that. You’ve just got to play within yourself and put the ball in the playmaker’s hands and just trust the coach that he’ll call the right play at the right time.”
The quarterbacks will get the attention before the game, but it’s the starting running backs for each team who likely will determine the outcome of this SEC crossover. Todd Gurley is one of the best players in the nation and leads Georgia with 377 yards on the ground and LSU’s Jeremy Hill is up to 350 yards on the season in basically two games. Hill is coming off a career game and as a result of his 184 yards vs. Auburn and was named the SEC player of the week.
This will be the first time these teams have met since the 2011 SEC Championship Game, where LSU overcame an early ten point deficit scoring 42 unanswered points to win the game 42-10. Tyrann Mathieu put together an incredible performance with two huge punt returns, one for a touchdown. He also recovered a fumble to cap off a great night. Morris Claiborne also played well he ran back an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.
This Saturday the game will be completely different. In 2011 LSU won by 32 despite having 12 total yards in the first half and 30 passing yards throughout the entire game. While LSU does have a dynamic return man in Odell Beckham, expect the game to be full of offense. This will be a thrilling showdown featuring two all-around great offenses and unproven defenses. Expect a great game between two teams with a lot to play for.