The B.S. Report: Can Auburn beat Georgia twice in a row?
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Okay, so what does Georgia need to do to beat Auburn this weekend for the SEC Championship?
Well, first let’s look at why they got beat on November 11th so badly. Auburn whipped Georgia on the lines of scrimmage. After nine straight games where Georgia had won those battles up front, they ran into a buzz saw in the Auburn Tigers. Georgia’s offense produced only 46 rushing yards the entire game, which meant the Georgia offensive line got abused. We can go ahead and say if Georgia does that poorly again, they’re not going to win Saturday.
But while there should be plenty of respect for Auburn’s defense, particularly their front seven, are we to believe they will totally shut down Nick Chubb and Sony Michel again? That’s the best running back duo in the country, and look, if Auburn can stop them again, they deserve to win the SEC. But I am not sure that’s going to happen.
The defensive line of scrimmage was also pushed around in the first game as Auburn opened holes for running back Kerryon Johnson. But Johnson may be hurt. He may have a bad shoulder, and if he’s not 70% or better, Auburn might be in trouble. One of their other running backs – Kam Pettway – is already out and the other one – Kam Martin – also got hurt last week. So, if their running game is banged up, can Auburn score anyway? Now if Johnson is healthy and can be as productive as he was three weeks ago, Georgia might have to play a near perfect game to win.
The Georgia offense needs to be more balanced this time around. Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney need to trust our boy from Warner Robins – Jake Fromm, who has given no one reason to think he can’t handle this challenge. Jake has been tremendous, and as long as his offensive line helps him and gives him time, he’ll be fine. But let’s see Jake pass to a tight end. Let’s see him pass to D’Andre Swift a time or two. Let’s give Fromm the freedom to move the ball down field a bit. If he doesn’t, Auburn is just going to stack the box and make Georgia’s offensive line open those holes for Chubb and Michel.
Let’s not underestimate the coaching that must go on Saturday. Smart had to learn from what happened a few weeks ago. He had to realize the mistakes that were made, and to be honest the Georgia team has been good about learning from things in games and doing better the next time. Can Smart and his staff make the necessary adjustments to not let a disaster happen again? Well, we’ll see.
Look, I want Georgia to win – most of us around here do. But we need to remember that regardless of what happens Saturday, this Georgia program is in so much better shape now than it was two years ago when Kirby took over. The trend line is headed up, and if they win the SEC this week, it’ll really be gravy. It’s been 12 long years since Georgia won the SEC, so the fans are hungry for a championship. It’s so hard to beat a team twice in football, so let’s hope that’s an omen that Auburn will not be as lucky this time around. If Georgia wins Saturday, January could be a lot of fun, and after a great 11-1 regular season, Georgia fans don’t want all of this to end anytime soon.