Auburn +3 3.3% play

This game is pretty easy to handicap.  Whichever team can run the ball better will win this game.  That has held true in 9 of the last 10 meetings between the two teams.  This is the first time Auburn has a bye before the game, while Georgia played an SEC game last week.  South Carolina had a bye week before they went to Georgia and pulled the upset. Whenever you have to win at the line of scrimmage and you come into the game the fresher team that’s going to be a huge benefit and when you ad din that you are also the home team it becomes a major advantage.  Auburn should have a great game plan on offense and defense, and I think it really helps their QB playing at home where he has been excellent especially when facing a team that does not have a pass rush. Georgia ranks 92nd in sack %.

 

Auburn’s rushing attack is far better this year ranking 32nd in ypc, and they have a QB that can also pick up first downs with his feet, which is not something they have had the last two years in this game.  Georgia’s run defense has been excellent all year, but only two teams have tried to run the ball 30+ times on them. Both of those teams were successful in doing so as South Carolina and Kentucky ran for 142 & 160 yards and that was without the threat of a passing game.  Kentucky was down to their 3rd string QB, and playing in a rainstorm where you knew the run was coming, and Kentucky was able to run the ball. The same thing happened in the South Carolina game their 2nd string QB got hurt, and a 3rd string QB came in and was essentially running the wild cat and they were able to run the ball and upset Georgia.  Auburn is far more dynamic than both of those teams, and much more creative with Gus Malzahn calling the plays. Lastly, Georgia played both games against top 50 rushing attacks at home. The Kentucky game, and Notre Dame, who only attempted 14 runs.

 

Georgia’s rushing attack is clearly elite, and the biggest key to their offense, and that is nothing against Jake Fromm.  I think Fromm is a big leader, and really enjoyed following him throughout his high school career and freshman year leading Georgia all the way to the National Championship.  However, when Georgia does not rush for more than 4.3 ypc they are 0-6 under Fromm/Smart. Auburn’s run defense ranks 19th, and they have faced six TOP 50 rushing attacks. Their run defense is better than Georgia’s in my opinion and being at home only compounds that fact.  It doesn’t seem that way, because Georgia has had a really easy schedule so far. The other problem with Georgia is their rushing offense has gotten worse throughout the year. Team’s are starting to realize they don’t have an explosive set of receivers, and they are beginning to focus more on the run, and it has shown in their last two games.  Auburn’s run defense has not given up over 200 yards, and have not allowed more than 4.3 yards per carry all year. Georgia’s last visit to Auburn they only averaged 1.44 ypc, and that was in their championship run in 2017. This offense is just not the same.

 

TO marign, and special teams are about even, and so are many other statistical categories we look at.  You can say Georgia has more to play for, but I say they have the most pressure. Auburn would love nothing more than to end Georgia’s playoff hopes on their home field and then go and do the same thing to Alabama in a couple of weeks.


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