Football Atlanta - Online

Georgia Dominates LSU In SEC Championship Game, Secures Spot As #1 Playoff Seed


By Don Stone - Georgia Football Magazine and Football Atlanta

  I have to admit, I haven't seen a bizarre play like the one in the first quarter that gave Georgia a 7-0 lead. LSU's drive stalled after a Chaz Chambers sack of Jayden Daniels forced a field goal attempt. But, the kick was blocked by Nazir Stackhouse with the ball resting on the four yard line. It laid there for several seconds as the Tiger players began heading to their sideline. But, Christpher Smith (the game's defensive player and special teams player of the game for good reason) looked at it, looked around, then scooped it up and took off for a 94 yard touchdown run. The smart move gave Georgia a quick 7-0 lead.

  "That's a scenario we go over a lot," said Smith. "We know the ball past the line of scrimmage, we had an opportunity to be able to pick it up. I was waiting for the go to get it from the sideline."

  Another strange play happened early in the second quarter when a Daniel pass bounced off the top of Jack Bech's helmet into the hands of Smael Mondon Jr. who downed it for an interception deep in LSU territory at their 22 yard line. On the next play, Stetson Bennett hit Ladd McConkey in the end zone for a commanding 21-7 lead.

  From there, the Bulldogs never looked back taking control of the game with a 35-7 halftime lead.

  To the Tigers' credit, they came out in the second half swinging with 10 unanswered points. But, every time they added points, UGA answered. Eventually, the Dawgs made it impossible to catch up with a dominating 50-30 win.

  For the third straight championship game, Bennett was named the player of the game with Georgia passing for four touchdowns and racking up 529 yards of offense.

   "I've got good players around me," Bennett said. "I'm not that bad at football either. We've got a good team."

  Parts of it were not pretty as the secondary gave up 502 yards through the air, something Georgia will have to work on in the next three weeks as they await their opponent in the CFP Semifinal Game back in this same building for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve.

  With both #3 TCU and #4 USC losing in their respective championship games, the playoff picture has a bit of chaos awaiting.

  Georgia will remain the number one seed and host whoever winds up at number four. Michigan should face number three. With just one close loss to a good Kansas State team in a championship game, my guess is that TCU will still hold onto the #3 spot. And likely, a one loss Ohio State team at #5 will move into the #4 spot and face UGA.

  Kirby Smart talked about who they might face..."It didn't matter. To me, that's so far away that, like, we don't control it. Number two, so far away you got time to prepare for it. My focus has been on this because I told those kids, I don't want one kid to walk out of our program without an SEC championship ring for their career. That was about to happen if we didn't get that one. They said enough was enough tonight. They got 'em one."

  The announcement will be made at noon on Sunday. Then, the fun begins again.