Jump to content

Good article on lsu/uga game. Jarrett Lee "Georgia's defense was nothing I haven't seen".


Recommended Posts

For the second time this season, LSU was administered a solid beating.

Although the margin of defeat Saturday against Georgia was not as great as the one a few weeks ago at Florida, the Tigers were never close to taking any control of the game.

It is no coincidence that LSU was at a definite disadvantage at the quarterback position in both defeats. Tim Tebow was great for Florida two weeks ago. Matthew Stafford was the star for the Bulldogs in their 52-38 victory Saturday at Tiger stadium.

Tebow and Stafford are third-year juniors, who have gone through the battles in the Southeastern Conference. Jarrett Lee is a redshirt freshman, who has been forced to go through on-the-job training.

"It's all about experience," said center Brett Helms about quarterback play. "Even though Matt (Flynn) didn't have game experience, he had been around the program for five years. He had been through it all. He knew the offense as well as the coaches.

"Jarrett has been here for just one year. He's still young and he's still maturing. He just has to work out the kinks."

Lee had a very difficult Saturday afternoon. He threw just 28 passes with five resulting in touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Tigers, two of the touchdowns were scored by Bulldogs linebacker Darryl Gamble after Lee interceptions.

It started off badly for Lee, whose first pass was picked off by Gamble, who brought the ball back 40 yards for a touchdown. Gamble was in the lineup only because of an injury to Dannell Ellerbe.

"I just looked (wide receiver Brandon LaFell) in too much," said Lee about the first interception. "It was just a mistake by me. Georgia's defense was nothing I haven't seen."

Lee's second interception came in the second quarter with LSU trailing 21-17. Lee tried to force a pass to a covered Jared Mitchell. Reshad Jones came away with an interception. The Bulldogs then drove for a field goal to take a 24-17 halftime lead.

The final Lee interception took place late in the game. Gamble returned his second interception 53 yard for a touchdown. Lee has now had four interceptions returned for touchdowns this season. The others came against Florida and South Carolina.

"All the interceptions were misreads by me," Lee said. "It's something I need to focus on. I just have to stay positive. It's football. There are going to be ups and downs."

Andrew Hatch took over the full-time quarterback duties in the third quarter after the offense struggled following the break. Hatch was used again primarily in a running offense. Hatch threw just two passes and was sacked twice.

Hatch understands what Lee is experiencing right now.

"You just have to shake (mistakes) off," Hatch said. "You have to try not to repeat them. I guess you have to improve on each play."

LSU coach Les Miles lamented about all the offensive mistakes. However, he still has confidence in Lee's ability.

"With Jarrett, it's youth and something that needs to be comfortably corrected," Miles said. "I don't think it's physical. Jarrett can throw it. Our team could move the football. That wasn't the issue. The issue was making mistakes."

Lee's initiation into SEC football came quicker than expected due to the dismissal of Ryan Perrilloux last spring. Lee acknowledges that Stafford and Tebow have already had their growing pains.

"You have to give credit to those guys," Lee said. "I've had to go into the fire and handle things as best you can. As a young guy, you have to handle those things."

LaFell, who caught two of Lee's three touchdown passes, admitted that the veteran LSU players have to give the freshman quarterback some help.

"First, it's hard for anybody in the SEC," LaFell said. "I don't care if you're a redshirt freshman or a senior. Guys are flying around the ball and it's hard to make decisions. The reason we lost was that (receivers) didn't make plays on third down and they did."

Helms intends to do everything possible to keep Lee's spirits up.

"I'm just going to keep encouraging (Lee)," Helms said. "Tell him to keep his head up. We have to give him more protection. When you fall behind, you get predictable in passing situations. It's tough on a young guy.

"We have to take care of the ball. We can't have turnovers. That's a lot to come back from. We'll get the offense fixed."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Instant Analysis: Georgia-LSU

By Matt Zemek

Staff Columnist

Posted Oct 25, 2008

It was not surprising that Knowshon Moreno, Matthew Stafford, and A.J. Green produced big plays on a gleaming Saturday afternoon in the Bayou. The shock value in Georgia’s romp over the LSU Tigers was the fact that the Bulldogs’ playmaking studs had so much space in which to operate.

College football’s defending national champions will not repeat in 2008. Les Miles’s team laid down its nationwide crown in the face of Georgia’s full frontal assault, 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; under center with Stafford; and at wide receiver with Green. With that said, the Bulldogs figured to find tough sledding against the Bayou Bengals because their offensive line had been eroded.

After left tackle Trinton Sturdivant got knocked out for the season in August, the Bulldogs had to deal with the recent loss of Vince Vance, Sturdivant’s sturdy replacement. Down to a fourth left tackle, coach Mark Richt had to worry about his deceasing depth up front. It’s all well and good to put an eager Dawg in the fight, but without enough experience or skill, the fight in the Dawg might not matter in the cutthroat world of the SEC, especially on the road against the defending national titleists.

