LSU Game Notes: Tigers to make 7th SEC Championship Game appearance vs. top-ranked Georgia

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Kayshon Boutte, Anthony Bradford
(Photo: Jonathan Mailhes)

LSU (9-3, 6-2 SEC) will make its seventh SEC Championship Game appearance on Saturday when the Tigers face top-ranked Georgia (12-0, 8-0 SEC) at 3 p.m. CT in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The game will be televised on CBS with Brad Nessler (pxp), Gary Danielson (analyst) and Jenny Dill (sideline reporter) on the call. LSU enters the game ranked No. 11 in the AP Poll and No. 13 in the AFCA Coaches Poll. The Tigers are coming off a 38-23 setback to Texas A&M last week. Georgia is ranked No. 1 in both polls and beat Georgia Tech, 37-14, last week. LSU is 5-1 all-time in SEC Championship Games, which includes a 3-1 mark vs. Georgia. LSU’s seven SEC Championship Game appearances rank No. 4 in the league and trail only Alabama (14), Florida (13) and Georgia (13). LSU holds an 18-13-1 all-time record against Georgia. The teams last met in 2019 when the Tigers beat the Bulldogs, 37-10, in the SEC Championship Game. LSU has won two straight and four of the last five against Georgia dating back to a 20-13 win in Athens in 2009. LSU will be after the 17th 10-win season in school history and the first since going 15-0 during the national championship year in 2019. LSU goes into the game riding the arm and legs of QB Jayden Daniels. Daniels has accounted for 3,390 yards of total offense (824 rushing, 2,566 passing) and 26 TDs (11 rushing, 15 passing). His 3,390 yards of total offense rank No. 2 in LSU history behind only Joe Burrow (6,093 in 2019). Daniels is the only quarterback in the SEC to rank among the Top 10 in the league in both rushing yards (No. 10 at 824) and passing yards (No. 7 at 2,566).

Brian Kelly: Most Accomplished Hire in LSU History
First-year LSU coach Brian Kelly joined the program as the most accomplished hire in school history, coming to Baton Rouge after winning 284 games and claiming three National Coach of the Year honors in his previous 31 years as a head coach. Kelly’s career-mark stands at 293-100 and includes 10, 10-win seasons at the FBS level (7 at Notre Dame, 3 at Cincinnati). In 12 years at Notre Dame, Kelly guided the Irish to 10 bowl appearances, including two College Football Playoff games and the BCS National Championship Game in 2012. Kelly ranks first among all active FBS head coaches in career wins (no matter the division) with 293. He went 113-40 at Notre Dame (12 years), 34-6 at Cincinnati (4 years), 19-16 at Central Michigan (3 years) and 118-35-2 at Grand Valley State (13 years). Kelly is 0-2 vs. Georgia – dropping decisions in 2017 and 2019 to the Bulldogs by a total of 7 points.

Quick Notes on the Tigers
• LSU’s Jayden Daniels is one of only 2 FBS QBs to have 800+ rushing yards and 2,000+ passing yards this year. Daniels has 824 rushing yards and 2,566 passing yards. He’s joined by John Rhys Plumlee of UCF (848 rush, 2,195 pass).
• Daniels ranks No. 2 nationally in rushing yards (824) by a QB and he’s tied for No. 4 in rushing TDs with 11.
• Daniels has rushed for a TD and passed for a score in 6 games this year, the most for any player in LSU history in a single season breaking previous mark of 5 by Joe Burrow (2019) and Herb Tyler (1999).
• LSU has used 6 different starting combinations on its offensive line this year. Miles Frazier is the only player to start every game on the offensive line this year and he’s done so at 3 positions (9 at LG, 2 at RG, 1 at RT).
• LSU starts true freshmen Will Campbell (11 starts LT) and Emery Jones Jr. (10 starts at RT) on the offensive line. They Tigers are 8-1 with Campbell and Jones in the starting lineup.
• LSU’s offensive features 3 receives with 1,000 career receiving yards – Kayshon Boutte (1,675), Jaray Jenkins (1,298) and Malik Nabers (1,143).
• TE Mason Taylor, one of 3 true freshmen to start on offense, has 27 receptions, which ranks 9th among all tight ends in LSU history for a single-season.
• WR Malik Nabers has matched his career-high of 7 receptions in consecutive games going into the Georgia contest. In LSU’s last 2 games, Nabers has 14 catches for 198 yards.
• LSU has had a player rush for 3 TDs in consecutive games – RB Noah Cain 3 vs. UAB; RB John Emery 3 vs. Texas A&M.
• As a team, LSU has rushed for 34 TDs, the sixth-highest total in school history and 3 from tying the LSU record of 37 set in 2013.
• LSU has won 13 straight games, including 7 in 2022, when reaching the 30-point mark.
• Offensively, LSU is averaging 32.5 points and 433.8 total yards per game (192.3 rushing, 241.6 passing).
• Josh Williams, who has missed LSU’s last 2 games, is LSU’s top rusher from the running back position with 477 yards and 6 TDs. He has 2, 100-yard rushing games this year (106 vs. Florida, 118 s. Arkansas).
• Malik Nabers leads all receivers with 58 receptions for 726 yards and a TD, followed by Kayshon Boutte (42-431-1 TD).
• Defensively, the Tigers are allowing 21.5 points and 347.7 total yards per game (144.0 rushing, 203.7 passing).
• LB Micah Baskerville leads the Tigers in tackles (75) followed by LB Greg Penn (67) and LB Harold Perkins (59).
• Perkins leads the Tigers in tackles for loss (10.0) and sacks (6.5) followed by JACK BJ Ojulari (7.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks).
• In its last 10 games, Tennessee is the only team to score an offensive TD on LSU in the third quarter. The Vols scored 2 TDs in 3Q in week 6. Outside of Tennessee TDs, LSU’s defense has allowed only field goals to Mississippi State and Alabama in 3Q in past 10 games.

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