Am I alone in seeing the LSU v. UGA game as a 50/50 toss up? The action in Vegas is clearly supporting LSU, with the point spread pegged at around -6.5/-7 all week. IMO, though, this game will mostly come down to whether UGA's offense can consistently run the ball and dominate time of possession. LSU will score, for sure, but UGA's defense will also win its share of series.
So will UGA be able to pound on LSU? That's difficult to gauge. UGA has - on paper - a great OL and D'Andre Swift at RB (who will be looking to "get paid" in this game). They average 5.22 yards per carry, which is outstanding for a "conventional" pro-style rushing attack. According to FEI OL ratings, UGA is 3rd nationally on standard downs. They're 16th in time of possession.
As for LSU's defense, we all remember Ole Miss gashing them for over 400 yards rushing, but they did finish with a decent 3.68 rushing yards per carry allowed. In their three toughest games this season, they out-rushed Florida, Auburn, and Bama (of course, this also underlines the importance of out-rushing UGA this weekend).
Also in LSU's favor . . . UGA is maybe just so-so on 2nd/3rd down and long. They rank a respectable 33rd in 3rd down conversion rate and they are 5th in the nation in sacks allowed; however, LSU's defense is arguably at its best on 3rd down. Also, according to FEI OL ratings, UGA is 115th nationally when they try to run on "passing downs"! So it is imperative that UGA stay ahead of the chains in this game. Even if they do, though, LSU's DL is #1 in the country on "power downs" (stopping short yardage conversions) according to FEI DL ratings, while UGA's OL is just 44th in that category on offense (despite having a supposed "NFL OL"). So UGA probably needs to convert a lot of second downs into first downs to maintain possessions and keep pace with LSU's offensive death machine.
So, yeah - tough to gauge if that will happen. If UGA is able to consistently run for 4-7 yards on first down, then LSU is probably in trouble. But that's a big if.
What do y'all think?