ATHENS, Ga. -- On Saturday, No. 9 Georgia will compete in its third top-10 matchup of the season against No. 6 LSU. The winner can continue its quest for a national title. The loser will be forced to regroup.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt opened Tuesday’s press conference impressed with LSU.
“It’s without question a huge game for us and a huge game for LSU,” said Richt. “We have an awful lot of respect for LSU, even more respect after watching them on TV last Saturday night. They look as good as ever.”
LSU (4-0) comes to Athens this week with a potent offense. The Tigers rank third in scoring offense in the Southeastern Conference, averaging 43.2 points a game and have produced over 400 yards in each of the four games they’ve played this season. Senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger has only thrown one interception the entire season.
Georgia (2-1) ranks fourth in the SEC in scoring offense, averaging 40.3 points per game.
Georgia’s defense is quietly improving. Last week the Bulldogs held the Mean Green to 245 yards of offense and seven yards on the ground. Georgia’s defense must be prepared to change the momentum of this game, shake off bad plays and quickly prepare for the next snap.
“You keep fighting like mad to not give up big plays,” said Richt. “You fight like mad to get turnovers. You fight like mad to find ways to get a big stop and a momentum-changing stop somewhere along the way, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Most importantly, this young Bulldog defense must be able to stop LSU on the ground. In just four games the Tigers have ran 163 times for 884 yards. Richt would like to see the defense improve in tackling and communication.
Last week against North Texas, special teams was a critical concern.
“Everybody just has to run down the field and do what we need to do,” junior inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera said on Tuesday. “We just need to not try and do anything special or out of character and just try and make the play.”
Richt said he believes everything is correctable.
“We have to find out where we went wrong and correct it,” said Richt. “If we can make decent corrections through us communicating better as coaches and also by making sure we have the right guys in the right spots, I think we can clean it up.”
The Bulldogs are set to kick off against the Tigers at 3:39 p.m. ET in Athens, Ga.