Apparently, though, Georgia’s thinning ranks up front didn’t enter the picture against LSU. Replacements and realignments on UGA’s offensive line worked to perfection, as an inspired bunch of big ‘uns bested and blasted 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, because the hogs in the red shirts blew away their yellow-helmeted counterparts on the other side of the ball. Given enough room in which to operate, the Dawgs’ trio of superstar performers took care of business, and a solid but outclassed LSU team simply had no chance, even at home.

Georgia’s dominance at the line of scrimmage enabled the Dawgs to land the haymakers that broke 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. A short while later, Moreno needed just a small piece of daylight to scoot 68 yards with the home-run play that broke LSU’s back. Already blessed with the sharper and superior assortment of skill-position performers, Georgia—for all its injuries—found the level of line play that facilitated its second-half surge, a tidal wave of touchdowns that overwhelmed the Tigers.

Everyone knew Georgia had the prime players on the edges and in the backfield coming into this contest. The difference in this display of Dawg domination lay in the fact that an overachieving O-line found the strength and savvy needed to protect its law-firm trio of Moreno, Stafford and Green. If this offensive line can block Florida’s front seven with the same degree of dexterity next week in Jacksonville, this bunch of Bulldogs will win the SEC East, and stay in the hunt for a spot in the BCS Championship Game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BATON ROUGE, La. — Few settings might have seemed more futile.

Facing LSU at Tiger Stadium, with both teams' fragile national championship hopes hanging in the balance, wouldn't appear most conducive for Georgia keeping alive its championship dreams. The stadium isn't called Death Valley for nothing.

Yet, the Bulldogs turned an elimination game into an elevation game Saturday afternoon and rolled over LSU 52-38 in a Southeastern Conference clash disguised as one from the Big 12.

On a near-perfect day, junior quarterback Matthew Stafford enjoyed one of the best performances of his career. Running back Knowshon Moreno might have resurfaced as a Heisman contender. A patchwork offensive line held up against LSU's pass rush. The Bulldogs' defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns by linebacker Darryl Gamble. The special teams denied LSU speedster Trindon Holliday any big plays.

Heck, Uga even looked pretty.

In the end, Georgia was re-established as a legitimate championship contender by turning in its best effort of the season and beating the reigning national champions in every facet of the game.

"I think this was as complete a game as we've played," Stafford said. "The special teams did an unbelievable job against their returns. The defense played well. We were able to do some things on offense."

Did they ever.

Stafford was 17-of-26 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for another score.

Moreno, whose Heisman campaign sputtered after he was limited to 34 rushing yards in a 41-30 loss to Alabama, ran for 163 yards and a 68-yard touchdown late in the third quarter that gave the Bulldogs a 38-17 lead and sucked the life out of the purple-and-gold crowd.

"I didn't hear anything but somebody running behind me," Moreno said.

A big factor in his big day – which featured two runs in excess of 60 yards – was that he ran behind a mix-and-match line that might have exceeded expectations. Plagued with injuries that had the Bulldogs down to their fourth starting left tackle and filled with freshmen and sophomores, the line allowed just one sack to an LSU rush that produced six in last week's victory over South Carolina.

"Let's applaud the offensive line," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I'm not going to sit here and say that they dominated the game because they probably didn't. But they fought like mad and gave Matthew enough time when needed and gave Knowshon room to run."

It's all coming together at a time when the Bulldogs need it most.

In the spring, when Georgia was first being touted as a national championship contender, even the most adamant advocates would pore over the schedule and lament a treacherous four-game stretch that required the Bulldogs to face LSU, Florida, Kentucky and Auburn – and all away from Athens.

That stretch doesn't look so daunting now. Kentucky has lost three of its past four and was overwhelmed by Florida 63-5 on Saturday. Auburn has lost four of five and is one of the nation's greatest disappointments.

But Florida, Georgia's archrival, looms next week, and the blowout of Kentucky shows the Gators are on top of their game. So, it was imperative for the Bulldogs to be on top of theirs.

The Bulldogs are seventh in the BCS standings and certainly will climb when the second set is released Sunday night. And if they win the rest of their regular-season games, they will go to Atlanta for the SEC title game and likely have a shot at redeeming their loss to Alabama.

"We can come off this victory with a lot of confidence," Moreno said. "But it's not going to get any easier next week. We've got to stay focused."

That's because their eyes can't go back to the big prize.

Proponents of a playoff could take the videotape of Saturday's game and use it as a visual aid for their argument. This game had the intensity and creativity of a playoff because … well, in some ways it was.

Although LSU won last season's title with two losses, that was an aberration. Typically, two losses equates to elimination in the race.

And while the SEC crown is a tremendous prize, elite teams aim higher. That's why the giant purple scoreboard and the gold banners waving from flag poles high above Death Valley's north end zone commemorate LSU's national championships of 1958, 2003 and 2007. Nothing inside the stadium lists the Tigers' conference championships.

LSU won't be adding to that list this season. But Georgia still has a shot.

"I really believe any win is a great win," Richt said. "You just need to win if you want to keep pace."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...