Game Time: Saturday, November 10th, 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network || Auburn Tigers Sports Network
Odds: Georgia (-14), -475 (Georgia Moneyline), +450 (Auburn Moneyline), O/U (52 1/2)
Auburn has a funny way of making fools of teams who shouldn’t be made fools of by Auburn. The Tigers are currently sitting somewhere between last year’s squad and the one from 2014. I think.
I have no idea what to make of this Auburn team, honestly. I thought after the Tennessee loss they’d struggle to go .500 on the season, but with big wins over Ole Miss and Texas A&M in the last three weeks, they look to be on the positive side of a 6-3 record.
The Tennessee loss was kind of egregious, but they didn’t get smacked in the mouth. And they lost to what’s turned out to be a very good LSU team by a point. The only loss that’s suspect is the 14-point drubbing in Starkville to State. If the Bayou Bengals don’t make a field goal at the end of regulation and the Vols play like they have for all of 2018, then we could be looking at a 8-1 team.
Alas, they are not 8-1. Georgia is, though, and they get to host Auburn who has to be play the most difficult “back nine” of a schedule in the FBS.
I don’t believe this Auburn team can flummox this UGA team. I don’t know what the hell happened to Georgia in Baton Rouge, but they hadn’t played like that before and they certainly haven’t played like that since. This UGA team is mad. They already have their tickets for Atlanta and, while it might be tempting to look ahead to a rematch with the Tide, Kirby Smart won’t let them and those players look to be dialed in.
Auburn has the defense to make this game interesting, though. While Georgia OC Jim Chaney has finally gotten back to what makes his offense so effective (running the ball and play-action), Kevin Steele’s Auburn defense has the front seven to make both very difficult.
Jake Fromm has sneaky elusiveness, but running from the likes of Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown could be moot. This is where using a guy like true freshman phenom Justin Fields could come in handy.
On the other side of the ball, Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham has been the rock for a team that cannot seem to get over the hump in the running game. While Texas A&M has an elite rush defense, the Tigers could only muster 19 yards on the ground, forcing Stidham to use his arm. It worked, but Georgia has a much better secondary than A&M’s. CB Deandre Baker is one of the most instinctive players in the country and he’s the type of player to render Stidham’s arm useless.
And if UGA shuts down the Auburn run game, I don’t see the Tigers standing much of a chance. Yes, the Dawgs lack the presence of a guy like Roquan Smith in this year’s defense, but they’ve done enough to win eight games rather handily, including an impressive win in Lexington where they held a very good Kentucky run game to just 84 yards.
Auburn being Auburn could do something to hang around in this game, but with it being in Athens, I don’t see it happening for long. Georgia gets it done Saturday night.
Prediction: Georgia 30 Auburn 10