|1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET9:00 PM GMT5:00 AM 北京时间2:00 PM MST4:00 PM EST, Dec. 3, 2022|
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia Attendance: 74,810
No. 1 Georgia focuses on SEC title in matchup with No. 14 LSU
LSU Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs
- LSU holds an 18-13-1 edge in the all-time series with Georgia, including wins in four of the last five meetings. This will mark the fifth time the teams meet in an SEC Championship Game, the second most common matchup in the game's history (Alabama/Florida - 10). LSU 3-1 in those previous such matchps, including a win in the 2019 edition.
- The Tigers find themselves in the SEC Championship Game despite finishing last in the SEC West last year, joining Auburn in 2013 as the only teams to finish last in their division (following tiebreakers) and then make the SEC Championship Game the following season.
- Jayden Daniels led the Tigers with 84 rushing yards in the loss to Texas A&M and leads the Tigers in both rush attempts (174) and rushing yards (844) on the season. He is one of five FBS quarterbacks to lead his team in both categories, and one of just three Power 5 quarterbacks along with Virginia's Brennan Armstrong and North Carolina's Drake Maye.
- Georgia defeated Georgia Tech, 37-14, to close the regular season at 12-0 for the second consecutive year. The Bulldogs outrushed the Yellow Jackets, 264-40, and have outrushed opponents by an average of 123.5 yards per game this season -- the fourth-largest differential in the FBS behind Air Force (+231.2), Michigan (+159.7), and Navy (+158.5).
- Stetson Bennett has completed just 62.2 percent of his passes for 256 yards over his last two games after completing 67.8 percent of his passes and averaging 289.5 yards per game in his first 10 starts this season. He has completed 64.3 percent of his passes in his four-year career, on track to be the highest completion percentage in program history (min. 500 attempts).
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Georgia almost certainly is going to the College Football Playoff regardless of what happens in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday in Atlanta.
LSU is not going to the CFP regardless of what happens in the SEC Championship Game.
Nonetheless, the No. 1 Bulldogs (12-0, 8-0 SEC), champions of the East Division, and the No. 14 Tigers (9-3, 6-2), champions of the West Division, both have a lot to gain by winning on Saturday -- a significant trophy and momentum going into whatever their next destination is.
The situation is very similar to the one Georgia faced last season when it was undefeated and No. 1 as it faced Alabama. The Bulldogs figured to go to the CFP even if they lost. The Crimson Tide needed to win to get in, and they played like it, upsetting the Bulldogs 41-24.
However, Georgia shook off the loss and took care of business in the CFP, beating Michigan in the semifinals and winning a rematch with Alabama for the national championship.
"We're worried about winning the SEC championship," Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said. "That's the most important thing on our agenda. It's tough to win an SEC championship. I've been part of this league for a long time. I have almost as many national championships as I do SEC championships."
Georgia has not lost since last season's SEC championship game. Only one of the Bulldogs' games this season was decided by a touchdown or less -- a 26-22 victory at Missouri on Oct. 1.
A victory on Saturday would give Georgia a chance to accomplish something even last year's team didn't -- an undefeated national championship season.
"It's not about last year's team or a comparison," Smart said. "It's about that next step and having an opportunity to put a number on the wall that stays there forever. It's an SEC championship. I think our players take a lot of pride in that."
LSU, in its first season under former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, was in strong contention for a CFP berth before being upset by unranked Texas A&M 38-23 in its regular-season finale.
"We've had certainly some bumps in the road, but we've had some great achievements in developing our program here in the first year," Kelly said. "Our football team has gotten better as the season has gone along.
"This is a great challenge, but one that we're excited about. We want to be able to represent the SEC West and certainly play to our standard."
The Tigers, who lost to Florida State in their season opener and to Tennessee on Oct. 1, didn't play to their season-long standard against the Aggies. LSU's John Emery Jr. ran for three touchdowns, but it wasn't enough.
That loss dropped them nine spots in the CFP rankings Tuesday night, though they can still earn a substantial bowl berth by winning Saturday.
"This group has a lot of fight," Kelly said. "That's why they'll go to Atlanta, and they will fight, and they will play hard for four quarters, and they will give everything they have against a very talented Georgia team."
The Tigers will attempt to slow a Bulldogs passing attack led by quarterback Stetson Bennett (3,151 yards, 16 touchdowns, six interceptions).
--Field Level Media
Updated November 30, 2022