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Staff Picks - #12 Auburn vs #13 Georgia

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Home crowd, Gus’ reputation on the line, this one’s a lock.

Did you know that Auburn football has been beating Georgia literally — literally — its entire existence?

The first time that Auburn ever set foot on a football field in intercollegiate competition ended up in a win over Georgia, and the birth of the War Eagle legend. Football season was a little backward back then, with this game being played on February 20th, 1892, but either way, the Tigers won 10-0, thus starting the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

Tomorrow feels... big. It feels large. There’s more to this game than some games in recent memory. To be honest, there’s not much at stake for Auburn right now, since it would be an extreme long shot for the Tigers to make the playoff, but that’s what we said two years ago as well. Auburn likely won’t make the SEC Championship barring a perfect end to the season and a complete collapse from LSU. This is the perfect time, however, for Auburn to ruin Georgia’s season now that the Bulldogs have pulled inside the College Football Playoff top four. Pickins are ripe.

STAFF PICKS - #12 AUBURN vs #4 GEORGIA (-3) (O/U 40.5)

This fanbase is the worst group of people on the planet. They trash their otherwise gorgeous campus regularly, they bark at human beings, they relish the idea of being obnoxiously drunk, and they have the nerve to think they can storm our field and tear up our grass before hoses are turned on their sorry asses and yet decry when other teams do a little remodeling of their plants. Their coach is one of the most arrogant men in this sport, and it shows in his sometimes dumbfounding coaching decisions. He’s the most negative recruiter in the SEC, and when that doesn’t work he’s always sure to deliver the cash late to a problem-child (and talented) wide receiver out of Hoover in an attempt to cause maximum harm to Auburn. This, after faking a field goal up 17 in last year’s game with 3 minutes left. I love having a rivalry with certain programs. I used to enjoy the family aspect and crossover between us and them. Now? Now all I wish is the lack of their existence. Giant waste of space to the east of us that can’t win a big game to save their sorry asses. To hell with them. F*CK GEORGIA.

Whew. That felt…right. Now keys to victory:

Gonna have to run the ball somehow against this bunch. Don’t see our OL being up to the task of moving the line of scrimmage for 4 quarters straight up. So, despite the backup situation, give Bo Nix 5-7 called runs in this one to keep them honest.

Anthony Schwartz needs to touch the football 8 times at minimum in this game.

Boobee Whitlow needs to spell DJ Williams when he needs a breather and Auburn needs to feature #3, it’s most capable running back

Honestly let’s see a lot of the same route progressions we saw against Ole Miss. Crossing patterns work against this bunch and then once you’ve got them cheating find Seth Williams in 1 on 1 coverage.

I fully expect to surrender some painful yardage against their passing attack, but it is critical to make tackles. The team that tackles better Saturday probably wins this game.

No long field goals, Gus…please. That being said, when inside the 30 and a drive stalls, don’t be afraid to use Anders. He’s capable and can win this game for Auburn when used correctly. He ain’t his brother. Doesn’t make him a bad kicker.

Let the big men up front eat. Marlon and Derrick are gonna catch some double teams all day. We need to see maximum effort out of Big Kat, TD, Tyrone, AND YEAH YOU NICK COE so that Georgia’s OL isn’t given such an easy option.

That being said, hit Fromm. Within the confines of legality, knock his ass into the dirt. Remind him of why he should hate playing in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Keep the crowd in this game. November games in Jordan-Hare Stadium are all about keeping the momentum going so that the crowd is engaged. It will force Georgia into mistakes. Be loud. This team still has at minimum a LOT to play for. At maximum they have an outside shot to still play for EVERYTHING. Decibels matter.

Win or lose this game, Georgia gonna Georgia and come up short on expectations. We should start taking more responsibility for that. Auburn 23 Georgia 21

-Josh Black

This is it. The game of the season. This game will ultimately define Malzahn’s legacy. “Silly Josh, Auburn has played a ton of big games under Malzahn, why is this one so special?” This year especially, the Georgia game will define the narrative this offseason. We will spend months talking about this game in particular. Beat Georgia, good season. Lose to Georgia, bad season. Simple as that. Auburn can beat this team, I know they can. I KNOW it. Auburn’s defensive line is so much better than the unit they’ll be lining up against. Derrick Brown or Marlon Davidson will earn SEC weekly honors for their performance. Auburn needs sacks, tackles for loss, turnovers, even some luck. The defense will need to go above and beyond tomorrow afternoon.

