SEC CHAMPIONSHIP SUPERLATIVES

Published 7:09 am Monday, December 5, 2022

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Georgia QB Stetson Bennett got the game MVP even though LSU’s backup quarterback threw for more yards that he did. But Bennett was brutally efficient in turning the game into a runaway while completing 23 of 29 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns. His 204.2 QB rating was the second-highest in championship game history.

PLAY OF THE GAME:  Special teams bit LSU again. Not only did an impressive early drive net no points, it turned into a 10-point swing when Georgia blocked a field goal attempt and, as LSU’s field goal unit trotted toward the sidelines, the Bulldogs’ C.J. Smith hesitantly picked it up and, noticing no whistle had been blown, ran 96 yards undisturbed for a touchdown. LSU seemed to have no idea the ball was still live and in play.

TURNING POINT: LSU answered the special teams miscue with a game-tying drive. But the Bulldogs scored two touchdowns in a span 21 seconds late in the first and on the second play of the second quarter. The quickie 1-2 punch came after Jack Bech batted a pass up, which came down and deflected off his own helmet and was intercepted by Georgia. The Bulldogs scored on the next play for a 21-7 lead and the Tigers were playing desperation catch-up for the rest of the game. 

STAT OF THE GAME: Just 15 seconds into the second quarter, LSU had out gained Georgia 158-77. But the Bulldogs led 21-7. For the final 14:45 of the first half, Georgia out gained the Tigers 204-2.

WHAT’S NEXT: LSU will learn its bowl destination Sunday afternoon, most likely a Florida destination. Georgia removed all doubt that the Bulldogs will be the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff.

BEST HOMEFIELD: In seven trips to the title game, this was by far the most that LSU fans have been outnumbered in the stands. It was probably 90-10 in favor of the Bulldogs.

Scooter Hobbs