The No. 2 team in the nation looked more like No. 1 on Saturday as LSU dismantled No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
Joe Burrow and Co. jumped out to an early 14-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back. Going into halftime up 17-3, the Tigers hit the afterburners in the second half en route to a 37-10 blowout win.
These are the biggest winners and losers from LSU’s dominant SEC Championship Game victory over Georgia.
As he’s done all year long, LSU starting quarterback Joe Burrow made a darn good defense look bad. Georgia had no answers for Burrow’s dual-threat abilities.
Joe Burrow just makes things happen. pic.twitter.com/bh0g04Fj80— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 7, 2019
In the first half alone, he went 17-of-25 for 204 yards and threw two touchdowns.
Staying sharp in the second half, Burrow had his Heisman moment with a legendary escape before completing a 71-yard pass to Justin Jefferson, leading to yet another touchdown pass for the star, who finished with 390 yards and four touchdowns.
Perhaps we should have realized it was going to be a special day for Burrow when he completed a 16-yard pass to himself (watch here). Now there’s absolutely no debate (if there was one to begin with) about who should win the Heisman Trophy. It’s Burrow, and there will be a huge gap between him and whomever gets second place in the Heisman voting.
We can’t doubt Jake Fromm’s toughness after he gutted out two-plus quarters on a gimpy ankle. Showing leadership and determination, he came back into the game after getting his ankle taped up heavily. Unfortunately, he finished off the second quarter with a brutal interception that doomed a potential Georgia scoring drive.
PICK FOR LSU! Derek Stingley finds it at the last second. pic.twitter.com/8oklULUqrV— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 7, 2019
To be fair to Fromm, his receivers did him no favors in this game, dropping multiple passes that hit them right in their hands. But overall, Fromm also had a poor outing outside of a few nice stretches. He would finish the game with 225 yards on 20-of-42 passing with one touchdowns and two interceptions.
There’s no doubt about who the Tigers’ No. 1 receiver is. Ja’Marr Chase hauled in his 18th touchdown of the season during the first quarter of the SEC Championship Game, after all. But overall, the future first-round pick struggled while dealing with an illness and only finished with three catches for 41 yards.
With Chase bottled up, the Tigers got outstanding production from other receivers. Justin Jefferson led LSU with 115 yards on seven catches, scoring a touchdown as well. Terrance Marshall Jr. hauled in five passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns.
With so many enticing options in the passing game, Burrow utterly shredded Georgia’s secondary.
Prior to Saturday’s SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart talked about how other guys not named D’Andre Swift had to get involved due to his injury and those of others, and the first-half suspension of receiver George Pickens (for throwing punches last Saturday).
With Swift clearly not at 100%, the Bulldogs barely got any traction running the ball against the tough LSU front-seven. As a result, they finished the game with just 61 yards on 25 carries, giving Fromm no help whatsoever.
Before Georgia and LSU kicked off the SEC Championship Game Saturday, No. 6 Oklahoma beat No. 7 Baylor in an overtime Big 12 Championship Game. That outcome, combined with Utah’s embarrassing loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game Friday night, should be all the Sooners need to get into the College Football Playoff.
It’s not rocket science, right? The fourth- and fifth-ranked teams in the nation lost. Oklahoma, riding its defense of all things, beat the No. 7-ranked team. Barring one of the biggest controversies in modern sports history, the Sooners are in.