The First Look – Georgia
Tradition runs deep in the Auburn-Georgia Rivalry. The “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” has had 120 editions and is almost split down the middle. Georgia leads the series 57-55-8, also having won the last 3 games. The first meeting in 1892 was a 10-0 victory for the Tigers. The largest victory in the series was in 1900, this was another Auburn victory at 44-0. Last year’s game was dumb. Auburn’s backfield was hurt, the QB played injured, and yet; a pick-six was the deciding factor. However, this year is different. Auburn’s players are motivated. Auburn has a chance to do something that no other Auburn team (and national – probably) has ever done before – Beat 2 different number 1 teams in the same calendar month.
I could go on and on about the history of this series; bringing up many memories (good and bad) about the games played. Unlike Georgia – who thinks a dog biting one of our players is good – I’ll stick with on the field history.
Junior Rosegreen’s hit
The Prayer at Jordan-Hare
Did you honestly think I wouldn’t bring this one up?
Offensively, Georgia is having a good year. They have a solid offensive line which has allowed a true freshman QB the excel. They have a dynamic running game lead by the second best (at most) backfield in the SEC. They also have speedy receivers that can make plays. This mixture of talent has lead the Bulldogs to an output of 36.6 PPG (tied for 22nd) so far this season. This, of course, is 2 spots behind Auburn, who ranks 20th with 36.9 PPG.
In terms of yards per play, Georgia is racking up 6.76 YYP which ranks them tied for 14th. The edge out Auburn in the category with the Tigers coming in at 24th with 6.4 YPP. The Bulldogs are outgaining the Tigers on the ground, 2514 yards, and 2130 yards respectively. However, Auburn has far surpassed Georgia through the air (2065 yards to 1497 yards).
Taking these rankings and statistics at face value – Georgia’s offense is producing about the same efficiency as Auburn’s; which everyone loves to complain about. Auburn is a better team than they were last year, with a more dynamic passing game. Call me a homer, but I think Auburn has the advantage here.
Georgia’s defense is tough this year. They aren’t letting people score – giving up 105 points on the year (11.7 PPG – #3 in the nation). However, Auburn is no slouch in giving up points either (152 points given up this year, 16.9 PPG – #9 in the nation)
Georgia ranks 4th in yards per play given up with 4.22. Auburn, on the other hand, ranks 7th with 4.43 yards per play given up. Auburn needs to break through the stout offensive line that Georgia has to create pressure. Georgia’s offensive line has only given up 9 sacks this season, so easier said than done.
One thing Auburn will need is a crowd to be behind them the entire game. Come early – be loud – stay late. Georgia’s defensive front won’t be the toughest line Auburn has faced (Clemson), or even the toughest they’ve faced in the SEC (statistically A&M). However, this is a rivalry game, so all players, on both sides, will be juiced. Auburn needs this win. As I mentioned earlier, Auburn has lost 3 straight. I think this game has shades of the A&M game. Georgia will last longer than A&M because they’re a better team. This will be low scoring, it will be frustrating, and will probably remind you of games from 2004-2006. Auburn wins this one 24-21. It will be EPIC.