SEC football championship game: Keys to LSU Tigers' win over Georgia Bulldogs

December 4, 2011 


Tyrann Mathieu earned MVP with his punt returns, one of which went for a touchdown and another set up a score, and a fumble recovery. He is the third defensive player to win the MVP award in the SEC championship game, the first since 1994.


Georgia took the opening kickoff in the second half with a 10-7 lead. On the third play, Aaron Murray tried to scramble for a first down. He was hit and lost the football. Mathieu recovered at the Georgia 27. Two plays later, LSU took the lead.


The Bulldogs finished with 78 yards rushing, but only 37 of that came in the first three quarters when the game was still in doubt. Those 78 yards came on 34 carries (2.3 yards per carry).


“Obviously, we got off to a slow start, so I just felt that I needed to change the momentum of the game. It was the perfect time with that punt return.” -- LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu, on his punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter that trimmed a 10-point deficit to three.



Georgia held LSU to zero first downs in the first half.


Georgia is 2-2 in SEC championship games after the loss Saturday. Georgia beat Arkansas in 2002 and LSU in 2005. It also lost to LSU in 2003.


With a field goal in the first quarter, Blair Walsh set an NCAA record with at last one field goal in 44 games. Former UGA kicker Billy Bennett had shared the record at 43.


Alec Ogletree was Georgia’s leading tackler. The linebacker had six tackles and one sack.


Only two of LSU’s four scoring drives went more than 26 yards. The Tigers went 70 yards on 10 plays late in the third quarter for a 28-10 lead. The next touchdown came on a 93-yard, four-play drive.

-- Kevin Price

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