January 31, 2023

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Georgia Bullies LSU 50-30 To SEC Championship Title

LSU fought a hard fight, but Georgia was the number one team for a reason and was the better team in the 50-30 win to clinch the Bulldogs the SEC Championship and the number one seed in the College Football Playoff. (Photo taken by Billy Metcalf)

The Georgia Bulldogs bully the LSU Tigers 50-30 to win the SEC Championship and also clinches what is a number one seed in the College Football Playoff as an undefeated 13-0 squad.

“We came here with a plan to have a connected assault. We talked about it all week. We wanted our team to stay connected, and they did that.”

“I’m proud of ’em. They handled that all year. I want to give a lot of credit to Brian Kelly and the LSU team that never went away, never quit fighting. They did a really good job of fighting and pushing through, but this has been a different group. You guys have tried to label them, tried to figure ’em out, tried to analyze ’em. They’re not comprehendible. They do what they have to do, and they do it really well. They care about each other and they really do it for each other.”

Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart

For Kirby Smart, this is his second SEC Championship victory and first since 2017. This win also marked the first win for Kirby Smart against LSU. Sparked by two of the wackiest plays that you will find in a college football game, the Bulldogs carried those two plays like a title wave.

The first play would define how the game would go for both teams. After what was a 69-yard drive by the LSU Tigers, Damian Ramos would attempt a 32-yard field goal, but it was blocked by Georgia’s Nazier Stackhouse. What happened after that was one of the wackiest touchdowns scored by anyone all year long. As the Tigers’ special teams unit was coming off the field after the blocked field goal, Georgia’s Christopher Smith realized after a while that the ball was still live. He then picked up the ball and ran 96 yards for the touchdown to give Georgia an early 7-0 lead.

“That’s a scenario we go over a lot. 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.”

Georgia DB Christopher Smith on touchdown

LSU would respond quickly as Jayden Daniels hit a wide-open Kayshon Boutte, who scampered past the Bulldogs defense 53 yards for the tying score.

However, from that point on, Georgia turned the amp all the way up to 11 outscoring the Tigers 28-3 the rest of the first half to give the Bulldogs a commanding 35-10 halftime lead.

The second wacky play fueled the big second quarter for the Bulldogs. That play occurred when the football bounced off Jack Bech’s helmet and was intercepted in mid-air by Georgia’s Smael Mondon. The very next play, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett throws a touchdown pass to Ladd McConkey to extend the Bulldogs lead at 21-7 after Bennett threw a touchdown pass to star tight end Brock Bowers the previous drive.

“Well, I was familiar with the plays. We repped them a lot during the week, during the season. We had executed them during the week. When it’s the SEC Championship, you kind of got to play confident. If you don’t, then they’re going to beat you.”

Georgia QB Stetson Bennett on performance

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett has had an incredible story, but that story could have a very happy ending as the sixth-year senior and former walk-on has a chance to become one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in college football history and win back-to-back national championships. This was a big step forward for the Mailman, who delivered with four first half touchdown passes including the two mentioned earlier and two more to Darnell Washington and Dillon Bell.

“The guy is really good, he’s really athletic, he plays within our system and he makes everybody better around him. Nobody watches more tape and prepares more than he does.”

Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart on Stetson Bennett

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels was clearly hampered by the ankle injury he suffered against Texas A&M as he was basically hobbling on one leg. Daniels would finish the first half, but would not come back in the football game for the second half. Daniels would finish the game completing 16 of 24 passes for 208 yards and the touchdown pass to Boutte.

“I thought he started off really well. He was throwing the ball accurate. The early drive, obviously. He looked good, poised in the pocket.

“It was second quarter, when he stepped up in the pocket, he got rolled up on. It was a re-injury, re-injured the ankle that had been injured.”

“But, no, I think he felt good, looked good. Our assessment was that he was moving the team in the manner that we wanted him to. It was just a matter of getting rolled up again.”

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Jayden Daniels’ injury

Backup quarterback Garrett Nussmeier had an impressive second half and made things interesting by completing 15 of 27 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns (one to Malik Nabers and the other to Jaray Jenkins). He also led another touchdown drive that was capped off by a Noah Cain touchdown run. LSU could not cut it within striking distance as the LSU defense could not slow down the Georgia ground game in the second half.

