It’s time for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry as the 5-0 Georgia Bulldogs travel to Alabama to take on the 4-1 Auburn Tigers. Here are the three keys to a Georgia win.
By Steve Wright
1 – Ride the defense
There are good defenses in college football and then there is this Georgia Bulldogs’ unit. Having played a schedule including a trio of SEC tests and the best team in Conference USA, the Bulldogs are ranked near the top of every defensive category that matters. They are No. 1 in total defense, passing defense, and scoring defense, and it is hard to see how Auburn – or anyone else – moves the ball on them. Stop the run, make Bo Nix win the game for Auburn, and Georgia will return to Athens with a win.
2 – Help Stetson Bennett
Stetson Bennett is a serviceable veteran quarterback and there are plenty of colleges out there who would love to have him as the No. 1. He is, however, no JT Daniels as the USC transfer has proven when healthy. Daniels’s health is once again a question for Saturday and if Bennett starts then the offensive supporting cast will need to step up. Bennett was 7-of-11 for 72 yards against Arkansas as the run game and defense took over, but he wasn’t asked to make big plays. That has to be the blueprint again against an Auburn defense that is the eighth-best in the nation against the run.
3 – Take the crowd out of it
Jordan-Hare Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the SEC. The Bulldogs have had seven penalties called on each of their last two visits to the venue, penalties that can change the course of a game. False starts will need to be stamped out, as will any unsportsmanlike conduct penalties as the crowd here has a history of making opposing players do unusual things. Get up early and lock in the defense to take the crowd away.