It looked good to start, and then it all fell apart.
Georgia exacted revenge for the 40-17 whipping that Auburn gave them three weeks ago, and won the SEC Championship with a 28-7 victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Auburn played much of the game short-handed, as Kerryon Johnson was limited exceptionally, and both Tre Williams and Carlton Davis sat out the second half with injuries as well. The Tigers were only able to roll up 259 yards of total offense, with 75 of those coming on the opening drive of the game.
The Tigers received the ball to start the game and went right down the field, with Jarrett Stidham capping the drive on a six-yard touchdown pass to Nate Craig-Myers, but Auburn would not score again.
Georgia scored five minutes into the second quarter on a short pass from Jake Fromm to Isaac Nauta to tie the game at 7-7, and then they added a short field goal to take a 10-7 at the half. The momentum-changing play came in the first half as Auburn found itself in the red zone and Stidham fumbled the ball, giving it back to the Bulldogs.
After that, the Tiger defense played fairly well to begin the second half, allowing just another field goal in the third quarter. Trailing 13-7, the Tigers drove into Georgia territory again but had a Daniel Carlson field goal blocked, and then Kerryon Johnson fumbled for the first time this season and Georgia took a 21-7 lead on a short touchdown pass to Terry Godwin.
For the knockout blow, freshman tailback Deandre Swift went 64 yards for a touchdown to put the game out of reach in the late stages of the fourth quarter, and Georgia cruised to the 28-7 win.
Jarrett Stidham went 16-32 for 145 yards and a touchdown, while Johnson ran for just 44 yards on 13 carries. Jake Fromm went 16-22 for 183 yards and two touchdowns, but the Bulldog run game went for 258 yards on 41 carries, with Swift leading the way with 88 yards on just seven attempts.
The Bulldogs will play in the College Football Playoff, likely as the three-seed against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. Auburn’s bowl destination remains murky, although the Tigers will likely play on New Year’s Day somewhere.