Welcome back to another edition of your weekly NCAA Football 14 previews for Georgia football. Last week UGA beat North Texas 35-31, and the actual score was 45-21. Not far off for a cupcake-turned-barnburner. This week the Geaux Tigers come to Athens, which also happens to be the location of College Gameday on ESPN for week 4. As usual, I play 10-minute quarters, with Heisman difficulty for both O and D. Let's get to the game.
The game started off very well for Georgia. The Dawgs won the coin toss and I deferred to the 2nd half. Marshall Morgan's kickoff resulted in a touchback. After the Tigles had rushes of 5 yards and -2 yards, respectively, Sheldon Dawson intercepted a pass at LSU's 35 yard line and returned it for a touchdown, making it 7-0 Dawgs with 9:16.
The resulting kickoff by Marshall Morgan led to a 27-yard return. A few large rushes met with a bad one and a sack led to a punt from LSU's Keehn for 44 yards, and UGA had the ball again at their own 24 yard line. Georgia's resulting drive was saved with a 26-yard pass to Arty Lynch, and a few rushes later, Keith Marshall ran 3 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 UGA with 4:34 left in the 1st quarter.
Morgan kicked the ball 70 yards, to end in a touchback. LSU started back fiercely, with a 65 yard rush by Jeremy Hill, a 9 yard rush by Alfred Blue, and a 2 yard rush by Jeremy Hill for a touchdown to make it 14-7 Dawgs.
The next drive, however, did not end successfully for Georgia. Aaron Murray threw an interception with 2:12 left in the first, and LSU turned it into a 55-yard field goal to make it 14-10 at the end of the 1st quarter. That drive, however, ended in a punt, so LSU got the ball back with 9:05 left in the 1st half. Large rushes by Hill, Blue, and a 8-yard rush by Zach Mettenberger for a touchdown capped their drive, to make it 17-14 Tigers.
The kickoff by Hairston was returned 40 yards by Todd Gurley. However, that would be the only highlight of the drive, as it ended in a 49-yard punt by Collin Barber. LSU's next drive stalled and also ended in a 46 yard punt from Keehn, to be returned 12 yards by Rhett McGowan. A good mix-up of pass and run by the Dawgs on the resulting drive was capped off by a 5-yard rush by Quayvon Hicks for a touchdown, to make it 21-17 Dawgs, with 1:46 left in the half.
Marshall Morgan's 67-yard kickoff was returned 46 yards by Odell Beckham. Mettenberger completed some big passes, but stalled later, and a 55-yard field goal attempt by Hairston missed, to give Georgia the ball with 0:59 left in the half.
Murray, however, did not make use of the failed FG and threw an interception with half a minute left. Fortunately for the Dawgs, Mettenberger threw a few incomplete passes, and LSU ran out of time. At halftime, the score was 21-17 Dawgs.
The 2nd half started in an unusual fashion. A 65-yard kickoff from Hairston was returned 36 yards by Todd Gurley. A few plays later, Aaron Murray threw a pass very deep, from around the 50 all the way to LSU's 5-yard line. The pass was intercepted, but the defender stumbled backwards into LSU's end zone, ending in a safety for the Dawgs, to make it 23-17.
The safety punt was returned 14 yards. However, the very next play was a panicky run by Murray, where he fumbled the ball and LSU recovered it. Eight plays, later, LSU turned the recovered fumble into a 27-yard field goal from Hairston, to make it 23-20 Dawgs.
The next drive for UGA ended successfully, a 10-play drive that ended in a 1-yard sneak by Murray, to make it 30-20 Dawgs, at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The next drive for LSU was an enormously long one, taking up over 3 minutes across 8 plays that ended in a 4-yard rush by Jeremy Hill for a touchdown, making it 30-27 Dawgs with 7:24 left in the game.
Georgia, however, used more of the clock in their next drive, reducing it from 7:24 to 2:03, in 13 plays, ending in a 3-yard rush by Gurley for a touchdown to make it 37-27 Dawgs.
LSU had little chance of winning now. Their next drive went 3 and out, and a failed 4th down attempt gave UGA the ball with 0:55 left in the game. I ran a few small rushes that went nowhere, and with a little more on the game clock than in the play clock, I kicked a 39-yard field goal that was good, to make the score 40-27.
LSU's only hope of scoring any more points ended with an interception by Corey Moore.
LSU 27 UGA 40
First Downs: LSU 14, UGA 20
Total Offense: LSU 319, UGA 353
Rushes-Yards-TD: LSU 34-181-3, UGA 38-153-4
Completions-Attempts-TD: LSU 14-24-0, UGA 18-29-0
Passing Yards: LSU 138, UGA 200
3rd Downs: LSU 5-12 (41%), UGA 7-12 (58%)
Turnovers: LSU 2, UGA 4
Kick Return Yards: LSU 71, UGA 87
Total Yards: LSU 423, UGA 459
Time Of Possession: LSU 15:31, UGA 24:29
Aaron Murray: 18-29, 200 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT, 99.3 QBR
Todd Gurley: 25 rushes, 106 yards, 4.2 AVG, 1 TD
Keith Marshall: 5 rushes, 25 yards, 5.0 AVG, 1 TD
Aaron Murray: 6 rushes, 16 yards, 2.6 AVG, 1 TD
Quayvon Hicks: 2 rushes, 6 yards, 3.0 AVG, 1 TD
Michael Bennett: 6 catches, 87 yards, 14.5 AVG
Arthur Lynch: 4 catches, 48 yards, 12.0 AVG
Chris Conley: 4 catches, 38 yards, 9.5 AVG
Quayvon Hicks: 2 catches, 17 yards, 8.5 AVG
Jay Rome: 1 catch, 10 yards
Chase Vasser: 9 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack
Josh Harvey-Clemons: 8 tackles
Damian Swann: 5 tackles
Sheldon Dawson: 4 tackles, 1 INT
Ramik Wilson: 4 tackles
Corey Moore: 4 tackles, 2 TFL
Amarlo Herrera: 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks
Jordan Jenkins: 2 tackles
Garrison Smith: 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack
Marshall Morgan: 1-1 FG, 39 yard FG
Collin Barber: 2 punts, 95 yards, 47.5 AVG
Todd Gurley: 2 returns, 74 yards, 37.0 AVG
Zach Mettenberger: 14-24, 138 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 89.9 QBR
Jeremy Hill: 16 rushes, 147 yards, 9.1 AVG, 2 TD
Alfred Blue: 5 rushes, 19 yards, 3.8 AVG
Zach Mettenberger: 11 rushes, 14 yards, 1.2 AVG, 1 TD
Jarvis Landry: 3 catches, 33 yards, 11.0 AVG