The No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs are about to face off against their long-time rivals, the Auburn Tigers. The game will begin this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Sanford Stadium.
The Bulldogs are coming off a narrow 26-22 road victory over Missouri last week. They trailed the entire game until about four minutes left in the fourth quarter when Daijun Edwards rushed it in the end zone from the 1-yard line.
Many people didn’t expect Georgia to be in a close game against Missouri, considering that they weren’t seen as a good team going into the game. However, this is a relatively young team, and that was their first SEC road test in a night-game environment.
The offense struggled to capitalize in the redzone, and they had to settle for four field goals to start the game. In general, the Missouri defense prevented the Dawgs from having many opportunities for explosive plays. The Tigers also won the turnover battle by forcing fumbles on quarterback Stetson Bennett and running back Kendall Milton.
The Bulldogs are still heavily favored in this home game, but they still need to wary of Auburn, because they are very familiar with them.
Auburn has not looked like the good team we are used to seeing so far this season. They’re coming off a 21-17 home loss against LSU, and they actually beat Missouri in overtime 17-14 the week prior.
At the quarterback spot, Auburn is moving on from T.J. Finley to Robby Ashford. Against LSU, Ashford passed for 337 yards with two touchdowns and one interception The Oregon transfer is mainly known for his athletic ability as a runner, but he delivered the first individual 300-yard passing performance for the Tigers this season.
The Bulldogs defense will have to try and contain Ashford as a runner, but also running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. They might have a tall task on their hands, because they might have to replace some key pieces on that side of the ball.
Junior defensive tackle Jalen Carter has already been ruled out of the game with an MCL sprain, and sophomore inside linebacker Smael Mondon is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Head coach Kirby Smart said that it has been tough for Mondon this week dealing with this injury
“He’s been hurting a little bit. He’s been in a brace, but he’s been able to practice some,” Smart said.
The Bulldogs might be without those two, but they will likely return two key pieces this week as well. Sophomore wide receiver AD Mitchell has been out the past couple of weeks with an ankle injury, but he is expected to return in a limited role this week. Mitchell’s presence alone should be able to boost Georgia’s offense after struggling to score touchdowns last week.
Another returning piece for the Bulldogs will be defensive back Javon Bullard. Bullard has been the main player in that STAR position this season, but didn’t play last week due to his DUI arrest. Signs indicate that he will be available for this game, and he will likely play in that STAR spot along with Tykee Smith.
On offense, Georgia has to be able to finish drive with touchdowns this game, and on defense they will have to slow down the explosive of Ashford and the running backs.
Georgia has won five straight against Auburn since losing that game in Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2017. That’s the same season where the Bulldogs bounced back and defeated the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game 28-7.
Georgia will need to get up and set the tone in this game right away in order to keep Auburn out of it. Even though the Bulldogs won last week by coming from behind, they can’t afford doing that in SEC matchups like this one. The Bulldogs bounce back at home against the their less-talented rival.