No. 6 LSU falls to ninth-ranked Georgia in shootout

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger passed for 372 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers' 44-41 loss to Georgia on Saturday afternoon. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/ Peter Silas Pasqua

ATHENS, Ga. - Fans in Sanford Stadium and watching on CBS around the country were treated to one of the most entertaining games in series history, as the sixth-ranked LSU football team came up short of ninth-ranked Georgia on Saturday, 44-41.

LSU (4-1, 1-1 SEC) and Georgia (3-1, 2-0 SEC) amassed 943 yards of total offense and 85 points, as the normally defensive-minded SEC powers left 92,746 fans with whiplash. The combined points were sixth-most in an LSU game during the SEC era (since 1933) and the ninth-most all time.

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray engineered a six-play, 75-yard touchdown with 1:47 to play that proved the difference.

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger made plays throughout the game but couldn't advance past his 35 on the final drive after suffering a sack for the fourth time on the afternoon. Coming back to where he started his college career, Mettenberger out-did Murray on the stat sheet, completing 23-of-37 passes for a career-best 372 yards and three touchdowns.

LSU was 10 for 15 on third down while limiting Georgia to 4 of 11.

Murray, who wasn't sacked, was 20 of 34 for 298 yards with four touchdowns and an interception that led to an LSU touchdown.

With the game tied 27-27 in the third quarter, LSU looked to take momentum after wide receiver Jarvis Landry caught a 39-yard touchdown and the LSU defense was able to stop Murray in his own territory. But, punt returner Odell Beckham Jr. muffed the punt at the LSU 20 and Georgia quickly took a 34-27 lead.

The Tigers recovered to score twice and retake the lead for the first time since the first quarter, 41-37, with 4:14 to play before Murray led the game-winning drive.

LSU, which still controls its opportunity to represent the SEC Western Division in the league's title game, returns to action on Oct. 5 when the Tigers travel to face Mississippi State at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.

Despite the road defeat to the Bulldogs, LSU continued to pile onto its record-setting offensive start to the season.

Landry had career highs of 10 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown, while Beckham added six grabs for 118 yards. Kadron Boone scored LSU's first two touchdowns including a 48-yard catch-and-run midway through the first quarter. His 6-yard score followed the Johnson interception later in the quarter and gave LSU its first lead, 14-7.

Jeremy Hill paved the way on the ground with 86 yards on 21 carries, while hauling in four passes for 44 yards.

Murray was supported by running backs Keith Marshall (20 attempts, 96 yards) and Todd Gurley (eight rushes, 73 yards), who left the game before the half with an ankle injury.

Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley had five catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. Justin Scott-Wesley had the game-winning catch.