Georgia put an exclamation point on its status as the No. 1 team in the country and a lock to make the College Football Playoff with a dominant 50-30 victory over No. 14 LSU in the 2022 SEC Championship Game on Saturday.
The Bulldogs racked up 35 points in the first half thanks to four touchdown passes from Stetson Bennett. It's his first game with at least four touchdown passes since Nov. 27, 2021.
LSU faced an uphill battle against a Bulldogs team that had been dominant all season. Quarterback Jayden Daniels suffered an apparent leg injury in the first half that made the task even more difficult.
Head coach Brian Kelly sat Daniels in the second half with his team trailing 35-10 to start the third quarter. Redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier played well in what amounted to two quarters of mop-up duty, throwing for 294 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Most the talk after the game was about how unstoppable this Georgia team looks heading into the playoff:
If there is one image to sum up the difference in this game, it came in the first half when Bulldogs star defensive lineman Jalen Carter lifted Daniels off the ground with one arm and raised the index finger to signal No. 1 with his other hand.
If there is one flaw Georgia showed in this game, it was on pass defense. Daniels and Nussmeier combined to go 31-of-51 for 502 yards and three touchdown passes.
This is, admittedly, a nitpick because the Bulldogs were so far ahead in the first half that they were content to let LSU pick up yardage to keep the clock running. Their defense still forced three turnovers, including Robert Beal Jr.'s strip-sack of Nussmeier late in the fourth quarter to end the game.
Georgia's offense picked up 529 yards with a near 50-50 split between passing yards (274) and rushing yards (255). Bennett averaged 9.4 yards per attempt. Kendall Milton had 113 yards on the ground on just eight carries.
The College Football Playoff selection committee has had Georgia ranked in the top spot for four weeks. The reigning national champions have won nine of 13 games by at least 20 points.
There has been no indication at this point in the season that anyone is capable of hanging with the Bulldogs. It's unclear who they will play in the College Football Playoff semifinal, especially with No. 3 TCU and No. 4 USC losing their conference title games this weekend.
Regardless of which team gets the final spot in this year's playoff field, Georgia will rightly be deemed a heavy favorite coming off an undefeated regular season and its first SEC championship since 2017.