Week 4 of the college football season is jam-packed with marquee matchups.
The chosen spot for ESPN's College GameDay broadcast is none other than Athens, Ga., as the Georgia Bulldogs will host the LSU Tigers in a key SEC matchup.
According to the show’s producer, Lee Fitting, there will be a pair of celebrities on the panel to join ESPN analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler Davis and Lee Corso.
Fowler later expounded on the celebs who would be on set. Golf star Bubba Watson and Willie Robertson of Duck and Buck Commander will be the dueling pickers.
Here’s a look at the LSU-Georgia matchups.
Who Will Emerge as Legitimate Threat to Reach National Championship?
Georgia has played the most challenging schedule in the nation through four weeks. Sure the Bulldogs had a break last week against North Texas, but its game against LSU on Saturday will be the Bulldogs' third contest against a Top 6 team.
If Georgia can finish its first four games of the season at 3-1, the Bulldogs have to consider themselves in good shape. The schedule the rest of the way figures to be much easier for them with only one team left on the ledger that is currently ranked in the Top 25.
If the Bulldogs get some help along the way, they could still play for a national championship even with one loss.
LSU hasn’t been tested as of yet this season. The Tigers won their only game against a ranked opponent in Week 1, when they defeated No. 20 TCU, 37-27.
While LSU is 4-0, Georgia marks the beginning of a difficult stretch for the Tigers, who will play five more games against ranked opponents the rest of the way.
This could be the beginning of an impressive run for the Tigers, or it could be a fall from contention for a national championship.
Aaron Murray’s play has been solid this season.
He has tossed seven touchdown passes and only two interceptions. He has also eclipsed the 300-yard mark in passing every game this season. Despite those gaudy numbers, the Bulldogs haven’t been the most efficient team on third downs.
The Bulldogs rank just 76th in the nation in third-down conversions, per CFBStats.com. If that trend continues, it could create a problem against the Tigers. LSU's pass defense has been a strength despite a young secondary.
LSU has allowed only 173 yards passing per game and has three interceptions to only one touchdown pass allowed. This could be a function of having played against lesser competition, but there is no doubt that the Tigers’ defense will still represent a challenge for the Bulldogs.
Getting pressure on the quarterback has been a problem for LSU, though. The Tigers have only managed seven sacks through three games, as Jordan Allen leads the team with just two quarterback takedowns.
Expect to see the Tigers blitz Murray to create more pressure. The way Murray handles the LSU blitz will play a major role in determining the winner.
LSU will need to use eight men in the box to try and slow down Bulldogs’ stud running back Todd Gurley. If the Tigers can mask blitzes with those players in the box, it will create some tough scenarios for Murray.
Ultimately, I see Murray stepping up to play a smart and strong game at home. The Tigers won’t be able to shut down the Bulldogs’ attack and that will force Zach Mettenberger to step outside of his normal role as a game manager.
This one will be a shootout and the Bulldogs simply have more firepower. Georgia wins, 40-28, at home.
Take a look at the full college football schedule for Week 4.
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