AUBURN, Ala. – Fifth-ranked Georgia is one victory from clinching the SEC East and reaching the conference championship game, but that path will not be easy starting with Saturday’s trip to No. 13 Auburn. The Bulldogs have allowed just 17 points with two shutouts during a three-game winning streak, but will face an offense averaging 32.7 points and 425.1 yards, and whose only two losses have come against teams ranked in the top 10 at the time (LSU, Florida).
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Georgia -7
“You throw in some of the most elite speed guys in the country on the perimeter, and what you get is a recipe for potential big plays, and they do a good job of attacking,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart told reporters Monday in describing Auburn’s offense. The Tigers will have to contend with a Georgia defense that leads the SEC and is second nationally in points allowed per game (10.1), fourth in the country in rushing defense (74.6 yards) and fifth in FBS in total defense (260.3 yards). While the Bulldogs have yet to surrender a rushing touchdown this season, Auburn is tied for 18th in the country in rushing touchdowns (23) and 19th in the nation in average rushing yards (219.3). “You have to be able to run the football effectively because you cannot be one-dimensional,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn told the media Tuesday. “For us to be successful, we are going to have to run the football effectively. That is how we are built.”
ABOUT GEORGIA (8-1, 5-1 SEC)
The Bulldogs have three shutouts this season for the first time since 1981, one off the school record in a 12-game regular season, and limited Missouri to only 198 yards of total offense (50 rushing) in last week’s 27-0 home victory. Junior defensive back Richard LeCounte returned an interception 71 yards and registered four tackles last week, while senior linebacker Tae Crowder led Georgia with seven stops. It was another efficient day for junior quarterback Jake Fromm (13-of-29, 173 yards, two touchdowns) and junior running back D’Andre Swift (83 yards on 12 carries).
ABOUT AUBURN (7-2, 4-2)
The Tigers were off last week after a 20-14 home victory over Ole Miss on Nov. 2, as freshman quarterback Bo Nix completed 30-of-44 passes for a career-best 340 yards and rushed for a touchdown, while freshman running back D.J. Williams rushed for 93 yards and a score on 24 carries. Nix has passed for 1,798 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, while sophomore receiver Seth Williams leads Auburn in receptions (35) and yards (569). Sophomore defensive back Christian Tutt intercepted a pass on the game’s final play after Ole Miss drove to the Auburn 35-yard line.
1. Auburn has recorded 491 yards or more of total offense three times in its past five games.
2. Fromm has passed for 1,858 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2019 while completing 67 percent of his passes.
3. Georgia leads the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” 59-56-8, winning 14 of the past 18 meetings in a series that began in 1892.
PREDICTION: Georgia 24, Auburn 21