No longer the No. 1 ranked team in the country and fortunate to come out of their last game with a victory, the Georgia Bulldogs will turn their attention to Saturday’s SEC contest against the Auburn Tigers.
The Bulldogs needed a pair of late touchdown runs to survive a scare at Missouri, but can get right against an Auburn team it has beaten six straight times.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett was sacked twice, hurried seven times and went without a touchdown pass for the second straight game for the Bulldogs, who had nine plays that went for negative yards.
“It’s hard in the SEC,” head coach Kirby Smart told the media. “There’s nothing easy about the SEC. When you go on the road in the SEC, you better be prepared. We’ve got a lot of things to figure out on offense.”
Auburn quarterback Robby Ashford threw the ball well, passing for 337 yards and two touchdowns against LSU but has to do a better job of protecting the ball.
The freshman, who made his first start last week, fumbled four times, losing one, and threw an interception in LSU territory late in the fourth quarter to seal a 21-17 loss.
“Robby did some good things in that game,” head coach Bryan Harsin told the media. “His confidence should be increased heading into the Georgia game.” Ashford is a threat to run, having done so 50 times for 223 yards, but has found sledding tough against top competition.
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The Bulldogs have given up more than 20 points in each of their last two games, something that happened only once all of last season and that came in the first meeting with Alabama.
The unit will be without defensive lineman Jalen Carter, the projected top pick in next year’s NFL Draft, due to a knee injury, but will get back defensive back Javon Bullard.
Georgia gave up 195 rushing yards on 51 carries (3.67 yards per carry) in the last two games combined and now must face a dual-threat QB in Ashford.
“It’s about being disciplined in your rush lanes, being disciplined in your coverage responsibilities when a QB scrambles,” Smart said. “It will probably happen more often this week than most weeks because of the athlete he is.”
The Tigers have a slew of issues, which is why they will likely have a new head coach next season, but none more than in the final four minutes of the first half and first four minutes of the second half.
The middle eight as it is called has not been kind to Auburn, which has been outscored 42-7 this season and 87-13 in 12 games under Harsin during those crucial minutes.
The Tigers’ troubles aren’t exclusive to the first four minutes of the second half as they have scored just seven points in the second half of the last three games.
Getting leading rusher Tank Bigsby more involved in the second half could be a possible cure. The junior has averaged just 5.3 carries in the second half this year.
Auburn vs Georgia Game Injuries
Auburn vs Georgia Head-to-Head
The Bulldogs are 62-56-8 all-time against the Tigers, but just 16-18 in Athens. Georgia won 34-10 last year behind a big game from Ladd McConkey, who had five catches for 135 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers haven’t won in Athens since 2005.
Georgia has won 14 straight games at home, the sixth-longest streak in the nation.
Auburn vs Georgia Game Information
- Game: Auburn Tigers vs Georgia Bulldogs
- Location: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
- Day/Time: Saturday, Oct. 8th, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Auburn vs Georgia Live Stream: ESPN
Auburn vs Georgia Betting Lines
Auburn vs Georgia Prediction
Given how they struggled against Missouri and Kent State, the Bulldogs probably shouldn’t be 29½-point favorites on the college football lines, but that is the case in this game. Georgia hasn’t beaten Auburn by that many points since a 38-0 win in 2012.
Look for Auburn to put up a fight in the South’s oldest rivalry, which began in 1892.