Zamir White scored two touchdowns, Kearis Jackson amassed nine catches and 147 receiving yards and Georgia's dominant defense stymied Auburn as the No. 4 Bulldogs defeated the visiting No. 7 Tigers 27-6 on Saturday at Sanford Stadium in Athens.
Georgia began the game with scored 24 unanswered points off a pair of one-yard White runs, a chip-shot field goal and George Pickens' 21-yard touchdown reception. White's second touchdown helped give Georgia a 24-0 lead with 6:26 remaining in the second quarter.
Auburn hit a field goal before halftime, and the two teams traded field goals in the second half to close the scoring.
UGA, which opened its season with a 37-10 road win over Arkansas, sports a 2-0 record. Auburn, which started 2020 with a 29-13 home win over Kentucky, is now 1-1.
Auburn QB Bo Nix: 21-of-40, 177 passing yards, 1 INT
Auburn RB Tank Bigsby: 8 carries, 31 rushing yards; 7 catches, 68 yards
Auburn WR Anthony Schwartz: 8 catches, 57 yards
Georgia QB Stetson Bennett: 17-of-28, 240 yards, 1 TD
Georgia RB Zamir White: 19 carries, 88 rushing yards, 2 TD; 1 catch, 10 yards
Georgia WR Kearis Jackson: 9 catches, 147 receiving yards
Kearis Jackson Introduces Himself to National Audience
Jackson, a sophomore, entered Saturday with 11 career receptions for 141 yards.
He wasn't featured in the deep and talented Bulldogs offense last year as future NFL players like running back D'Andre Swift and wide receiver Lawrence Cager amassed much of the team's touches and targets.
If Saturday is any indication, however, Jackson will star in this year's offense after dominating the nation's No. 7 team under the lights. Of note, Jackson nearly matched his career production in the first half alone:
He wound up eclipsing his career yardage total by the game's end anyway.
Daniel Shirley of The Athletic provided a succinct and accurate subjective point of view:
Jackson's presence forces opposing defenses to give more respect to the aerial attack.
Leading 2019 wide receiver George Pickens, for example, doesn't have to worry about receiving extra defensive coverage, thereby freeing him on plays like on this 21-yard touchdown to give his team a 16-0 edge:
For his part, Jackson hauled in a 49-yard pass to set up White's second touchdown run. Jackson was wide-open but had to adjust after quarterback Stetson Bennett underthrew the pass.
Still, Jackson caught the pass and absorbed a big hit to put Georgia in the red zone. Shortly thereafter, the Bulldogs went up 24-0.
Jackson added more explosive plays in the form of a 17-yarder on Georgia's first touchdown drive and a 21-yard catch to set up a field goal in the third quarter to give the Bulldogs a 27-3 edge. His last catch went for another 22 yards.
Georgia ultimately cemented its status Saturday as a Top Five team by any measure. Jackson played a big part in that regard, as he helps form an explosive dimension to the Bulldogs' passing game.
That, in turn, helps Georgia stake a claim as the most well-rounded team in the country thanks to a strong run game, the aforementioned pass game and a dominant defense that has been a nightmare for the opposition thus far.
Georgia's Defense Beats Auburn's Offense via 1st-Round Knockout
Give credit to Georgia's defense for its oppressive power and speed, which overwhelmed the Auburn attack.
However, much more was expected of the Tigers going into the night, especially after they largely excelled in a 29-13 win over No. 23 Kentucky in their opener.
Instead, Auburn couldn't get anything going.
The Tigers possessed the ball six times before halftime. The first three ended with three-and-outs, and the fourth went just 22 yards prior to a punt.
The fifth finished with a chip-shot field goal, and the sixth ended with a failed trick play from Auburn's own 15-yard line that lost four yards.
Georgia's defense ultimately called game in the first half. Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch put the unit in good perspective:
Ex-NFL player and SEC Network analyst D.J. Shockley credited the Bulldogs' speed in particular:
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix didn't have his best game, but he didn't have much of a chance. The Georgia front seven overwhelmed Auburn's protection, as ex-NFL wideout Harry Douglas tweeted:
In the end, Auburn vs. Georgia went much like how ESPN described it on Twitter:
Auburn's offense is far better than what it showed Saturday, but Georgia's loaded defense may cause problems for every single team it faces if its dominant win over the Tigers is any indication.
Both teams will play at home on Oct. 10. The Bulldogs will host Tennessee, and the Tigers will welcome Arkansas to Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama.