|No. 2 LSU set for SEC showdown vs. No. 4 Georgia|
LSU has the country's No. 2 scoring offense.
Georgia has the country's No. 2 scoring defense.
If the SEC Championship Game turns into a high-scoring event, that should favor the No. 2-ranked Tigers (12-0, 8-0 SEC), who average more than 48 points per game.
If the defenses set the tone Saturday in Atlanta, that should favor the No. 4 Bulldogs (11-1, 7-1 SEC), who allow barely 10 points per game.
"I know that everybody will make a big deal about those two things, but that doesn't make the game any bigger," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. "It's as big as it can be anyway."
The winner of the game is all but guaranteed a spot in the College Football Playoff. LSU might even be able to lose and still stay in the top four.
"I'm not buying into that at all," Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said. "I don't know if we've got to win to get in the playoffs or not. Our goal is to beat Georgia and win the SEC, then let's see what happens."
When Smart was asked about the LSU offense, he replied, "Where do you want me to start?"
It all starts with quarterback Joe Burrow, who has broken every major passing record at LSU this season, while breaking the SEC mark for passing yards and tying the one for touchdown passes.
Georgia defensive tackle Michael Barnett said Burrow is "league ready," but added that their "offense is well-rounded."
The Tigers' Clyde Edwards-Helaire, like the Bulldogs' D'Andre Smith, has had a 1,000-yard rushing season. Edwards-Helaire leads the SEC with 16 rushing touchdowns and 1,233 yards. Smith's status is uncertain because of a bruised shoulder.
"I think going into this game we're going to keep our same mentality: We're going to attack, we're going to go fast, we're going to throw the ball down the field," Burrow said. "But we also understand that this is one of the best defenses in the country."
Orgeron said Georgia has "by far the best defense we've seen," even after facing four teams that were ranked in the top 10 when the Tigers played them.
"They're NFL players," Orgeron said. "They fly to the football. They tackle well in space. They're very physical. They do it all. I think it's comprehensive with the pass rush that they have and their abilities to cover one-on-one."
The LSU defense has been inconsistent this season, but Orgeron said it played its best game in a 50-7 rout of Texas A&M last Saturday. The Tigers allowed 169 yards, had six sacks and made three interceptions.
Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm has completed less than 50 percent of his passes in each of the last four games and won't have his top two receivers to start Saturday. Lawrence Cager (ankle) is out and George Pickens (suspension) will miss the first half.
This is LSU's first appearance in the SEC title game since 2011, while Georgia is in it for the third consecutive season.
"Experience is valuable," Smart said. "I don't think that's a big advantage by any means, but our kids have played in it. Their kids have played in a ton of big games. In the SEC, it's that way every week. We play a conference schedule that you're going to play teams in the Top 25 three or four times."
--Field Level Media