If you were privy to the College and Mag Slack group chat tonight, then I hope you the kids had gone to bed. There was no mirth, merry-making, and high-fiving this evening. Instead, we commiserated together as Auburn got trucked by Georgia in Athens 27-6.
Perhaps it was the whole thought that bad news comes in threes.
- First we had Cam Newton testing positive for COVID.
- Then we lost a big basketball recruit to Alabama.
- Number three? this game.
Things were bad from the start, where Auburn began its first offensive drive with two consecutive false starts to set up a 1st and 20, and the night went downhill from there. Georgia’s running game went wild and controlled the game while Stetson Bennett made enough plays and found the open receivers when he needed to. On the other side, Auburn’s offensive line had trouble with Georgia’s talented front seven, and Bo Nix’s happy feet and timely mistakes from the skill positions prevented the Tigers from keeping up.
After a pair of three-and-outs, Georgia’s second possession resulted in a 10-play, 43-yard drive for a touchdown when Zamir White pounded in from a yard out. That was the first of four straight scoring drives, as Georgia followed with a Jack Podlesny field goal, a 21-yard George Pickens touchdown catch, and another short run from White. By the time Auburn got the ball back with six minutes to play in the first half, they trailed 24-0.
Finally, the Tigers would scratch the scoreboard after a 12-play, 65-yard drive that stalled inside the five-yard line. Anders Carlson would notch a short field goal at the end of the half, and then Auburn would match that with another long drive (15 plays, 54 yards) that finished in a 45-yard Carlson boot. At that point, it was still a three-score game, and Georgia rebuilt the three-touchdown lead by answering with another field goal late in the third quarter.
With the clock dwindling, Auburn had to choose to go for it on a fourth down after another promising drive, but after a sack and a 3rd and 28, Bo Nix threw his first interception of the season as the third quarter ended.
With the start of the fourth quarter, Georgia was content to run some clock, and the burned more than six minutes off the clock before a missed field goal gave Auburn the ball back with 8:06 to play. By that point, Auburn’s final real offensive drive turned into Bo Nix running for his life and winging it, which resulted in a punt, and Georgia’s backups ran out the clock to win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
There was pretty much one guy tonight who showed that he was ready and wanted to play and wanted to win, and that was Tank Bigsby. While he didn’t have the numbers that Seth Williams did last week in taking this honor, he played with the kind of fire that we expect to see from an Auburn tailback. Had the rest of the offense played their part, we may have seen his performance in a similar light to what his position coach did in 2001.
He finished with 8 carries for 31 yards, and 7 catches for 68 yards, and showed that Auburn will be set for the next couple of seasons at tailback should the offensive line start to come together and block properly. Whether we get to see what he’s truly capable of this season remains to be seen.
Auburn will get to strap it up again next Saturday against Arkansas. Kickoff has already been set for the fantastic 3 pm CST start at home in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Unfortunately, this isn’t the Arkansas team that we’ve seen over recent years, as they did play Georgia tough for a half and then tonight beat Mississippi State 21-14 in Starkville. Joy.
Honest assessment, that was bad. There have been a few of these games under Gus, but this one felt like we have nothing and no future hope. I know Georgia’s #4, but after watching Arkansas dominate this offense for more than a half, it was disheartening. Gus needs to somehow get his guys ready for a road game, because Athens and Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge are getting old.
We’ll have some spicy takes coming later, I’m sure. War Eagle, y’all.