The Georgia Bulldogs had a fight on their hands on Saturday, but were able to pull away in the second half to beat North Texas 45-21. The Bulldogs were sloppy at times, especially on special teams, but a big second half allowed Georgia to cruise home with a win and set up this weekend’s big Southeastern Conference showdown with the LSU Tigers.
For Georgia, this is the toughest game left on their regular season schedule. If the Bulldogs can beat LSU, they will have a legitimate shot to run the table and win the SEC East, which would send them back to the SEC Championship Game where they lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide last year.
However, this will not be an easy game for Georgia. The Bulldogs’ defense has been exposed quite a few times already in 2013, and with LSU’s new efficiency on offense, Georgia will face a tough challenge. The Georgia offense, while scoring more than 40 points per game, needs to be better this week as well.
Much of the offensive pressure will fall on senior quarterback Aaron Murray and sophomore running back Todd Gurley. Murray is completing 72 percent of his passes on the season, and he will need to have that kind of percentage against a tough LSU defense.
Georgia needs to be able to run the ball with Gurley, who is averaging 125.7 yards per game and has scored four touchdowns. It would also benefit the Bulldogs if Keith Marshall, Georgia’s other sophomore running back, can step up his game.
Georgia does get to play LSU in Athens, which should be a huge advantage for the Bulldogs. There is no doubt that head coach Mark Richt will emphasize the importance of this game to his players. If they can respond, big things could lie ahead for Georgia.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.