College football’s defending champions will not repeat in 2008. Ninth-ranked Georgia stayed in the national title hunt with a resounding 52-38 win Saturday over No. 11 LSU before 92,904 at Tiger Stadium. The Bulldogs scored the most points by a visiting team against LSU in a non-overtime game since a 58-3 win by No. 5 Florida in 1993.
It was not surprising that Knowshon Moreno, Matthew Stafford, and A.J. Green produced big plays on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge. The fact that the Georgia Bulldogs’ playmakers had so much space in which to operate was a big surprise. The biggest surprise was a substitute middle linebacker, Darryl Gamble, who intercepted two passes and returned both for touchdowns.
Les Miles’s team laid down its national title in the face of Georgia’s full assault, as witnessed by a stunned home crowd in Baton Rouge. Georgia certainly has the ability to light up the scoreboard, given the NFL-caliber talents it possesses at running back with Moreno, at quarterback with Stafford, and at wide receiver with Green. The Bulldogs were expected to struggle against the Tigers because their offensive line had been eroded.
Replacements and adjustments on Georgia’s offensive line worked to perfection, as an inspired bunch handled the front seven of LSU’s defensive unit. The running lanes opened wide. The passing lanes proved to be pristine in their clarity. Whatever Georgia and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo chose to do, it worked.
Georgia’s dominance at the line of scrimmage enabled the Bulldogs to break open a close game in the third quarter. Stafford hit Green on a 49-yard touchdown play to turn a 24-17 halftime lead into a 31-17 cushion. Then Moreno needed just a small piece of daylight to scoot 68 yards with the home-run play that broke LSU’s back. Georgia’s second half surge overwhelmed the Tigers.
We knew that Georgia had the prime players on the skills positions going into this game. The difference was the Bulldogs’ overachieving offensive. Now for the BIG IF: IF this offensive line can block Florida’s front seven with the same level of precision next week in Jacksonville, these Georgia Bulldogs will win the SEC East and stay in the national picture for a spot in the BCS Championship Game.
Quote of the Day:
Vegetarian is an old Indian word meaning bad hunter.