An early look into the next SEC Championship game can be made by comparing LSU stats against the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama football.
Alabama football and the Georgia Bulldogs have both played LSU in Baton Rouge. The outcomes were decidedly different for the Bengal Tigers. LSU beat Georgia 36-16 in October. The Bengal Tigers lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide 29-0.
How much can be learned about the next SEC Championship game by comparing the stats from the two games? We believe the stats are worth attention if viewed without projecting a future outcome. Stats can be shaped beyond reason and become fanciful. For example, LSU beat Georgia by 20 points and lost to Alabama by 29 points. That does not mean Alabama football is 49 points better than Georgia.
Plus, the stats of the LSU-Alabama game are tainted by the one-half suspension of Devin White. Another two quarters of Devin White would not have changed the game’s outcome but the stats might have been different.
Still, a comparison of the stats from the two games has merit. We will try to keep it simple.
- Total Yards Gained by LSU: against Georgia; 475 yards – against Alabama; 196 yards
- Average Yards Rushing by LSU: against Georgia; 5.4 yards – against Alabama; 0.5 yards
- LSU Passing Yards: against Georgia; 200 yards – against Alabama; 184 yards
- LSU Time of Possession: against Georgia; 33:41 – against Alabama; 24:42
- Rushing Yards allowed by LSU: against Georgia; 113 yards – against Alabama; 281 yards
- Passing Yards allowed by LSU: against Georgia; 209 yards – against Alabama; 295 yards
The only stat that is close from the two games is LSU passing yards. All the other stats are not close. One stat is stunning in its wide disparity. LSU rushed for a 5.4 yard average against the Bulldogs but only 0.5 yards against the Crimson Tide. The obvious conclusion is the Alabama football defensive front is much better than the Georgia Bulldogs’ defensive front.
The yards allowed by LSU against Georgia was impacted by four turnovers by the Bulldogs. The Crimson Tide turned the ball over only once while dominating LSU.
Has Georgia greatly improved in the three weeks since it lost to LSU? Perhaps, the Georgia run defense was pretty stiff against Kentucky, holding the Wildcats’ running backs to a 3.13-yard average.
What can be surmised beyond the stat comparison is Georgia is not as good stopping the run as it was last season. After Saturday night, we can argue, the Crimson Tide defense is not far off where it was last season. Those conclusions do not bode well for Georgia in Atlanta.
It is official. The Tide and the Bulldogs will meet again on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium field for the SEC Championship. Is it a CFB Playoff, play-in game for both teams? Good question.