The No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs face another tough test on Saturday as they face the No. 13 Auburn Tigers in the game affectionately known as the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry”.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys:
Score 24 points
This is going to be a defensive battle. A classic, old-school SEC football game. The Bulldogs allow the second fewest points per game in the country – 9.2 per contest – with only Ohio State allowing their opponents to score fewer points. The Bulldogs are also coming off of their third game this season where they have shut out their opposition after beating Mizzou 27-0.
The Tigers allow the 11th fewest points per game in the nation at just 17.4 points. This is especially impressive as they have already played both Oregon and LSU, two teams that are among the most prolific offenses in the country. The 24-points projection is more of a feeling than a hard fact, but it is hard to see the Bulldogs losing if they hit that number.
Win the battle in the trenches
The battle between the Georgia offensive line and the Auburn defensive line is going to be worth the price of admission on its own. The Bulldogs have the best offensive line in the country – a line that has finally come together to be the sun of its parts over the last month – while the Tigers have a defensive line that is in the argument as the best in the nation.
Neither unit will win on every snap, so it is important that the Bulldogs monsters upfront win more than they lose to allow Jake Fromm the time to pick Auburn apart on the back end.
Make Bo Nix win the game
Stopping the Auburn running game needs to be priority number one here. