Auburn entered their matchup with Georgia with the knowledge that they were in control of their own destiny for the first time since Texas A&M’s loss to Mississippi State last week and would have been looking to gain momentum into the Iron Bowl in two weeks. Instead, the Tigers froze and lost to Georgia 13-7 to give Alabama the SEC West title and knock Auburn out of any outside shot at a College Football Playoff berth.
The majority of the second half was a slog for Auburn’s offense as they only picked up 32 yards and not a single first down. Sean White threw an interception, his first in over a month, that was returned for a touchdown by Alabama transfer Maurice Smith on Auburn’s first possession of the third quarter. That interception return got Georgia on the board and tied the game at 7.
With the SEC’s leading rusher, Kamryn Pettway, not playing in the game for Auburn, the Auburn offense was sufficated by Georgia’s defense. Kerryon Johnson went for 99 yards, but not having Pettway hampered the Auburn offense as they had no other productive options.
Sean White still looked banged up, no wide receivers stepped up to make big plays for White and John Franklin III did not see significant playing time to spell out the struggling White. The Auburn quarterback finished the game 6/20 for 27 yards.
Georgia’s offense did not offer much production, but controlled the ball and the clock throughout the game. The Bulldogs held the ball for 39 minutes for the game and 23 minutes for the second half as Nick Chubb picked up his 16th career 100 yard game. Jacob Eason did nothing spectacular, but also did not make any mistakes en route to a 20/31, 208 yard performance.
For the Bulldogs, the victory offers a breath of life into the program and gives Kirby Smart his first home FBS (and ergo SEC) victory. Going into last week, the conversation was whether Georgia could pickup a pair of wins to become bowl eligible but, after defeating Kentucky last week, they now sit at six victories with Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia Tech to come. Victories in those give the Bulldogs an 8-4 regular season, a four game winning streak to end the season and an outside shot at the Citrus Bowl.
The Tigers now go home to lick their wounds and regroup with in-state FCS foe Alabama A&M before facing off against archrival Alabama to close the regular season.