Georgia-LSU: It’s Time for Matthew Stafford to Become a Prime Time Player

NC NighthawkAnalyst IOctober 23, 2008

Georgia-LSU is such an exciting, competitive game because not only is it an SEC matchup, this contest also presents the defending national champions, LSU, against the preseason number one-ranked team, Georgia. With each team having endured a blowout loss, another setback would almost certainly derail either's hopes of getting back to the top.

Mark Richt excels at preparing his team for road games, but this will be a special challenge for him, because Georgia is going to go on the road now for 42 straight days before they’ll play again at home in Athens. They have to play LSU and Florida in this tough stretch.

It is time for Mark Richt's quarterback to step up his game to the next level in order to win a couple games here. Matthew Stafford is extremely talented, but he occasionally throws a critical interception. Moreno's presence has helped camouflage some struggles from junior quarterback Matthew Stafford recently. After not throwing an interception in the Bulldogs' first five wins, Stafford has thrown five in his last three games, including two apiece against Tennessee and Vanderbilt. However, with Moreno in the backfield and freshman A.J. Green, the SEC's leading receiver, to throw to, Stafford feels like Georgia's offense is on the verge of a breakout performance. Mark Richt lived through his quarterback’s mistakes as a freshman and he got better at the end of last year. However, Georgia’s investment in a young player needs to pay huge dividends because this is one of these games where a veteran quarterback, who has been through all the wars in the SEC, should be able to lift his team and give them a great shot to win.

For LSU, it's close to being an elimination game in the West race. The Tigers can't afford to give Alabama a two-game cushion. For Georgia, a loss here doesn't doom the Bulldogs in the East race, because they would still get a chance to claim the head-to-head tiebreaker by beating Florida on Nov. 1. However, the loser here can certainly forget about the national championship.

Neither LSU nor Georgia has had that breakout game this season, and each has suffered a thorough beating. The teams are pretty even, but the difference in the game may be LSU's offensive line, which is healthier and better than Georgia’s offensive line.

The Silver Fox Forecast: LSU 30, Georgia 24


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