There are some good games on the college football schedule this weekend, including Georgia’s first trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in a decade.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 2, are playing at Death Valley to face LSU, ranked No. 13.
The game lost a little, but not much, luster when Florida upset the unbeaten Tigers in the Swamp last week.
Georgia enters favored by 7 1/2 points, according to Bovada. Here’s why you should take the underdog Tigers, in a legal way of course:
- It’s the first road trip for Georgia in a decade, meaning the players are not accustomed to the crazy atmosphere at Death Valley. It’s truly one of the few college football venues where the home crowd makes things quite difficult on the road warriors. Granted, it’s not a night game but it still will play a role. More on that below.
- The Bulldogs are down two defensive lineman and could miss a third one, head coach Kirby Smart told Dawg Nation. David Marshall, a junior, plays about “15 to 20 snaps” a game, Dawg Nation reported. Georgia’s defense hasn’t exactly looked stellar against weaker teams, despite some lopsided results. Examples: Vanderbilt racked up more than 200 total yards of offense in the first half last week and Missouri ran for 172 yards with four touchdowns on Sept. 22.
- As mentioned above, it’s not a true Death Valley road environment because the kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (local time). Having it at night favors LSU more, but SEC analyst Paul Finebaum said Tuesday on his radio show he expects only 8,000 Georgia fans to make it into the stadium. The Bulldog fans traveled well last season, which included a trip to Notre Dame. LSU beat reporter Glenn Guilbeau said on Finebaum’s show, “I heard a lot of Bulldog fans are coming. And from what I understand, there’s going to be hundreds of them at the stadium but not in the stadium around tailgating.”
- There isn’t a ton of recent history in the series to glean from. But the last meeting, which occurred in 2013, was a three-point victory for Georgia. The two teams were ranked in the top five before LSU was upset last weekend in Gainesville, Florida. Expect another close game, which means taking the 7 1/2 points with LSU. Guilbeau said on Finebaum’s show that he thinks LSU wins a close one with a late field goal.
- LSU’s running backs excelled against a difficult Florida defense last week. Nick Brossette averaged five yards after contact per rush, according to Pro Football Focus, and that could play a role for the Tigers against a Georgia team that’s shown vulnerability, at times, against the run this season and are missing some defensive lineman.
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