Last week against New Mexico State, Auburn finally committed to the running game for the entire game. The coaching staff has said it numerous times over the last few weeks, but it has not translated to the field. Out of 62 plays last Saturday, Auburn ran the ball 45 times for 319 yards.
Auburn will need that same commitment this weekend against Georgia. One of the ingredients for an Auburn victory is 200 yards rushing.
A lot of that commitment to the running game we saw last weekend had to do with Auburn playing ahead, but even with New Mexico State putting eight guys in the box committed to stopping the run, Auburn remained determined to run the ball.
"At halftime, they were putting eight or nine guys around the line of scrimmage, but we felt like we had to stick with it," head coach Gene Chizik said (via Charles Goldberg, AL.com).
Obviously, this is a much different defense from New Mexico State that Auburn's running game will go against this weekend. That doesn't mean the UGA defense isn't vulnerable, though.
UGA ranks eighth in the conference in rushing defense, allowing an average of 144 yards per game. The Bulldogs have allowed four opponents to top 200 yards rushing in a game this season. Buffalo, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky all topped that mark against Georgia.
Success in the running game will take some pressure of freshman QB Jonathan Wallace and may open up some play-action opportunities in the passing game.