The No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs dominated No. 7 Auburn on Saturday night in Athens in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, controlling both sides of the ball in a 27-6 victory.

For Georgia, this is a big step toward proving to everyone that it is a College Football Playoff contender, even with uncertainty at quarterback.

After the game, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn had plenty of praise for the Dawgs. He said it was a total team effort from Georgia that led to the Bulldogs beating the Tigers (via

OK, first of all, give Georgia credit. They’re a very good football team. They won the line of scrimmage. We really got whipped on all three phases. We got out-coached. You look at first downs, they averaged seven yards, I think we had two. Third downs once again, we had trouble getting off the field. The big stat to me was our rushing yards. We only rushed for 39 yards. We got in a situation where we got behind and had to throw it a lot and had trouble protecting, but give them credit. Our guys competed in the second half, but we didn’t get it done. This will be a learning experience for our team. I will say this: we will continue to get better. We’ll learn from this. We’ve got eight SEC games left. I think we have the potential to have a lot of improvement — and we will improve. But I just told our team that it is what it is. Give them credit. They got after us. We didn’t play good. They played good. We’ve got to learn from it, and we’ve got to do a better job next week, and that’s what we’ll do.

Malzahn also praised the efforts of Georgia QB Stetson Bennett IV, who kept the Bulldogs’ offense humming all night:
Yeah, I thought he played well. You know, they had the running game going, and anytime you get the running game going the play action [opens up]. We had trouble getting pressure on him, and he did a good job directing his offense and throwing the ball down the field.
Can Auburn regroup and contend for an SEC West title? Can Georgia stay ahead of Florida in the SEC East? We’ll find out the answers to these questions moving forward into Week 3 and beyond.