Auburn Football: Offense with More to Prove Heading into Georgia Game

Matthew BrennanCorrespondent IINovember 3, 2011

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 01:  Philip Lutzenkirchen #43 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates with teammates after making the game winning touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Heading into last week’s game against Ole Miss, the Auburn offense was under fire. The Tigers had failed to crack 20 points in the first four games of the month, and both the coaching staff and the players were beginning to feel the heat as what was a strength earlier in the season continued to sputter.

Last week’s win over Ole Miss saw the offense come back to life with 414 yards and 41 points. But did beating up on a struggling Ole Miss team really prove anything? It’s not really clear whether the performance against the Rebels was a result of better play or just weaker competition compared to the likes of LSU and Florida.

The offense will be back to square one next week when Auburn faces the Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers are still looking for a signature offensive performance against a winning team on the road, and a team like Georgia presents that opportunity.

The Bulldogs defense is coming off a strong game against Florida, where their defensive line dominated the Gators en route to a 24-20 victory. Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones leads the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss, and he sparked a group that held Florida to minus-19 yards rushing.

The Bulldogs are fourth in the SEC with 267.0 yards per game, which is nearly only half of what Ole Miss is giving up. Other than LSU and Alabama’s very stingy defenses, the Bulldogs are the best at stopping the run with only 694 yards.

Georgia’s defense will be able to build more confidence when they face a weak New Mexico State team this weekend.

Auburn’s offense will have some momentum of their own, with quarterback Clint Moseley gaining more experience and confidence and running back Michael Dyer coming off an SEC Offensive Player of the Week performance. Wide receiver Emory Blake will also have his second game at full strength after missing a stretch due to injury.

When all the factors are accounted for, the clash between the Auburn offense and the Georgia defense will be very intriguing. A good performance by the Tigers is integral if they are going to leave Athens with a victory and enter the final stretch of their season on a high note.