I won’t pretend that it was a perfect game from Auburn, but the Tigers kept their composure as Georgia bumbled its way through a mistake-filled game at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and Auburn beat the previously undefeated and top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs 40-17.
Kerryon Johnson paced the Tiger offense with 233 yards of total offense and a touchdown. He ran for 167 yards on a career-high 32 carries. Jarrett Stidham led an efficient attack with 214 yards on 16-23 passing with three touchdowns and a rushing touchdown as well. Auburn gained 488 yards on the day, while the Tigers limited Georgia to 230 total yards, and sacked Jake Fromm time and again.
Georgia took the ball and went 71 yards on the opening drive for a touchdown to take the lead. Auburn had put the Bulldogs in a third-and-long situation but Jake Fromm completed a fade route to Javon Wims to keep the drive alive. Nick Chubb scored from a yard out a few plays later.
Auburn answered on its first drive of the game, crossing the 50, but bogging down and sending in Daniel Carlson for a 54-yard field goal. The kick sailed right through the uprights and the Tigers cut the lead to 7-3. The Tiger defense then stood tall on the next drive as Jeff Holland got his ninth sack of the year, dropping Fromm on third down to end the possession.
The Tigers drove inside the Georgia 20 but then went backward and were forced to go for another Carlson field goal, which he drilled to pull Auburn within a point at 7-6. After another defensive stop, Auburn moved even further into Georgia territory, running the ball and mixing in the short passing game as they got down near the 10-yard line. The drive stalled again, and Carlson’s third kick of the game gave Auburn a 9-7 lead with twelve minutes to play in the opening half.
Georgia’s fourth drive of the game nearly hit a big play as Carlton Davis fell down, but the Bulldogs missed on a long pass play, and two plays later Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown combined on a sack of Jake Fromm to end the drive. The Bulldogs then returned the payment to Auburn, sacking Jarrett Stidham to stall the Tiger offense with eight minutes to play in the half.
The two teams traded three-and-outs, but a leaping penalty gave Auburn new life after a Georgia player jumped over an upback on a punt, and a few plays later, Jarrett Stidham hit Darius Slayton for 42 yards on the deep ball for a touchdown to give Auburn a 16-7 lead. That capped a six-play, 70-yard drive that ended with roughly four minutes left in the first half.
Georgia got the ball back in the final minute of the half, and moved within range of kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, but he pushed a 42-yard field goal wide to the left as time expired in the second quarter, keeping that nine-point lead safe for Auburn as we hit the intermission.
Auburn’s first drive of the third quarter stalled thanks to a review and reversal of a third-down catch by Darius Slayton, but on the punt, Georgia fumbled the catch, and the Tigers recovered at the Bulldog 23. Four plays later, Jarrett Stidham skipped over the pylon on a keeper to give Auburn a 23-7 lead.
After a good first half, the Tiger defense continued to play well, sacking Jake Fromm again on a defensive stand that forced another punt. On the return, Ryan Davis returned it 26 yards into the Bulldogs’ side of the field, and Sony Michel committed a late hit personal foul that gave Auburn the ball at the Georgia 34.
Two plays later, Jarrett Stidham executed the tunnel screen perfectly to Ryan Davis, and the latter wove his way 32 yards right into the students for another touchdown to put Auburn up 30-7 with eight minutes to go in the third quarter.
Georgia still had some life, as Jake Fromm found Javon Wims for a long gainer that led to a 47-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship to close the game to twenty points. Auburn would answer. Going exclusively to the ground game, the Tigers went on a 77-yard, 10-play drive that ate up seven minutes and ended with another Carlson field goal as the 23-point lead was re-established.
Just after that, the Tigers put the final nail in Georgia’s coffin, as Stidham found Kerryon Johnson on a perfect throwback screen, and the Auburn tailback went 55 yards for his first touchdown of the day and the exclamation point as Auburn went up 40-10 with six minutes to play.
We’ll see just how high Auburn rises in the polls, with such a dominating victory over the top-ranked team in the country. Either way, the Tigers’ record stands at 8-2 now, 6-1 in SEC play, and control their own destiny for the SEC Championship and College Football Playoff.
War Damn Eagle.