The 5 best Auburn-Georgia games this century
The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is also one of the most hotly contested ones in the SEC. Entering its home game against Auburn on Saturday, Georgia leads the all-time series, 56-55-8.
And in a series that kicked off in 1892 with Auburn’s 10-0 victory in Atlanta, there have been plenty of memorable moments and matchups, but here are the five best games in the rivalry since the turn of the century.
5. 2000: Auburn 29, Georgia 26
Rudi Johnson rushed for 152 yards and quarterback Ben Leard scored on a 1-yard run as No. 22 Auburn beat No. 14 Georgia in overtime. Johnson carried 34 times in his ninth 100-yard rushing game of the season, breaking Bo Jackson’s 1985 school record.
Auburn held on despite allowing Georgia to rally from a 23-13 fourth-quarter deficit. Leard completed 24-of-38 passes for 149 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.
The Tigers would go on to win the SEC West before losing to Florida, 28-6, in the conference championship game. Auburn lost to Michigan, 31-28, in the Florida Citrus Bowl to finish 9-4. Meanwhile, Georgia finished 8-4 and capped its season with a 37-14 bowl win over Virginia.
4. 2002: Georgia 24, Auburn 21
David Greene threw a 19-yard TD pass to a leaping Michael Johnson on a 4th-and-15 play with 1:25 left in regulation as the No. 7 Bulldogs stunned the No. 24 Tigers to win their first SEC East title.
On a 4th-and-20 play on Auburn’s final possession, Jason Campbell’s pass to Tre Smith fell short with 19 seconds left. The Tigers hadn’t trailed until Greene’s pass to Johnson.
Auburn finished 5-3 in the SEC that season to share the best record in the West with Arkansas and LSU. Alabama, which had the best record in the division at 6-2, was on probation and banned from postseason play.
Arkansas, which won the three-way tiebreaker, lost to Georgia 30-3 in the SEC Championship Game. The Bulldogs would go on to beat Florida State 26-13 in the Sugar Bowl to cap Mark Richt’s second season in Athens. Auburn beat Penn State 13-9 in the Capital One Bowl to finish 9-4.
3. 2004: Auburn 24, Georgia 6
Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown combined for 26o total yards and each scored a touchdown, and the No. 3 Tigers held the No. 8 Bulldogs scoreless for 57 minutes to continue their unbeaten season.
Brown ran for 51 yards and had 7 catches for 88 more and a score. Williams, who ran 19 times for 101 yards and a TD, added 4 receptions for 20 yards while also throwing a TD pass. He also returned a punt 40 yards to set up Brown’s 15-yard touchdown grab in the fourth quarter that made it 24-0.
Auburn (13-0 overall, 8-0 SEC) capped its perfect – but national championship-less – season with a 16-13 victory over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. Six years later, the Tigers would go 14-0 en route to winning the BCS national title. Georgia would beat Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl.
2. 2005: Auburn 31, Georgia 30
On fourth down late in the fourth quarter, Devin Aromashodu fumbled at the end of his 62-yard catch from Brandon Cox, only to see teammate Courtney Taylor recover it to set up John Vaughn’s decisive field goal with six seconds left.
Kenny Irons rushed 37 times for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns – all game-highs – for No. 15 Auburn. Aromashodu finished with a game-high 135 receiving yards on 4 catches.
Auburn and LSU both went 7-1 in 2005, but the Bayou Bengals won the West by virtue of beating AU, 20-17, in overtime that season.
The Tommy Tuberville-led Tigers lost 24-10 to Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl to finish 9-3. Georgia dropped to 10-3 after losing to West Virginia 38-35 in the Sugar Bowl.
1. 2013: Auburn 43, Georgia 38
On a 4th-and-18 play, Ricardo Louis scored on a deflected 73-yard pass from Nick Marshall with 25 seconds in regulation in what has come to be known as “The Prayer at Jordan-Hare.” Along with Chris Davis’ game-ending “Kick-Six” TD return in the Iron Bowl, it was one of two “Miracles on The Plains” in 2013.
Louis, who had 4 catches 131 yards against the Bulldogs, also ran 5 times for 66 yards. It was Marshall’s only touchdown pass of the game.
The victory clinched the West for No. 7 Auburn, which mashed Missouri 59-42 in the SEC Championship Game. And despite holding an 18-point, second-quarter lead, the Tigers would go on to lose to Florida State 34-31 in the BCS National Championship Game to finish 12-2. Georgia went 8-5 and lost to Nebraska 24-19 in the Gator Bowl.