The No. 10 Auburn Tigers crushed the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs 40-17 on Saturday to remain alive in the College Football Playoff hunt. The ‘Dawgs led 7-6 after the first quarter, however, from that point on it was Auburn.
Entering the game, Georgia’s defense was the talk of the SEC. No one had managed to move the ball consistently against Kirby Smart’s defense all season. That changed on Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers rolled up 488 yards of total offense, with quarterback Jarrett Stidham passing for 214 yards and three scores. Most importantly, Stidham took care of the football.
Running back Kerryon Johnson was the most impressive player on the field for either team. The junior running back rushed for 167 yards on 32 attempts and, for good measure, caught two balls for 66 yards, including a 55-yard catch and run for a score. He’s the first running back all year to dominate the Bulldogs on the ground.
It was a tough day at the office for Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm. He completed just 13 of 28 passes for 184 yards and a meaningless touchdown late when the game was already decided. In defense of Fromm, he was hit hard, early and often. And he had no running game either. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combined for just 48 yards on 20 carries.
Georgia will still win the SEC East and appear in the SEC championship game, meaning it still has a shot at the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, Auburn (8-2, 6-1) controls its own destiny and could be headed for a rematch in the SEC title game if the Tigers can take down undefeated Alabama in the Iron Bowl.
Fortunately for the ‘Dawgs, three other top-10 teams lost this weekend, so their fall may not be as steep as originally thought.
And for Auburn, this will go down as one of the more impressive performances of the 2017 college football season.