“Obviously how we looked at it didn’t matter. Quarterback came in. There were just plays to be made on the field. I feel like Garrett gave us opportunities to make plays on the field and we did it in the second half.

“I was very proud of the offense that we didn’t give up, we kept striving and putting plays together.”

LSU WR Malik Nabers

Georgia’s running back trio of Kendall Milton, Daijun Edwards, and Kenny McIntosh ran for 245 yards on the ground and two touchdowns with both scoring runs coming from McIntosh. Georgia also added a two-point conversion on a Philly Special play from Adonai Mitchell to Darnell Washington in order to put 50 points on the scoreboard.

The game was surprisingly high scoring as the 80 combined points was the third highest scoring SEC Championship Game in history. Also, LSU’s 502 total passing yards is a championship game record and it was the first time that two different quarterbacks (Jayden Daniels and Garrett Nussmeier) would throw for over 200 yards each in the same game. Also, Malik Nabers and Kayshon Boutte had over 100 yards receiving making it the fourth time in SEC Championship Game history that two receivers had more than 100 yards each receiving in one game.

“Yeah, he did some really good things. He’s called upon to come in and be aggressive, which he was. For a guy that’s coming in off not playing a lot of football, really pleased.”

“Look, there’s a learning experience out there. There’s some throws that obviously he’d like to have back. Look, he’s got a quarterback mentality that he wants to be aggressive. As Malik said, he’s pushing the ball down the field, giving these guys a chance to make some plays down the field, and they did.”

“Sometimes there are plays where they’re 50/50 balls, but he gives them a chance to make some plays. He did a nice job with that.”

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Garrett Nussmeier’s performance

It was Georgia’s quarterback Stetson Bennett that had the most impressive performance and was on the winning end thanks to his efficiency. His four touchdown passes were more than enough to give him SEC Championship MVP honors.

“Yeah, winning the SEC is a big deal. This is the best conference in football. National championship is huge and great. That’s our goal, but SEC is the first goal, second goal after winning the East. Winning the SEC Championship, there’s only one of those. It’s a banner. It’s the same thing as a national championship, just a little bit smaller scale.”

Georgia QB Stetson Bennett on winning the SEC

This is Georgia’s 14th SEC Championship, which only trails Alabama (29). The win certainly locks up their number one ranking and most likely another game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the Peach Bowl Semifinal game will be held.

“So proud of this group. All they wanted to do- they kept talking about doing something last year’s group didn’t do. They had really good, physical practices this week and I’m so proud of the way they prepared for this game. So proud of this university, this fanbase to get an opportunity to come in this place and play in this game is just a great honor.”

Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart

Meanwhile, the LSU Tigers have had an incredible first year under Brian Kelly. Just even making the SEC Championship game was an accomplishment in itself, but the Tigers have simply just run out of gas in the final two games against Texas A&M and Georgia.

“The best team won today, but I love the way this team competed and fought. Unfortunately, we were not clean enough in certain areas against the No. 1 team in the country.”

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly

Next up for the 9-4 LSU Tigers, they will wait for their bowl game, which will most likely be the Citrus Bowl among other potential games.

Check out some of the photos taken by our own Billy Metcalf, who took photos of some of the high points for the Tigers during the SEC Championship Game.

Pregame (Twitter Updates Throughout The Game):

1st Quarter:

2nd Quarter:

3rd Quarter:

4th Quarter:

Final Stats:

Offensive Cumulative Stats:

STATLSUGeorgia
NET TOTAL YARDS549529
NET RUSHING YARDS47255
Rushing Attempts2044
Average Per Rush2.45.8
Rushing TDs12
Yards Gained80273
Yards Lost3318
NET PASSING YARDS502274
Completion-Attempts31-5223-29
Completion Percentage60%79%
Avg Per Completion16.211.9
YAC142164
Passing TDs34
Drops (%)0 (00%)1 (03%)
TOTAL 1ST DOWNS2327
Rushing 1st Downs29
Passing 1st Downs2016
Penalty 1st Downs12
TOTAL PLAYS7273
Avg Yds/Play7.67.2
Rushing-Passing20-5244-29

