“Deep South Funk”

Campus Clash

(5) Georgia Bulldogs at (13) Auburn Tigers 

Georgia: Their win against Florida was as gritty as they come. This team is at their best when everything is clicking on all cylinders for them. If you watch that game closely, Jake Fromm had complete command of that entire offense. Everything flowed through him. They were able to run the football with D’Andre Swift, the offensive line was able to punish the defensive front of the Gators then, the receivers on the outside were able to make plays down the field. Ever since the loss to South Carolina, the Georgia Bulldogs are currently on a three-game winning streak after defeating the Missouri Tigers in their last game. Right now, they sit at 8-1 which has them atop the SEC East once again. They are also in route to another division title under Kirby Smart. In the beginning of the season, they appeared to be flat according to the experts. They probably looked flat because the team they have now included a lot of new players. Many of the guys they had last season are all playing in the NFL right now. I knew they’d end up getting it together. Head coach Kirby Smart was going to make sure they did. The Bulldogs offense is averaging 33 points per game. Their defense will always be the backbone of this team. This year, they’re only giving up 10 per contest. There’s a lot riding on this game for this team. A win on Saturday afternoon would lock up the SEC East division title for the third straight season and a trip to Atlanta to represent the division in the SEC conference title game. They must handle business at Jordan-Hare Stadium when they face an old rival in the conference.

Auburn: I’ve seen many of their games this year. I’ve been able to preview now four of their games. I watched them against the Oregon Ducks in week one which made me a fan of the young quarterback, Bo Nix. Next, I was able to break down their game against the Florida Gators which they fell short for their first loss of the season. Then, I got the chance to break down their game against the LSU Tigers in the annual “Tiger Bowl” and to this day, I still say they gave LSU their toughest test. The one thing I can say about this team is they have a great head coach. Gus Malzahn knows how to bring the best out of anyone he has on his team. Bo Nix has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country. How many freshmen do you see that are never phased? That was this kid all year long. It seemed like the more hostile the environment was, the better he is. Most young quarterbacks seem to be rattle by the big games, that wasn’t Bo at all. What makes this offense flow is how they’re able to establish their running game. They have been the best in the SEC when it comes to running the football. They rank in the top 11 in the nation averaging 218 yards on the ground. This is also a very balanced offense they put on the field. As I said a few sentences ago, they can run the ball, but they also pass it well. I can’t rave about their defense enough. I believe they have the best defensive line in the country. They set the tone up front for this entire defense and the rest of the unit follows. They maybe out the race for the division, but at 7-2, they can still finish the season on a strong note. They will more than likely get a New Year’s Six bowl once again. On Saturday afternoon, they’ll welcome the Georgia Bulldogs to town for another big SEC tilt.

Georgia Player to Watch: D’Andre Swift– He’s one of the more dynamic backs in college football. He can cut on a dime. Run between the tackles, run up the middle and the biggest takeaway of his game is the patience he displays. He allows the lanes to open, then he attacks to get into the open field. I look for Georgia to get him the ball early.

Auburn Player to Watch: Tyrone Truesdell– The big guy in the middle of this defensive line for the Tigers. For someone who weighs 335 pounds, his first step is incredible to watch. He rips through blockers, sheds hands all over him and he gets to the ball carrier. It’s good to know that you have guys in the middle of the defensive line still creating havoc. He’ll need to bring that intensity to this game.

Final Analysis: This is becoming one of my favorite matchups. It’s a rivalry that goes way back hence the nickname, the deep south’s oldest rivalry. They’ve had some memorable matchups. I think of the 2017 season. Auburn stunned the world by upsetting then number one ranked Georgia. A few weeks later that year, they met in the SEC title game with Georgia getting the last laugh. Auburn must get a pass rush on Fromm. You can’t just sit back in that coverage and let him throw. That goes for any quarterback. For Georgia, getting Nix out his rhythm is a priority. It’s all about containment. Make him move to the left side of the pocket so he can throw across his body. This are two of the more physical teams in the SEC.

Prediction: Georgia 20 Auburn 17

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