The offense will be what wins or loses the game, though. But here’s the thing: they don’t have to get a lot better overnight. Marginal improvements will be enough to win. That’s just how good our defense is. If Auburn can put together one long, sustained drive in each half that results in a touchdown, Auburn will win. Georgia has been good against the run. Our freshman running back will have his work cut out for him. To hell with georgia.

Auburn 21 Georgia 20 (Auburn covers, over)

-Josh Dub

...Georgia.

Auburn 31-10.

-AU Chief

What happens in Jordan-Hare Stadium will have long-term effects on the future of Auburn football. Like 2017, Gus Malzahn has his back against the wall with a Georgia team looking to make the playoff coming into town. If Auburn wins this game, I feel really confident the Tigers will win out. If Auburn loses this game, then it’s probably an 8-4 season and the Gus haters will be out in full force. I want to believe in Gus with a big part of that being who else would you bring in or better yet, who else who want to come to a school who’s fanbase is quick to turn on you when you lose a game. Bottom line is this: Be careful what you wish for.

After getting called out 2 weeks ago for not staying at the game, it’s been made very clear that it’s going to turn cold tomorrow afternoon. No excuses, it’s Auburn-Georgia, the student section better bring their A Game tomorrow.

The Tigers have had 2 weeks to get ready for this game. In addition to playing poorly on offense against Ole Miss and a late fake field goal attempt in last years Auburn-Georgia game, plus, it’s Georgia, there’s no reason for there not to be some motivation coming into this game. Defensively, Auburn rattled Jake Fromm 2 years ago and I’m thinking Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson are going to be huge in this one. Auburn needs to force turnovers and offensively finish drives.

In a 3 point loss to LSU, Auburn kicked 2 field goals on possessions that they got inside the LSU 10. Finish one of those drives, and the narrative around the Auburn football program, the SEC and the country is potentially totally different right now. But we need to stop kicking field goals. (And missing 3 field goals against Ole Miss doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in that department right now anyway).

I’m going with Auburn mostly because it’s at home and the reality is like I said in the open: this game will go a long way in determining the future of this program.

Dress appropriately, be ear-splitting LOUD, make Georgia’s life on offense as miserable as you can and support your team for 4 Quarters!!!

Auburn 20 Georgia 13

-Will McLaughlin

I hate this game. I hate everything about it. I hate that we have to go over there to play them and I hate that we have to let their fans in to our stadium to watch a game. I hate that it always happens on my birthday (yes, tomorrow is my birthday). I hate that picture of that flea bitten mongrel trying to give rabies to Robert Baker. I hate Soulja Boy. I hate black jerseys. I hate the image of Uncle Vern and village idiot Gary dancing to it. I hate that they have the Battle Hymn of the Republic as their ‘Fight Song’ but not really cause they have another song that they play as their, ‘After Extra Point Attempt’ Song...ChOoSe OnE YoU CoWaRdS!!! I hate that Georgia isn’t still the Goats. Because that’s what they remind me of, barn yard animals. It’s funny that they changed the mascot to a dog so that Georgia fans wouldn’t eat the mascot after each loss (they ate the goat after we beat them 10-0 in our first game). Well, jokes on you 1890s Georgia Administration, your mountain reject, country bumpkin fan base will eat a dog for Thanksgiving cause ‘Times is tough and that dog has been eatin good! WOOO”.

Ugh. As for the game, I am gonna go with my hope that Bo keeps the Nix unbeaten streak in tact (daddy was 1-0-1 as a starter) and pulls it out with a late field goal drive to pull out the W.

Tigers 20-17

-Drew Mac

This is going to be a rock fight. Both teams struggle to throw the ball downfield. Both teams defend the run very well. That doesn’t leave much room for success on the offensive side of the ball. I think this comes down to which team can make 2 or more big plays on offense or special teams. 17 points might win it. 21 absolutely should. In a close game you take the home team, so it’s not just a bet with my heart.

Auburn 20, Georgia 16 (Auburn wins outright; UNDER)

-James Jones

F*** Georgia. I hope Derrick Brown gets blocked into Jake Fromm. 21-20 Tigers.

-Ryan Sterritt

Auburn’s defensive line is great. Georgia is struggling on the offensive line and is having to look to the bench for a center. Pressure up the middle is something Jake Fromm struggles with and I think Auburn will come after him on every third down they can. If Georgia wants to win, it has to avoid third downs.

