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Staff Picks - Auburn @ Georgia

Can the Tigers win in Athens for the first time since 2005?

NCAA Football: Georgia at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn’s had a lot of trouble getting wins against Georgia when they head East across the Chattahoochee River. Can they get a huge victory tomorrow in Athens? Let’s take the temperature of the College and Magnolia staff.

Auburn @ Georgia (-14.5) (O/U 50.5)

“On one hand, Auburn hasn’t beaten UGA in Athens since 2005. On the other hand, Athens is dumb and stupid and is a plague on modern society. I know I made a prediction on Orange and True, but I have no idea what it was. Let’s say Auburn takes advantage of UGA’s mediocre rush defense and lack of pass rush and wins 31-30.” - Ryan Sterritt

“I suspect that Allen Greene would much appreciate Gus Malzahn finding a way to win this game Saturday...

Last Saturday’s win was awesome. You can be mad at Gus for a lot of things (and trust me I am) but you have to credit the fact his teams never quit. That 4th quarter seemed like when things would finally bottom out for this 2018 squad but instead, this team rose up, made some plays and found a way to win. But I can’t ignore the fact that Auburn has won these last 2 games because of one and a half strong offensive quarters. There’s been A LOT of bad outside of those 20ish minutes. On the other side of the ball, Auburn’s defense has surrendered 200+ rushing yards now to the 3rd & 29th best rushing offenses according to S&P+. It’s hard to be optimistic about Auburn’s chances considering those facts.

But this UGA team is vulnerable. Their run defense is suspect ranked 71st by S&P+ and we’ve seen before both in Jordan-Hare last season and in Death Valley last month, that you can halt this UGA offensive attack if you can shut down the run game. But I’m not sure Auburn can do either especially not in Athens. I know some want the Tigers to go Air Raid this week to win but I don’t really agree. UGA pass defense is ranked 9th in the country and they have one of the best cornerbacks in America in Deandre Baker. To me, this game comes down to the health of Boobee Whitlow. If he can go close to full speed & run through first contact then I think Auburn’s got a shot. If not and they have to rely on the arm of Stidham on the road against a top pass defense? Well that doesn’t really give me much confidence...

One more thing. DON’T SCORE FIRST. The team to score first the last 5 times has lost. Auburn has done it 4 times and 3 of those times they’ve never scored again.... I don’t think that will actually be a problem because I don’t think this offense scores much at all Saturday while the Dawgs pull away in the 2nd half against a tired defense. I hate to write these words but I believe em. Dawgs win comfortably 27-10.” - AU Nerd

“I don’t know if Auburn is gonna win but that line seems way too big. Auburn showed us a bit of fight at the end of last week’s game. Yes, the offense dug the hole it had to get out of with miserable play for three quarters so Auburn is still capable of stinking up the joint on that side of the ball. However, the last thing I saw was Auburn throwing and catching beautiful passes and that’s what I choose to remember. Make it rain touchdowns, Jarrett. Be our Texas gunslinger again. Beat the bulldogs. Auburn 32-22.” - Son of Crow

“Anyone else feel like 1999? An average Auburn team that is just missing one or two pieces goes into a solid Georgia team that has already seen a loss this season but just sorta goes through the motions but is still good enough to win convincingly most of the time? I mean the similarities are there but I just don’t see it unless Auburn bottled some of that HURRY UP NO HUDDLE THAT REALLY HIDES THE DEFENSE’S ADVANTAGE OVER A BELOW AVERAGE OFFENSIVE LINE, but we shall see. I don’t see Auburn making that change and that will be the downfall. Auburn’s defense gives them a chance but Georgia pulls away in the second half. Puppies 31, Auburn 17.” - Drew McCracken

“There are certainly some stats you can cobble together to show that Auburn has a chance. There are certainly enough skill players available to make this one a ballgame, but seeing as Auburn is 2-0 when I pick against them, and 4-3 when I pick them, I don’t care about numbers. Georgia 27, Auburn 10.” - James Jones

“Let me cut to the chase here: I hate Georgia. It didn’t used to be this way, but here we are. I’ll never pick Georgia to win this game. Even if they traveled back in time, abducted the 1993 Dallas Cowboys, and suited them up in their ugly red and black uniforms, I’d still pick the worst Auburn team you could find on any timeline. War Damn Eagle. Auburn 24-21.” - AU Chief

“I would love nothing more than to crush Georgia’s playoff dreams, but to me, the key to this game is very simple. Can Auburn slow down Georgia’s run game? Last week, Georgia ran for 340 yards against Kentucky’s excellent defense. This is a huge concern for me as the Tigers gave up 203 rush yards against Texas A&M last week and 353 rush yards against Mississippi State. As for the offense, it’s time to get back to Auburn Fast. That offense worked brilliantly the last 7:14 against Texas A&M last week. Do I think it will be enough? I honestly don’t and since I’ve picked against Auburn the last 2 games, you bet your bottom dollar I’m doing it again. Georgia 27, Auburn 20 .” - Will McLaughlin

“Man, I wish I could see it, but I don’t. This will be the first game in two years that I’ve predicted Auburn to lose, and it probably won’t be the last one this year unless I just decide to Barn ultra hard for Iron Bowl week. Georgia’s got a running game that can be stopped, but I think it’ll get stronger as the game moves on while our defense spends a bunch of time on the field. If Boobee Whitlow’s healthy, then we should be able to get some yardage on the ground and eat some clock, but if not, we’ll have to rely on the passing game. If we can’t score a couple times early with that strategy, then we’ll just be wasting time on the field while our defense gets tired. I think this one looks a lot like the Cocktail Party and Georgia pulls away in the fourth quarter for what will be a comfortable 35-20 win.” - Jack Condon