Debate: Who will win Saturday's rivalry game between Georgia and Auburn?
Saturday’s game between Georgia and Auburn pits two teams that have drastically lowered expectations.
Both Georgia and Auburn were popular picks to win their respective divisions. Instead, the Bulldogs surrendered the SEC East to the Gators in the first week of October. Meanwhile, the Tigers are in the basement of the SEC West at 2-4 in conference play.
Nonetheless, both teams are coming off impressive wins with Georgia pasting Kentucky 27-3, and Auburn handling Texas A&M 26-10.
This sets up as one of the tougher games to predict all season, so why not give it a shot? Our staff debates who the victor will be in The Plains.
WHICH TEAM WILL WIN SATURDAY’S RIVALRY GAME BETWEEN GEORGIA AND AUBURN?
Tom Brew (@tombrewsports): Georgia
I’ve gone back and forth on this game, and I’ve decided I’m not going to fall for Jeremy Johnson looking good for one game against a porous Texas A&M defense. The Georgia defense is legit, and I think they’re going to make some plays and flip field position. I don’t see a lot of points being scored here, but I do see a desperate Bulldogs team finding a way, and winning 24-13.
Chris Wright (@FilmRoomEditor): Auburn
This is a good opportunity to show (again) a wide gap still exists between the SEC West and SEC East. Georgia played better last week, but that was against a Kentucky team that seems like it has checked out. Auburn, which had every reason to check out given its early results-to-expectations ratio, has played pretty well the past three games, despite what a 1-2 record might suggest.
Christopher Smith (@csmithSDS): Georgia
Auburn’s run defense is one of the worst in the SEC, and despite getting Carl Lawson back — and no Nick Chubb — I believe Georgia is going to be able to run the ball effectively. Also, Georgia’s pass defense is one of the best in the SEC, statistically. So I’m not so sure the Auburn passing game is going to be able to continue its recent progress.
John Brasier (@): Georgia
The Auburn defense has struggled to stop the run, giving up close to 5 yards per carry. Sony Michel should have a big day.
Talal Elmasry (@TalalElmasrySDS): Auburn
These teams seem to resemble each other quite a bit entering this game. Because of inefficiencies in the passing game, both teams are looking to establish an identity running the ball. Both teams did a great job of that last Saturday as Auburn went for 311 yards against Texas A&M, and Georgia went for exactly 300 against Kentucky.
However, the Bulldogs caught the Wildcats off guard with their “Wild Dog” formation, and I think a slowly improving Auburn defense under Will Muschamp will do its part. Meanwhile, Auburn now seems to have more of an understanding of how to utilize its QBs (whether it’s Jeremy Johnson or Sean White) with the personnel they have around them. As a team, the Tigers have improved in each of the last four weeks. Plus, Auburn will be at home trying to avenge an embarrassing 34-7 loss to Georgia last season.