Before we talk football, I hope we all remember this is Veterans Day weekend, so thank you to all of the men and women who have served in our military. Festivities for veterans day weekend include a flyover before the game which is always a very cool moment.
Now to the game, the Georgia Bulldogs welcome a top ten opponent in the Auburn Tigers to Sanford Stadium. A place the visiting Tigers/War Eagle/Plainsmen/whatever mascot has not won since the 2005 game. In that game the Tigers converted a 4th and 10 to Wide Receiver Devin Aromashadu who took the ball all the way to the Georgia one yard line. The Tigers converted a game winning field goal to win 31-30, though the Dawgs clinched the SEC East the next week. For the more recent meetings, Georgia has won the last two games against Auburn. Last year at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Georgia came from behind in the second half to win 20-13 behind two Isaiah McKenzie touchdowns. That win catapulted Georgia to the lead in the all-time series 56-55-8. Winning ten of the last fifteen matchups against Auburn helped Georgia catch up. The most famous of those ten wins this century would have to be the 2007 game where Georgia ran out in black jerseys for the first time. That was the loudest I’ve ever heard Sanford Stadium as the Dawgs fed of their energy to win 45-20 behind tailback Knowshon Moreno’s two touchdowns.
Now towards this matchup, the biggest key will be Georgia’s ability to load the box to stop Auburn’s Kamryn Pettway. Pettway has run for at least 123 yards in every game he has played in except the LSU game. Georgia will have to force Sean White to beat them through the air. The second key will be Georgia’s ability to convert touchdowns in the red zone. Last week against Kentucky Georgia had to settle for 3 field goals, which will not cut it against Auburn, who has the 16th best red zone defense in America. Finally, Jacob Eason is going to have to convert the deep ball this game. Auburn’s Defensive Line is stout, so they’ll be stuffing Nick Chubb and Sony Michel I expect based on Georgia’s Offensive Line. So Eason will have to win this game on his own, even if he doesn’t convert them all, hopefully Auburn will be called for a few pass interferences. Auburn is 6th in the country in fewest penalty yards per game so hopefully Eason will exploit them this week.
When it’s all said and done, I expect Auburn to cover the spread of ten points and win 31-20. I think Georgia has been doing well on the interior rush defense but expect Pettway to follow his tendency to bounce it outside and break a few long runs. I fully expect Auburn to control the time of possession and put the game away in the second half. If Georgia does lose, it would be the first time since 1962 that Georgia has not won a SEC home game in a season. That type of statistic does not speak well of Kirby Smart’s first year as head coach as well as the overall state of the program. As always, I hope I am wrong when I pick against Georgia, but my faith in the upset happening is only about 20%.
God Bless and Go Dawgs!