Georgia’s defensive line is great. Auburn is struggling on the offensive line and is having to look to the bench for a center. Pressure up the middle is something Bo Nix struggles with and I think Georgia will come after him on every third down they can. If Auburn wants to win, it has to avoid third downs.

Seriously, this one is going to be an ugly gross game with a high likelihood of setting offensive football back ten years. Auburn has shown the ability to win ugly, and Georgia hasn’t had to do it as much. I like our chances at home.

Auburn 18 Georgia 15

-Son of Crow

Swing game #3 is here. At beginning of season I noted that there were 3 games that would differentiate Auburn’s season: @ A&M, @ UF & vs UGA. AU heads into tomorrow’s game 1-1 in those matchups making this an even MORE important result for how fans feel about this season. Win and at worst Auburn is 9-3 with a chance at a 10th win in bowl game but also get to laugh at UGA all offseason. Lose and AU is stuck in 8-4 world again with the heat turning scorching on Malzahn’s seat. The Iron Bowl always looms large but I would argue the result of this game will have the biggest bearing on whether folks view 2019 in a positive or negative light.

As for the matchup itself, you have the two best defenses in the SEC, possibly the country, facing two offenses that have been sporadic at best this season. Unfortunately for Auburn, their offense has had much deeper downs than UGA’s. But AU will be inside the comfy confines of Jordan-Hare which should allow Nix to play with more confidence. Kirby Smart has laid 3 straight eggs in road SEC West matchups. Those things give me confidence. But UGA not allowing any rushing TDs, AU’s inability to muster any sort of consistent offensive success against a good defense & Anders recent struggles give me great concern.

Impartially, I would probably lean UGA. This game will come down to how Bo Nix & Jake Fromm handle playing elite defenses and Anders Carlson vs Rodrigo Blankenship’s abilities to make any opportunity count for points. Both of those matchups probably tilt UGA’s favor.

But I believe in the power of Jordan-Hare. After the controversy two weeks ago, I expect that place to be rocking uncontrollably. My guess is we are about to see this Auburn defenses’s best performance of the season which is saying something. It’s gonna be low scoring, painful to watch at times but in the end, Auburn’s front 4 proves to be the best unit on the field and that’s the difference.

Auburn 20 UGA 17

-AU Nerd

Someone in the group chat mentioned it, and I think it’s about as accurate as it can get... this edition of the DSOR could end up like a classic Tuberville type of game. Auburn and Georgia both have shown a propensity to struggle on offense this season, and both have defenses that have been more than good. One side’s got an experienced quarterback, but one’s got the quarterback with a higher upside for something spectacular. When are we going to see the explosion of immense talent turn into a calculated offensive attack from Bo Nix? It’s gotta be soon.

Although, I don’t think it’ll be this game. We’re going to have to grind this out and hit one or two more big plays than they do. I don’t feel super confident if we get into a field goal kicking matchup with Anders Carlson against their rec specs pre-teen beardy kicker, so that’s why we won’t have to worry about it.

With a week off, Gus will have cooked something up for this game, and he will have learned from the mistakes of the Florida game and LSU game. We can’t win this game on Bo’s arm alone, and we need to involve all of the playmakers on the team. Minimize mistakes, and let Georgia make the miscues. They’ll make more than a couple with a potential third-string center starting against Derrick Brown. Auburn might have the two best linemen in the conference in Brown and Marlon Davidson, and I think the linebackers will be up to the task of containing the Bulldog running game.

For all of the talent on the outside, Georgia’s passing game has been slow and stodgy this season, almost like nothing changed from Richt to Kirby. Jake Fromm hasn’t exactly burned the conference this year so far, even with Lawrence Cager (who might be out), Georgia Pickens (who deserves to get planted), and Demetris Robertson. None of those guys have more than 470 yards receiving so far this year, which is not what they expected out of this offense, I’m sure.

In the end, the Auburn defense is going to grab two turnovers, and they’ll take Fromm down 5 times, while pressuring him a bunch more and limiting the run. Bo Nix’s stats are pretty pedestrian, but we get a couple of long runs from D.J. Williams, and a big pass play each to Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz. Somebody unexpected will make the play, so I’m looking at Jay Jay Wilson for the game-winning touchdown catch before the defense stops the last gasp Georgia drive. Tigers play spoiler and chaos reigns again.

Auburn 24, Georgia 20.

-Jack Condon