Fans spilled onto the field. Some ran. Some hoisted others on their shoulders. Others knelt to grab a handful of grass to remember the day when No. 13 LSU beat No. 2 Georgia 36-16 in Tiger Stadium, vaulting the Tigers (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) back into College Football Playoff contention after a loss in Florida last week.
Inside linebacker Devin White was doing a TV interview when the fans brushed past, some reaching out to grab his grass-stained jersey. Suddenly, former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson was standing by, and he guided White back into the locker room.
“ ‘I know how these crowds can be,’ ” White said Jefferson told him. “ ‘Let me help you get in, brother.’ ”
Jefferson would know. Saturday night was the first time LSU beat an opponent ranked as high as Georgia since Jefferson’s Tigers beat No. 2 Alabama in 2011.
Ed Orgeron stood in the north end zone, his left arm wrapped around his wife, Kelly, and his right stretched out to high-five the purple and gold-clad fans who passed by.
Orgeron didn't hold back in his team's third Top 10 win of the season, choosing to go for it on fourth down four times against Georgia and converting each time. The first was called near Georgia's goal line, when LSU quarterback Joe Burrow snuck into the end zone to give the Tigers a 10-0 lead they never relented.
Orgeron said it was reconciliation for last week's decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-1 against Florida, for which he said "I was a little (upset) at myself."
"We were going to be as aggressive as we can (against Georgia)," Orgeron said. "We were going to take shots. Go for it. Played to win the game the whole time."
Excitement over LSU's upset of Georgia spilled over in Baton Rouge Saturday evening -- literally.
LSU converted on its shots against Georgia's defense, which entered the game ranked second nationally in scoring defense (12 points allowed per game).
True freshman receiver Terrace Marshall made a leaping catch along the sideline on the second drive of the game, which set up the first of five Cole Tracy field goals. Clyde Edwards-Helaire burst through the middle for a 47-yard rush to the Georgia 7 before being caught from behind just before the end of the first quarter. Then, Burrow completed a 50-yard pass to Justin Jefferson along the right sideline to set up another field goal in the second quarter.
Edwards-Helaire finished the game with 19 carries for a career-high 145 yards.
"Being able to do that against a Georgia defense that was so highly talked about," he said, "it just goes to show you that our offense is just that good."
Then there was the fake field goal — a failed flip to Georgia placekicker Rodrigo Blankenship — that swayed momentum in favor of LSU.
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The Bulldogs only trailed 3-0 then, in the first quarter, when its offense was averaging 6.4 yards per carry as it approached the LSU 14.
Georgia holder Jake Camarda flipped the ball over his head to Blankenship, but strong safety Grant Delpit stripped the ball away.
Burrow's fourth-down quarterback sneak came on the following drive.
The LSU band doesn't play 'Neck' at Tigers home games anymore, but the student section proved on Saturday that won't stop that well-known chant.
The LSU defense allowed just 42 yards rushing the rest of the game and at one point forced Georgia into three consecutive three-and-outs.
LSU had allowed a season-high 215 rushing yards in the 27-19 loss to Florida, and the Bulldogs entered the game with the nation's No. 16 rushing offense (245.17 rushing yards per game).
LSU held Georgia to a season-low 322 offensive yards and intercepted Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm twice.
"We had a let-up last week, and we fixed those things," said White, who recorded a game-leading 13 tackles. "Now we're back on pace, and we're going to keep it going."
Georgia fans travel well -- and that may be an understatement.
LSU held Georgia back by establishing a pass rush that had been absent in previous weeks.
Fromm completed a 13-yard pass to Riley Ridley to the LSU 36 on the first drive of the second half, but LSU defensive end Glen Logan sacked Fromm for a loss of 9 on the next play. It was Logan’s first sack of the season.
Five plays later, safety JaCoby Stevens chased down Fromm for another sack, which forced a Georgia field goal that brought the Bulldogs within 16-3 with 9:03 left in the game.
"This week we made that a big goal," said field linebacker Michael Divinity, who recorded a sack. "And we accomplished that."
LSU’s three sacks equaled the total the Tigers had recorded in their three previous games.
The win likely will vault the Tigers back into the top 10 before they host No. 24 Mississippi State next Saturday.