By Austin Payne
Let’s be honest with ourselves Georgia fans, LSU should be able to handle this team on Saturday.
Looking at it objectively, find me a team that has been able to affectively slow down Joe Burrow this season. You cannot find one, you really can’t. Even Alabama, who has four future potential first round picks on the backend of their defense, and a few more up front, couldn’t do anything about it. It’s a remarkable come up story for Burrow, who though he was a 4 star prospect and the 8th ranked dual threat coming out of high school, he was nothing but an after thought and a backup at Ohio State to starter JT Barrett.
Even from his first season as LSU’s starter after transferring to now, the improvement is drastic. Last year he threw for only 2,900 yards on a 16/5 touchdown to interception split, completing 58% of his passes. This season, through 12 games, he’s sitting at 4,400 yards, 44/6, and a ridiculous 78% completion percentage. It might be one of the best seasons by a college quarterback we’ve ever seen. Whether this has to do with the offense, Burrow’s work, or both, the stark discrepancy in outcome is insane.
Oh yeah, Jake Fromm was supposed to be first round pick next year too wasn’t he? Well…not at the moment? Though he has the traits and skills to potentially be that high, his play this year could be best described as apathetic and lackluster. Perhaps if Georgia opened the offense up we might see more from him and be talking a different narrative right now, but that’s just not what has happened.
Georgia’s best player is undoubtedly D’andre Swift, who is definitely my top ranked running back prospect this year. He’s dealing with a shoulder injury though, and Kirby Smart admitted to the media he isn’t 100% but still expects him to play. (Injury)Without a healthy Swift, an underperforming Fromm, a depleted receiving core, and the fact that you’re going up a future NFL defense…things don’t look great.
Georgia’s defense has been good in its own right, but LSU is different. They were already great last year, and now they may boast even more star power. Grant Delpit and Kristian Fulton are probably first round locks. Jacob Phillips, Rashard Lawrence, and K’Lavon Chaisson should also be gone by day two of the draft this year. Georgia has its own prospects back there, like J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte, but let’s be honest…LSU is on another level. (Depth Chart)
While i would expect to see a somewhat competitive matchup, i also wouldn’t be surprised if it got out of hand near the end and the box score ended up looking like the game was more lopsided. Despite my expectations and analysis, you never know. Jake Fromm may finally come out of his shell, Burrow might throw a pivotal pick 6, D’andre Swift might seem like himself and run for 260 on them…you just never know.
What to watch for in this game is simple, let’s watch Joe Burrow, and see if this great performance continues. This man may very well have gone from undrafted free agent to potential first overall pick this year, and that’s something we never see. Regardless of the outcome, if it’s close i would expect to see LSU in the playoff despite a loss. If Georgia wins a close one? they might both get in…wouldn’t that be fun, a rematch.