A bizarre interception set Georgia up for a touchdown in the first half of the SEC Championship Game on Saturday. With the Bulldogs ahead 14-7 early in the second quarter, LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels threw a pass intended for Jack Bech. As the ball arrived, Bech and Georgia defensive back Christopher Smith collided, sending the ball soaring into the air. It then bounced off Bech’s helmet and was intercepted by linebacker Smael Mondon Jr.
Shock appeared to envelop LSU in the immediate aftermath of the interception as coach Brian Kelly offered a perplexed look. But slow-motion replays clearly showed the football hitting the back of Bech’s helmet — without touching the ground — before it shot into the air.
On the ensuing play, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett found Ladd McConkey for a 22-yard touchdown pass that put Georgia up 21-7 at the 14:43 mark. The strange interception marked the second unusual play involving Smith to go in the Bulldogs’ favor early in the game after hein the first quarter to put UGA ahead 7-0.
LSU found early success moving the football against Georgia, but between the blocked field goal return and unlucky interception, the Tigers found themselves in an early hole against a Georgia team that hardly needs help in its quest to dominate opponents.