Offense Efficiency Comparison:

STATLSUGeorgia
RED ZONE ATTEMPTS1-35-5
Red Zone Points636
RZ TDs Rush-Pass1-02-3
RZ FG Made-Att0-10-0
RZ Turns10
3rd Downs4-137-13
4th Downs1-20-0
Penalties3-244-33
Fumbles-Lost1-12-1
Pts Off Turns77
POSSESSION TIME24:0235:58

Special Teams Comparison:

STATLSUGeorgia
Punts-Avg4-43.34-51.8
Inside2013
Field Goals1-20-1
Kick Returns0-01-20
Punt Returns1-00-0

Defensive Comparison:

STATLSUGeorgia
TACKLES7253
Solo Tackles4637
Tackles for Loss68
TFL Yards-9-35
Pass Breakups04
QB Hurries11
Sacks04
Sacks Yards-0-29
Takeaways FR-INT1-01-2
Forced Fumbles11
Fumble Recoveries11
FR Yards00
Interceptions02
INT Yards03
TDs INT-FR0-00-0

LSU Passing:

#PLAYERC-AYDSTDIC%RTG
13NUSSMEIER,G15-272942156164.1
5DANIELS,J16-242081167144.9
PASS TOTALS31-525023260

LSU Receiving:

#PLAYERNOYDSTDLNGAVGTGTC%YACDR
7BOUTTE,K610715317.81250550
86TAYLOR,M66302710.5875170
8NABERS,M512815925.6863260
10JENKINS,J37213324310080
2LACY,K34302014.356040
27WILLIAMS,J3190156.3475130
80BECH,J24302321.5367130
11THOMAS JR.,B2240151272950
4EMERY JR.,J13033110010
9 RECEIVERS3150235916.251611420

LSU Rushing:

#PLAYERATTYDSTDLNGAVG
27WILLIAMS,J6550479.2
21CAIN,N37152.3
4EMERY JR.,J44031
5DANIELS,J6-605-1
13NUSSMEIER,G1-1300-13
5 RUSHERS20471472.4

LSU Punting:

PunterNOYDSAVGLNGI2050+
BRAMBLETT,J417343.35111

LSU Field Goals:

KickerTimeDistResult
D.Ramos1st-03:3332BLKD
D.Ramos2nd-00:0042GOOD
TOTAL1-2LONG OF 42

LSU All Purpose Yards:

PlayerTotRushRecKORPRIR-FRTDs
NABERS,M12801280001
BOUTTE,K10701070001
WILLIAMS,J7455190000

LSU Defense:

#Player (Starter)TotTkSoloSackTFLIntBrUpQBHFF
40H.Perkins Jr. (LB)10801.50001
23M.Baskerville (LB)9600.50000
28M.Burns (DB)8700.50000
3G.Brooks Jr. (S)74000000
5J.Ward (DB)64010000
24J.Bernard-Converse63000000
30G.Penn III (LB)52000000
2M.Garner (DB)42000000
18B.Ojulari (DE)43010010
11A.Gaye (DE)32010000
99J.Roy (DL)3200.50000
13J.Foucha20000000
15S.Ryan22000000
80J.Bech10000000
90J.Guillory11000000
92M.Wingo (DL)10000000
TOTALS7246060011

LSU Punt Returns:

ReturnerNOYDSAVGLNGTD
CLAYTON JR.,G100000

LSU Kick Returns:

ReturnerNOYDSAVGLNGTD

LSU Team Stats By Quarter:

1stRushPassCAITotYAvg3rdsPens
1st810-1013-14810-13-01586.92-41-4
2nd33–713-606-13-1533.30-31-15
3rd55-527-1295-7-018115.10-11-5
4th72–819-16510-19-11577.52-50-0
Total2320-4752-50231-52-25497.64-133-24

LSU Scoring Summary:

QtrClockScoreTypePlayDriveScore
102:21TDPASSK.Boutte 53 yd reception thrown by J.Daniels
PAT kick by D.Ramos (GOOD)
3/75/1:127-7
200:00FGD.Ramos 42 yd Field Goal7/51/0:3235-10
310:33TDPASSM.Nabers 34 yd reception thrown by G.Nussmeier
PAT kick by D.Ramos (GOOD)
3/57/0:5135-17
301:46TDRUSHN.Cain 1 yd rush
PAT pass by G.Nussmeier (FAIL)
4/65/1:4642-23
407:12TDPASSJ.Jenkins 33 yd reception thrown by G.Nussmeier
PAT kick by D.Ramos (GOOD)
7/83/1:5550-30

