October 24, 1936 — That’s the last time that the Auburn Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs have played each other in the 10th month of the year. With the world flipped on its ass, Auburn and Georgia fans will have to deal with course corrections that several generations before them never had to deal with. Such is life in this wild year of 2020, but what will be consistent is the top level of play expected between the Tigers and Dawgs on Saturday night.
Both teams enter this iteration of The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry with 1-0 records. Auburn dispatched the upset-minded Kentucky Wildcats a week ago, while Georgia slugged the Arkansas Razorbacks after a grinding start to the game. Both teams had their moments of flashes, and did showcase some sluggishness in the early goings of their respective games as well.
A problem that arose for UGA was quarterback play. D’Wan Mathis got the start with J.T. Daniels’ expected absence from the first week of action. Mathis struggled a bit and while Stetson Bennett played well, neither were particularly convincing under center. Daniels will likely assume the role this Saturday after being cleared earlier in the week. Whether or not that leads to substantial and tangible differences at the helm of the Georgia offense? Well, that’s yet to be seen. And it’s not like Daniels did all too well with the USC Trojans before his arrival to UGA.
Auburn’s Bo Nix, who was quite enigmatic a season ago, played pretty darn well against the UK defense though. He didn’t commit a single turnover and threw for 233 yards with a Y/A of 8.63. That’s nothing gaudy, but it was certainly a strong start to the season for him. Seth Williams once again stood out, as the talented wideout pulled in two touchdown receptions and went over the 100-yard receiving mark.
The defenses for both squads left little to be questioned. Both played outstandingly a week ago in their openers. Auburn allowed a YPC of just 3.6 and a Y/A of just 6.46 against Kentucky, while Georgia let up marks of 2.8 and 5.20 in those respective categories against Arkansas. I would expect both teams to play that well again this week on the defensive side of the ball. Kinks are still to be worked out, and let’s be real — these teams are just loaded defensively.
How to Watch
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Spread: Georgia -7.5
Auburn was able to cover the spread a week ago against Kentucky, while Georgia failed to do so against Arkansas.
This might be a strong reaction to last week’s QB play, but 7.5 points just feels like a lot. Georgia was able to break away from the pack against Arkansas, but Auburn is indisputably not Arkansas. I know the game is between the hedges, but this just feels like too much. Especially because I, personally, am just not a believer in J.T. Daniels and neither Bennett or Mathis feels like someone who’ll inspire confidence. Plus, I think Seth Williams is the best offensive player on the field, and he’s with Auburn. I am definitely leaning Auburn +7.5 and I would not be shocked if they won straight up. I’m not sure how I feel about the total in this one, though. This could be a rock fight.