Friday, December 2, 2011

Keys to the Game - SEC Championship Game Edition

1. Run game - Georgia does not have to out rush LSU to win the game. They do however have to have an effective running game that forces LSU's defense to respect it so they can't pin back their ears and come after Murray. Georgia's defense also can't allow LSU to control the clock and keep Georgia's defense on the field for large chunks of the game by running it over and over. If Georgia is within 60 yards of LSU in rushing yards I like our chances.

2. Ball security - LSU relies heavily on turnovers to set their offense up with great field position. Murray especially has to make sure to protect the ball. Sometimes taking a sack is much better than throwing a ball up for grabs or trying to break a tackle without securing the ball first. As good as LSU's special teams are Georgia has one of the best punters in the nation, much better to give him a shot after a three and out than to turn the ball over.

3. Stay strong mentally - Teams have played with LSU for stretches of games. What happens though is that at some point LSU is going to make a big play, it is going to happen. The question is what happens after that big play. Does one turn into two? Two into three? Suddenly a close game snowballs and you are down 21 points. Richt's calm demeanor may be huge in this game. Some have said it is a weakness of his, to me it is often a huge plus. His teams generally reflect his calmness when things go wrong. That will be needed in this game.

4. Don't try to do too much - Part of the reason LSU is so good is that they play their game, play after play, week after week. They play sound football and never panic. They don't try to go outside of who they are. Alabama would have had a better chance at beating LSU but they started to get outside of who they are. They tried long field goals when punting and playing for field position would have better served them. In overtime they opened with a passing play that lost them yards. These couple of mistakes were enough for LSU to win the game. I have heard people saying Georgia should open up the entire play book and throw a lot of new things at them. I disagree, do the things that won you the last ten games. A wrinkle here or there is good to keep them off balance but do not get away from who you are as a team. That tells the team that the coaches don't think we can simply line up and play with them. It is a message that we have to win with smoke and mirrors. Play to win but do not play crazy, LSU will make you pay for that.

Prediction - 20-16 LSU wins. I want to go with my heart which tells me that Georgia is going to scare the hell out of LSU and their fans. My heart tells me that we are going to pull the upset. My head tells me there is a reason LSU is 12-0. They know how to win close and they know how to win going away. I think Georgia forces LSU to really dig deep but they have been able to do that when they have had to.

No comments:

Post a Comment