“(Deep South)ern Fried”

Saturday Spotlight

(7) Auburn Tigers at (4) Georgia Bulldogs

Auburn: They looked sluggish at the beginning last week against the Kentucky Wildcats. The saying is still true to this day: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. This is year two with quarterback Bo Nix. I was impressed with his play last year because he left everything on the field. Although play says a lot, there were times when the young quarterback seemed overwhelmed. My biggest takeaway from their win last week was the offensive line. I’ll always show the “big uglies” some love. This is a new-look offensive line and they only allowed one sack. The defense could take a step back this year after some key guys left, especially in the secondary. It’s tough replacing guys of Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson’s caliber, but I don’t expect the defensive line to struggle too much. Tonight, it’s a showdown in Athens. Rivalry night is here.

Georgia: When I saw the highlights of their opener, I didn’t recognize the team I’ve come to know since 2017. I’m talking about the physical group that doesn’t let up. The Arkansas Razorbacks were giving them all they could handle. Then, that switched clicked for them. It was a brand new game once they got their momentum shift. Quarterback Jamie Newman transferred to Athens from Wake Forest and was expected to win the starting job. Jamie opted out of the 2020 season. Kirby Smart had to make a switch in the game to a quarterback named Stetson Bennett who’s a Junior. The minute he came in, I saw a completely different offense who clicked more. If it were up to me, Stetson would get the start again. The defense will always be strong. Kirby has even referred to them as the “no-name defense”. It’s their home opener tonight.

Auburn X-Factor: Big Kat Bryant– With Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown gone, you can only hope for the next man to step up. Getting to the quarterback is what this Auburn defensive line has thrived on. Bryant can rush the pocket. He along with Tyrone Truesdell will look to take on bigger roles this season.

Georgia X-Factor: George Pickens– He’s a piece of the one-two punch for this receiving core. Asa Freshman, he caught 49 passes. This year, he will need to step up and become that number one receiver for the quarterback. I’m curious to see how Todd Monken will use him within the  scheme this year.

Final Thoughts: It’s another edition of the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry”. Both teams will look different compared to last season. Watch for the Georgia defense to throw many different looks at Bo Nix early to get him off his rhythm. Make him work to make those throws. Georgia can’t afford to start sluggish once again. Also, I’m attacking the Tigers secondary with my receivers. They’re a young an inexperienced group.

Prediction: Georgia 28 Auburn 21

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