BATON ROUGE, La. - Second-ranked Georgia has not been challenged often during a season-opening six-game winning streak on which it is averaging 42.8 points but figures to face a more difficult task when it visits No. 12 LSU on Saturday for a matchup in which it likely will have to lean on its ground attack. The Bulldogs average an SEC-leading 245.2 rushing yards and, despite losing Sony Michel and Nick Chubb to graduation, continue to excel thanks to numerous contributors.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Georgia -7 ½
“I’ve been pleased with it,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart told reporters on Tuesday when discussing his running back rotation, which includes Elijah Holyfield, D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and James Cook and has produced nine touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. The Tigers look to rebound after their first loss of the season, a 27-19 setback at Florida in which they scored on their first possession but struggled offensively the rest of the way. “We felt that we beat ourselves in a lot of areas,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron told reporters on Monday. The Tigers committed just five turnovers in their first five games but the same amount in their last two contests.
ABOUT GEORGIA (6-0, 4-0 SEC)
Holyfield leads the Bulldogs with 432 yards rushing, recording 64 and a touchdown on just six carries in last week’s victory over Vanderbilt, and Swift has run for four scores. Quarterback Jake Fromm continued his strong campaign by passing for a season-high 276 yards last week, and his 72.8 percent completion rate ranks fifth in the nation. Georgia has been just as good defensively, ranking second in the country in scoring defense (13 points per game) and has kept opponents off the scoreboard in 12 of its 24 quarters this season.
ABOUT LSU (5-1, 2-1)
Running back Nick Brossette, who ran for 95 yards and two scores against Florida, is tied for first in the SEC in rushing touchdowns with eight. Quarterback Joe Burrow suffered his first loss in his sixth start last week and saw his school-record streak of 158 pass attempts without an interception end against the Gators but completed a career-high 19 passes. All-SEC linebacker Devin White averages 8.8 tackles per game, while safety Grant Delpit leads the Tigers with three interceptions, three sacks and 6 ½ tackles for loss.
1. LSU LB Jacob Phillips is expected to play after missing last week’s game, but G Garrett Brumfield likely will miss Saturday’s contest.
2. Georgia S Richard LeCounte leads the Bulldogs with 33 tackles, including a team-high six last week.
3. LSU K Cole Tracy ranks second in the nation with 12 field goals after converting both of his attempts last week.
PREDICTION: Georgia 31, LSU 21
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