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Thursday, 01 December 2011 14:36
Getting Defensive--Is Georgia Better Than LSU?
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lsu_tigersGeorgia linebacker Jarvis Jones said the Bulldogs' defense is just as good as LSU's, "if not better."

 Georgia linebacker Jones was asked a simple question at a teleconference call with the media earlier this week. The SEC's leader in quarterback sacks with 13.5, "We're not cocky at all," replied the sophomore. "We're just going to play. We do our job and get after it on the field. We like having fun. Everybody praises LSU's defense, but our defense is just as good as theirs, if not better."


According to the ajc.com, that statement was tweeted out by several pressboxeres and traveled all the way to Baton Rouge. LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard noticed it on Twitter and forwarded it to some of his teammates with the message: "is this guy serious?"  That was followed by more than a few "ha-has" and multiple exclamation points.

Next, little inter-league arguments developed between the teams about which one had the best defense. Jones' teammates came to his rescue.

"He said it, so I'm going to back him up," Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo told  ajc.com. "I'm going to be right there with him. Whatever he says, we're all going to back him up on it."

The Tigers are ranked slightly ahead of the Bulldogs in every major defensive category and LSU has done it against a tougher schedule. Following are the latest  national rankings:

LSU----------------Category-------------Georgia
2                          Total Defense            5
4                          Rushing Defense       6
3                          Pass Eff. D                4
2                          Scoring D                  10
6                          Passing D                  11
16                        Sacks                         17

"This game is a challenge for us as a defense," said Jones. "But you always want to be challenged and you want to step up and accomplish those challenges. So it's going to be a big day for us and we're looking forward to it."

The Tigers figure to stay with their game scheme and that's pound the defense with their four running backs.

This matchup now is more intriguing.

Here is a press release from LSU's sports department on Wednesday about a rumor circulating around the nation: 

“Despite media and message board speculation, no LSU student-athletes have been declared ineligible for post-season competition.  The current semester is not complete and finals are still ahead, so it is grossly unfair to our student-athletes and it is both premature and irresponsible to speculate on the final grades and postseason eligibility of our student-athletes.”

 

 If there was any doubt about what LSU’s mindset is going into Saturday’s Southeastern Conference Championship Game against Georgia in Atlanta, head coach Les Miles put that to rest on Wednesday saying his top-ranked Tigers are focused on one thing and that’s winning the conference title.

 

“There is no view of another game in my mind’s eye and I’m looking to play for victory in this one,” Miles said following Wednesday’s workout. “Again, year in and year out you play in this league, the opportunity for you is to win your division, certainly win the (SEC) West, and then you can get to the championship game.

 

“The opportunity to be an SEC Championship team is what we’re after. I promise you that I have no view of what’s coming after that. What’s coming after that will certainly take care of itself if we play well.”

 

LSU, ranked No. 1in the nation in all major polls, brings a 12-0 overall mark into the Georgia game. The Bulldogs, who have won 10 straight since starting 0-2, are 10-2 overall. They captured the SEC Eastern Division title with a 7-1 mark.

 

This will mark the third time that LSU and Georgia square off in the SEC Championship Game. LSU won the 2003 meeting between the teams, while the Bulldogs followed with a victory of their own over the Tigers in 2005. LSU is 3-1 all-time in SEC Championship Games.


 

LSU continued to prepare for the SEC title game with another workout indoors on Wednesday at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility. Kickoff between the Tigers and the Bulldogs is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT from a sold out Georgia Dome.

 

“We’ve had a good week up to this point,” Miles said. “I like the speed with which our football team is operating right now. I like our preparation. The hard work is done. We’re looking forward to playing.”

 

Miles said that he expects both safety Eric Reid and running back Alfred Blue to be ready for action on Saturday. Reid and Blue both sat out the Arkansas game with leg injuries. Reid ranks third on the team with 58 tackles, while Blue is third in rushing with 445 yards and six touchdowns.

 

Miles said that despite being the 13th game of the season, the Tigers appear to be in good shape health-wise and go into the Georgia game with a great deal or energy.

 

“I think there’s a little extra energy in their step,” Miles said of his team. “At the end of every season, there are guys that have bumps and bruises, but you have to play through. I think this team has a really special energy about them.”

 

LSU will practice again on Thursday followed by a walk-thru on Friday morning in Baton Rouge before departing for Atlanta.

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray likes watching film of Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. "For years now I've been watching Drew Brees and I like watching Aaron Rodgers," Murray told ajc.com. "I've actually gotten some film of them and have been able to watch them in the offseason,  to see little things they do when it comes to footwork, using their eyes, and if there's any two better to watch then those two, I don't know who they are."...Sign seen in Baton Rouge: "We're MILES Better!:...

LSU football sideline reporter Jody Hultburg and sports radio host, says the Tigers favored by 13 points is right on the mark. Said the former LSU basketball player, "You gotta love what's going on here with Tigers fans. LSU has seldom trailed , and even when they were down 14 points to Arkansas, the Tigers had no problem quickly scoring 21 points. They feed off big plays, whether it's a big return, a turnover, a breakthrough run, it was over at halftime."...

Ticket prices  for the LSU-Georgia game are falling unless you're looking for  a luxury  suite. SeatGeek.com spokesman Will Flaherty said ticket prices have been  steadily since peaking at an average of $463 on Nov. 20, falling to average of $135 on Wednesday. The most dramatic drop -- 25 per cent -- occurred between Saturday and Sunday after LSU and Georgia clinched spots in the title game. Flaherty said  it was possible Alabama fans may have bought tickets before the LSU-Alabama game, hoping the Tigers would lose and send the Tide into the championship game. When the Tigers won, the Alabama fans may have flooded the market with their tickets.  The cheapest ticket on SeatGeek at mid-day Wednesday was a $108 upper deck seat, while the most expensive was a $19,153 listing for a luxury suite in the Georgia  Dome... 

by Ed Staton

(Shop Louisiana Sports Talk and save 20 % on sale LSU merchandise).

(Visit Louisiana Sports Talk for your LSU National Championship merchandise.)

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  

 

Website: www.louisianasportstalk.com
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