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Georgia gets revenge on LSU, wins first SEC Championship since 2017

Smart picked up his second SEC Championship-win as Georgia's head coach, with his first coming in his first title game appearance in a 2017 win over Auburn.

ATLANTA — In a season in which No. 1 Georgia has dominated almost every opponent on their schedule, they saved their best for last in Saturday's SEC Championship-win over the No. 14 LSU Tigers by a final of 50-30.

It was sweet revenge for the Dawgs, who fell to a Joe Burrow-led LSU team in the 2019 title game. Overall, Georgia wrote the ship of a 1-3 record all-time against the Tigers in the big game, including their first win against them in Atlanta since 2005.

Late in the first quarter on LSU's second drive, their offense was moving down the field with considerable ease against UGA's number one ranked defense, even converting a big third down just outside of the red zone.

But, as Georgia's D made a big 3rd & Goal stop, LSU's special teams took the field to try and tack on the first three points of the game. Instead of some early momentum against the nation's top team, Georgia blocked the field goal which led to ensuing chaos.

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Georgia defensive back Christopher Smith shocked everybody after the ball sputtered to the 5-yard line before much of LSU and even some UGA players assumed it was a dead ball. That's when Smith went over, paused, and then picked up the ball with a convoy, returning it for a 95-yard touchdown and the game's first score.

Despite LSU tying it up on the following drive, Georgia never looked back. The Dawgs added a score before the end of the first quarter, and then outscored the Tigers 21 to 3 in the second quarter to take a commanding 35-10 lead into the break.

Stetson Bennett threw four touchdowns in the first half alone, spreading it around as he has done all season: one to Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey, Darnell Washington and Dillon Bell.

After Bennett threw for 216 first half yards, he only needed 58 the rest of the way.

Georgia's rushing attack took over the game in the second half, despite LSU making the game interesting with a fumble recovery and a touchdown to begin the second half.

The Dawgs rushed for 255 yards, led by Kendall Milton's 113. Kenny McIntosh ran for two second half touchdowns and Georgia blew things wide open to begin the 4th quarter with a 2-point conversion to rack up 50 points on the Tigers defense.

The win is a relieving one for Georgia head coach Kirby Smart when it comes to his recent success, or lack thereof, in the SEC title game. Smart had lost his previous three, a 2018 loss to Alabama, a 2019 loss to LSU and a 2021 loss to Alabama, before eventually beating them in the National Championship.

Smart picked up his second SEC Championship-win as Georgia's head coach, with his first coming in his first title game appearance in a 2017 win over Auburn.

What's next for Georgia

The Dawgs have likely cemented themselves as the No.1 seed in the College Football Playoff that begins Dec. 31, but we won't know that for sure until the committee decides their fate in the selection show Sunday at noon.

Georgia could be matched up against a number of teams, those including most likely: TCU, Ohio State and Alabama (who yes, remains in the conversation).

This is UGA's fourth SEC Championship of all time, with the first two coming under former head coach Mark Richt, and the latter two being championed by Kirby Smart.

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