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LSU TIGERS (4-0) at GEORGIA BULLDOGS (2-1)
No. 6 LSU will look to remain unbeaten as it travels to No. 9 Georgia as slight road underdogs.
LSU is 4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS to start the season, failing to cover wide margins in their last two contests against Kent State and Auburn. The Tigers have yet to be truly tested though since week one, when they won and covered with a 37-27 victory against TCU. Georgia, on the other hand, played an extremely difficult schedule to start the season and began it with a loss to Clemson in a 38-35 barnburner. They bounced back nicely, however, with a 41-30 win and cover against South Carolina, and after a bye week romped North Texas in an ATS loss, 45-21. These two teams have played just once over the past three years, meeting at a neutral site in the 2011 SEC Championship game when the Tigers cruised past the Bulldogs 42-10. Covering against top-notch teams has been a struggle for Georgia head coach Mark Richt, who is 1-10 ATS at home in his career against teams with a winning percentage of at least 75percent. Georgia is 2-1 SU in the programs only three series meetings in Athens since 1992 while LSU is 2-1 ATS in those meetings. Overall since 1992, Georgia is 5-4 SU while LSU is 5-4 ATS against one another.
Though hes always had some doubters, LSU QB Zach Mettenberger has been spectacular to start the 2013 season with 1,026 yards through four games on 59-of-91 passing for 10 TD and only 1 INT. The burly 6-foot-5 senior is a pure pocket passer and hadnt thrown a pick until last week against Auburn. He has two main receiving targets in Odell Beckham (20 catches for 389 yards, 4 TD) and Jarvis Landry (24 catches for 364 yards, 6 TD). LSUs rushing game has also been very effective to begin this 2013 campaign, led by Jeremy Hills 42 carries for 350 yards and six touchdowns. Supplementing his touches is Terrence Magee, who has 29 carries for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the LSU defense has held opponents to 3.6 yards per carry, but has allowed foes to rack up 6.0 yards per pass attempt.
Georgia also has a dangerous offensive attack that can be threatening both through the air and on the ground. QB Aaron Murray has put up big numbers to start the year, completing 59-of-82 passes for 1,040 yards through only three games (347 YPG). He has seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Like Mettenberger, Murray is not a threat to run. He leaves the running to Todd Gurley, who has 63 carries for 377 yards and four touchdowns, which includes a 75-yard touchdown scamper. Unlike Mettenberger, Murray spreads his passes out to many more targets with six different players having more than 100 yards and six different players picking up touchdowns. The No. 1 option has been Justin Scott-Wesley (10 catches for 234 yards) while Chris Conley (10 catches for 142 yards) and Michael Bennett (10 catches for 124 yards) tie him for the team lead in receptions. You also cant forget about Reggie Davis, who has only two catches, but one of them was the teams longest play of the season, a 98-yard touchdown pass. The Georgia defense is giving up 4.0 yards per rush, which isn't bad, but it must improve against the pass to have a shot against Mettenberger. The unit is giving up 7.7 yards per passing attempt and 12.3 yards per completion this season.
Jazz bring back Malone to work with Kanter, Favors
Jazz CEO Greg Miller Bicimotos said Wednesday that Malone will work with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, as well as other players. The team says no specific schedule has been set for Malone's involvement. Miller said it will be a part-time, consulting type of arrangement with Malone working periodically with Favors and Kanter.
The move brings back one of the franchise's greatest players at a time when the team is trying to build a contending team around Favors, Kanter and swingman Gordon Hayward. The Jazz missed the playoffs this past season.
"With his success as a power forward in the NBA and the length of his career, he's obviously got a lot to teach," Miller said of Malone. "We're fortunate that he's now willing to make himself and his expertise available to us."
Favors averaged 9 points and 7 rebounds in his third season. Kanter averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds in his second season. Both are 21 years old, and both were No. 3 picks in their respective NBA drafts.
A two-time NBA MVP, Malone played 18 seasons for Utah. He was a 14-time All-Star and ranks second on the NBA's career scoring list with 36,928 points. He teamed with Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton during the franchise's greatest seasons.
"It is great to have Karl as a resource for the team," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He is one of the most talented big men to have ever played this game."
The idea gained steam when Corbin came to Miller and asked to discuss the idea, Miller said.
In addition to teaching the big men body positioning and other technical tricks that he learned and honed in his long career, Malone can help the two youngsters develop the mindset needed to be stars, Miller said.
"He's always one that has been very tough mentally," Miller said. "And when he talks about how he does that, it's pretty fascinating to hear his methods."
Miller declined to speculate about Malone taking on a bigger role in the future, but didn't rule it out either.
"We don't want to rush into anything," said Miller, while adding, "Anything that's out there that we think will helps us win more games, we're open to pursuing it. If things were to unfold with Karl where it was good for him and good for the organization, we would certainly put that in that category."
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