September 28, 2013

Simply Amazing

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Sixth-ranked LSU and No. 9 Georgia stood toe to toe Saturday in Sanford Stadum, trading haymakers that would have made Floyd Mayweather proud.

But in the end, it was the Bulldogs who landed the final blow, scoring with 1:47 left before holding on to outlast the Tigers 44-41.

Jeremy Hill gave LSU a 41-37 lead with a 8-yard run before Georgia got the ball one more time with 4:41 to play, which was more than enough time for Murray who drove the Bulldogs back, reclaiming the lead with a 25-yard pass from Aaron Murray (20-of-34 for 298 yards, four touchdowns) to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 to go.

With the crowd roaring, Zach Mettenberger completed a first-down pass to the Bulldog 35, but four straight incompletions by the Athens native enabled Georgia to hold on the victory and remain in the chase for the national title.

Trailing 24-17, LSU took the second half kickoff and drove almost 60 yards before settling for a 39-yard field goal by Colby Delahoussaye to draw within four.

The Bulldog answered, getting a career-long 55-yarder from Marshall Morgan to push the lead back to seven.

But back came the Tigers.

This time, LSU found the end zone, driving 80 yards before scoring on a 39-yard pass from Zach Mettenberger (22-of-32 for 354 yards, three touchdowns) to Jarvis Landry with 3:40 on the clock in the third.

It appeared the Tigers about to regain the momentum after forcing a quick three-and-out on Georgia's next possession. That is, until Odell Beckkam Jr. fumbled the punt, which Connor Norman fell on at the LSU 20. Three plays later, Murray's second touchdown pass to Michael Bennett - a 21-yarder - enabled the Bulldogs to surge back in front 34-27.
But you knew this one wasn't over.

LSU tied the score once again on its ensuing possession thanks to Kenny Hilliard's 2-yard run to the score at 34 before Morgan's second field goal put the Dawgs back up by three.

The track meet that many anticipated didn't take long to develop as each team tallied a pair of first-quarter touchdowns to go into the second tied at 14.

Murray and Mettenberger were the big stories here.

The Bulldog senior tossed touchdown passes of 5 yards to Bennett and 25 to Chris Conley, while Mettenberger connected twice with Kadron Boone, first on a 48-yarder and again from 4-yards away.

Mettenberger's second touchdown pass to Boone came after defensive tackle Anthony Johnson at the Bulldog 38 to set up the score seven plays later.

Both defenses finally started to settle down in the second, with the teams trading field goals of 24 yards by Morgan and 49 yards by Delahoussaye.
But that would be more than enough time for Georgia to find the end zone one more time, driving 66 yards on its next possession, eventually scoring on a 1-yard run by Murray with 20 seconds in the half.

Injuries also played a role for both teams.

The Bulldogs lost Todd Gurley with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Gurley did not return, finishing with 73 yards on eight carries. Meanwhile, Giger star running Jeremy Hill also went down in the second with an undisclosed injury but returned to start the third quarter.

NOTES: Freshman free safety Quincy Mauger and defensive tackle Chris Mayes made their first career start for the Bulldogs. … Georgia's 7-0 lead in the first quarter marked the first time LSU has trailed in a game all year.

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