We have made it to championship week in college football. Championship Saturday comes your way Saturday, December 7th. Among the championship games, is the 2019 SEC Championship. The 2019 SEC Championship will be played in Atlanta, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The matchup pits western division champions, LSU vs eastern division champions, Georgia. These two are hoping that a win will solidify their spot in the College Football Playoff.
LSU comes to Atlanta with a 12-0 record. The Tigers are coming off a 50-7 win over Texas A&M. Heisman hopeful quarterback Joe Burrow threw three touchdowns in the win. Burrow leads the LSU offense with 4,366 passing yards and 44 touchdowns. In addition, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has rushed for 1,233 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The Tigers have dominated their 2019 schedule playing only four close games thus far. The defense has been equally dominant for LSU this season. Jacob Phillips leads the Tigers in total tackles this year with 90. Throughout the 2019 season, the LSU offense has shown little signs of slowing down. The defense, at times, has faltered, but when it matters the most, they rise to the occasion. LSU has not won the SEC Championship since 2011. The Tigers look like the best team in college football and hope to take care of one last game before the playoff.
Georgia travels 80 miles southwest to Atlanta for the third year in a row. The Bulldogs closed out 2019 11-1. Georgia took care of their rival, Georgia Tech, last week 52-7. Junior quarterback Jake Fromm threw four touchdowns in the victory. On the year, Fromm has thrown for 2,385 yards and 21 touchdowns. Additionally, junior running back D’Ande Swift has rushed for 1,203 yards and 7 touchdowns. Georgia’s one hiccup on the season came in week six against South Carolina. Since then, the Bulldogs have rattled off six straight victories.
Similarly to LSU, Georgia has a good defense. Monty Rice leads the Dawgs defensively with 79 total tackles. Georgia comes in 1-1 in the past two SEC Championship games. The Bulldogs have been in contention for a national championship since the 2017 season. Kirby Smart and company hope that third times a charm. Georgia last hoisted a national championship on 1980. Will the dam finally break for the Dawgs who have been so close the past two years?
2019 SEC Championship (Matchups)
Coming into this game, these two teams are evenly matched. Both teams have explosive offenses that can put up points at will. This game could be a track meet, or one offense can rise above the other resulting in a blowout. On the other hand, the defenses are suffocating and can shut down offenses that put up video game type numbers. This can give us a defensive struggle where the first team to 20 wins the game. One aspect of the game we have not talked about is special teams. Both teams have outstanding kickers that can make field goals from anywhere. Rodrigo Blankenship does the kicking for Georgia and he is opposed by Cade York for LSU. Even though LSU has dominated their competition, I would not put it past Georgia to make this one of the toughest games that LSU has played in 2019.
2019 SEC Championship (Keys to Victory)
The winner of this game will be the one who can take advantage of their opportunities on offense. With the defenses looking to shine, what offense will score more touchdowns? The team who scores six rather than three will put themselves in a position to win. The winner will also control the turnover aspect. Whichever team commits the least number of turnovers will be in good shape in the fourth quarter. This game is a toss-up and could go either way. Moreover, LSU and Georgia have passed the eye test and have proved to the nation they belong in the top four. If Georgia wins, we could have the possibility of a rematch in the College Football Playoff. As a general fan of college football, that might be the scenario to root for this weekend.
LSU leads the overall series with a record of 17-13-1. The Tigers are also 2-1 in SEC Championship games against Georgia. 2011 was the last time these two met in Atlanta. LSU prevailed on that day by a final score of 42-10. The 2019 SEC Championship can be seen on CBS at 3:00 pm central on Saturday. It’s Tigers and Bulldogs. The best game from the best conference is just a few days away.