No. 1 Georgia defeats No. 14 LSU to Win the SEC Championship

Georgia blocked the field goal attempt, sending the ball whirling to a standstill at its 4-yard line in ATLANTA. The LSU players left the field after concluding that the play was ended.

Georgia blocked the field goal attempt, sending the ball whirling to a standstill at its 4-yard line in ATLANTA. The LSU players left the field after concluding that the play was ended.

Christopher Smith was aware of better. He abruptly grabbed it and ran away in the opposite direction, covering 96 yards for a touchdown that personified the Bulldogs' strategy.

On Saturday, they had LSU's number.

For the past two years, they have been one step ahead of everyone.

Georgia entered the College Football Playoff as the undisputed No. 1 team, crushing the No. 11 Tigers 50-30 in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday. This came after all sorts of instability in the rankings had passed them by.

In another outstanding postseason effort, Stetson Bennett tossed a season-high four touchdown passes, while Smith's heads-up play gave the Bulldogs an early advantage.

"Good players are everywhere around me. I'm actually not that bad at football, "Bennett replied while grinning. "We have a solid team,"

In addition, Georgia (13-0, No. 1 CFP) received a huge break when Smith deflected a throw that rebounded off an LSU receiver's head and was intercepted by the Bulldogs, resulting in a score and a 35-10 advantage at the half.

Late in the second quarter, LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels re-injured his sore right ankle. Garrett Nussmeier took over at quarterback in the second half.

The Tigers (9-4, No. 14 CFP) scored three touchdowns in the second half thanks to the backup quarterback, but it wasn't nearly enough.

Georgia won their first SEC championship since 2017—an accomplishment that not even the team that won the national championship the previous season was capable of. Alabama denied the Bulldogs in this game a year ago, but they recovered to defeat the Crimson Tide in the championship game.

Coach Kirby Smart stated, "I don't want one youngster to walk out of our program without an SEC title ring in their lives." "That was a possibility. When enough was enough, they decided to get them one tonight."

Only 75 miles from its Athens campus, Georgia enters the tournament certain that it will travel back to Atlanta for a de facto semifinal home game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

A week ago, a shocking loss at Texas A&M ended LSU's outside chances of crashing the four-team playoff field. This was just one of several shockers that will give the selection committee enough to consider before Sunday's announcement.

With defeats late in the regular season, Tennessee and Clemson both lost their chances of making the playoffs, while No. 4 Southern California is probably out after losing to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday.

The Big 12 championship game, in which No. 3 TCU was defeated by Kansas State in overtime, happened as the SEC game was beginning, further clouding the playoff picture and favoring No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Alabama.

Georgia, which has won all but one game this season by double-digit margins, is dead set on becoming the first repeat national champion since Alabama in 2011–12.

Smart remarked of the mayhem, "I've tried not to play attention to any of it." "To me, it didn't matter. That is a long way off."

The Bulldogs demonstrated that they are a clever, well-coordinated team in addition to being a collection of gifted athletes.

Late in the first quarter, Nazir Stackhouse broke through the center of the line to block LSU's 32-yard field goal attempt, and Smith knew what to do.

We practice that scenario quite a bit, he said.

To determine if it was okay to grab it, he turned to look at the sideline.

Smart answered, "You can't pick it up unless you can score with it.

Smith handled the remaining tasks.

Coach Brian Kelly of LSU said he and his staff were to responsible for allowing the play to occur.

He stated, "Clearly, we did a bad job of coaching. "It's our duty to keep our soldiers awake under that circumstance. They weren't on guard."

After Kayshon Boutte caught a 53-yard touchdown throw from Daniels to tie the game up for LSU fast, Bennett took over.

In less than 15 minutes, the sixth-year senior, a former walk-on who was offensive MVP of both of Georgia's postseason victories a year ago, completed four touchdown passes: three to Brock Bowers, two to Ladd McConkey, one to Darnell Washington, and one to Dillon Bell.

Instantaneously, Georgia had a 35-7 lead.

Bennett admitted, "I was in a zone.

That has been the case for the past two years.


LSU: The last two weeks of Kelly's first season have been a little ugly, but the Tigers are still on the right track. "The next year, we intend to return. Towards that end, "said Kelly. "Return here and take it."

Georgia: The Bulldogs were guaranteed a playoff position whether they won or lost the SEC championship game. But Smart's capacity to keep the team inspired continues to astound. The outcome of this game was never in doubt, despite some serious defensive mistakes in the second half.

Going For 2

Smart unexpectedly asked for a 2-point conversion after Georgia scored its final touchdown early in the fourth quarter to take a 48-23 advantage.

Smart argued that he wasn't trying to run up the score, even though the Bulldogs were able to convert it with a trick play.

He answered, "The books suggest you go for 2 there.

I don't get too wrapped up in what other teams are doing, Kelly ultimately said after fumbling a bit with his words when questioned about the play.


In the first half, Georgia also suffered some player losses due to injuries in addition to Daniels going down for LSU.

Making a grab down the sideline, McConkey landed awkwardly, aggravating a knee problem that has bothered him all season. Warren McClendon, a tight offensive tackle, appears to have slight MCL strain.

After the break, neither came back.


LSU: The Tigers' postseason assignment is announced on Sunday, and the Citrus Bowl is one of the potential venues.

Georgia: The Bulldogs' opponent in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve is still up in the air, with TCU, Ohio State, and SEC rival Alabama all possibilities.

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