Georgia Passing:

#PLAYERC-AYDSTDIC%RTG
13BENNETT,S23-292744079204.2

Georgia Receiving:

#PLAYERNOYDSTDLNGAVGTGTC%YACDR
19BOWERS,B68113213.56100450
84MCCONKEY,L56912213.8683310
1ROSEMY-JACKSAINT,M34701815.7475240
8BLAYLOCK,D22301211.5210000
6MCINTOSH,K212096367270
10JACKSON,K119019191100220
0WASHINGTON,D11411414110000
11SMITH,A170771100100
86BELL,D1313333301
2MILTON,K1-100-1110050
10 RECEIVERS2327443211.929791641

Georgia Rushing:

#PLAYERATTYDSTDLNGAVG
2MILTON,K811305114.1
30EDWARDS,D12770286.4
6MCINTOSH,K14552103.9
22ROBINSON,B520084
13BENNETT,S2-602-3
5 RUSHERS442552515.8

Georgia Punting:

PunterNOYDSAVGLNGI2050+
THORSON,B420751.85633

Georgia Field Goals:

KickerTimeDistResult
J.Podlesny2nd-08:2143MISSED
TOTAL0-1LONG OF 0

Georgia All Purpose Yards:

PlayerTotRushRecKORPRIR-FRTDs
MILTON,K112113-10000
EDWARDS,D9777020000
BOWERS,B810810001

Georgia Defense:

#Player (Starter)TotTkSoloSackTFLIntBrUpQBHFF
2S.Mondon Jr. (LB)64001010
22J.Bullard65000000
10J.Dumas-Johnson (LB)52000100
3K.Lassiter (DB)4300.50100
5K.Ringo (DB)44000000
24M.Starks (DB)43000000
88J.Carter (DL)42120100
29C.Smith (DB)33011000
33R.Beal Jr. (LB)32110001
90T.Walthour3111.50000
14D.Daniel-Sisavanh22000000
32C.Chambliss22110000
0R.Davis11000000
1N.Green11000000
13M.Williams11010000
15T.Marshall10000100
23T.Smith10000000
78N.Stackhouse (DL)10000000
96Z.Logue11000000
97W.Brinson00000000
TOTALS5337482411

Georgia Punt Returns:

ReturnerNOYDSAVGLNGTD

Georgia Kick Returns:

ReturnerNOYDSAVGLNGTD
EDWARDS,D12020200

Georgia Team Stats By Quarter:

1stRushPassCAITotYAvg3rdsPens
1st43-77-705-7-0777.71-21-5
2nd1310-6017-14414-17-02047.64-51-5
3rd716-1095-604-5-016981-21-9
4th315-790-00-0-0795.31-41-14
Total2744-25529-27423-29-05297.27-134-33

Georgia Scoring Summary:

QtrClockScoreTypePlayDriveScore
103:33TDBLKFC.Smith 96 yd blocked field goal recovery
PAT kick by J.Podlesny (GOOD)
7-0
100:03TDPASSB.Bowers 3 yd reception thrown by S.Bennett
PAT kick by J.Podlesny (GOOD)
7/75/2:1814-7
214:43TDPASSL.McConkey 22 yd reception thrown by S.Bennett
PAT kick by J.Podlesny (GOOD)
1/22/0:0821-7
202:48TDPASSD.Washington 14 yd reception thrown by S.Bennett
PAT kick by J.Podlesny (GOOD)
13/76/5:0628-7
200:32TDPASSD.Bell 3 yd reception thrown by S.Bennett
PAT kick by J.Podlesny (GOOD)
5/58/1:2635-7
303:32TDRUSHK.McIntosh 2 yd rush
PAT kick by J.Podlesny (GOOD)
8/95/4:2742-17
413:13TDRUSHK.McIntosh 8 yd rush
PAT pass by D.Washington (GOOD)
7/75/3:3350-23




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