In my early analysis of this game, I said that the key player for LSU was Zach Mettenberger and for Georgia it was the offensive line. Mettenberger played a fantastic game going 23 of 37 for 372 yards and 3 TD with no INT. He also led his team to a fantastic 10 of 15 on third down. He practically carried them in the first half while their ground game sputtered. If you just looked at LSU's offensive statistics, you would have thought they won this game based on the defensive reputation that they have. Mettenberger sliced and diced the young Georgia defense until they finally rose up on the very last drive and stopped him.
Georgia's offensive line kept Aaron Murray's jersey clean and allowed him to sit back and find receivers. In the first half, it was Georgia that was pounding the football with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. At one point in the second quarter they had eclipsed 100 yards combined and were averaging over 9 yards per carry. Georgia's workhorse Gurley would go down with an injury in the second quarter and Georgia had to alter it's game plan. Instead of running at will, they had to switch to a more pass oriented offense. Murray responded and he hit nine different receivers on the day and threw TDs to three different players including the game winner to Justin Scott Wesley. For a QB that earlier this season "couldn't win the big game", Murray has now won two big SEC games over top ten opponents in just three weeks.
This game could have gone either way as there were several plays that shifted the momentum of the game. Odell Beckham Jr fumbling a punt, Jordan Jenkins dropping an INT that could have resulted in a pick six and LSU completing a 3rd and 22 in their own territory after "wasting" a timeout were a few examples of that. In a game where the two teams combined to score 85 points, there are a lot of plays that will be re-lived over and over in the minds of these players. Both of these teams obviously have their flaws (mostly on defense) but they laid it all out on the table on Saturday afternoon and put on a great game. For Georgia, they are now in the driver's seat in the SEC East. If they win out they will go to Atlanta and play for the SEC Championship. But, the same can be said for LSU. They still have their entire SEC schedule in front of them (except Georgia and Auburn) so if they beat Alabama, A&M and the rest of the West then they can also make it to the Georgia Dome.
What's next for Georgia: Georgia travels to face a Tennessee squad that is struggling. On paper it's a relatively easy win but that's why they play the games. Georgia's only road trip so far this year also resulted in their only loss.
What's next for LSU: They head to Starkville to play Mississippi State. State already has two losses but they are coming off of their best game of the year.