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Auburn is 110th out of 120 teams against the pass. Zac Etheridge is All-SEC caliber but nobody else is quite frankly. They thrive on the pressure that the front four gets, but when the opposing OL has time to throw darts the secondary of Auburn turns into swiss cheese. Also, do not forget about UGA’s special teams plays.
They have the best kicker-punter duo in America led by Blair Walsh and Drew Butler. Though UGA must score on the majority of possessions they have, a big field goal kick and a huge cough in punt inside the five may be just enough to keep Cam, Lights, Action’s offense below their usual 500 yards of offense.
Matchup of the Game
Defensive tackle Auburn Nick Fairley against UGA center Ben Jones. UGA better run the ball or else they will get put to sleep. Auburn has lived off putting pressure on opposing QB’s in the SEC: knocking Mallett out, beating up Jefferson, as well as toying with the Bulldog’s offense.
Why Auburn can win
It is funny how Clemson, Miss St, Arkansas and LSU were all winning or within seven points of defeating the so-called “best” team in America earlier in the season. Yet, people still think Auburn is by far the team to beat this year. Cam Newton has deserved everything he has received this season since he has been a one-man wrecking crew.
But the issue for SEC defenses is that War Eagle has three, four backs that carry the load. Onterio McCalebb, Mario Fannin and Michael Dyer can all tote the rock for 10 times a game while running for over 100 yards a piece if need be. Talk about a four-headed, unstoppable monster with Newton in the backfield. No wonder no team on God’s green Earth has been able to slow down this rushing attack.
This game will be more difficult than some may care to admit, but in the end you gotta think the Tigers continue to flex their muscles.
Why Georgia can win
Both teams are coming off essential byes (UGA routed Idaho St 55-7 and Aubie won 62-24). How does Auburn give up 24 points to a non FBS school? I can tell you why! They rank 110 in pass defense, 52nd in total defense, and 55th in scoring defense.
Is that BCS Title worthy? I think not! Georgia is only coming at 5-5 yet they still have top 25 clear, cut talent to me. AJ Greene is the greatest WR in America right now (Justin Blackmon isn’t bad) and there is no stopping him. Throw in a talented backfield led by Washaun Ealey, Carlton Thomas and Caleb King and you may wonder how this team has five losses.
They have had major health issues among suspensions which some may argue were not necessary. Despite being on the road, I believe Mark Richt can prove why he is still a top 20 coach in America and why Gene Chizik may never be known as a “big game winner.” Oh, I cannot wait to see if the Auburn Tigers can handle a hungry Dawgs team.
Danny V's Pick: GEORGIA 34 AUBURN 33
JFAV's Pick: AUBURN 42 GEORGIA 34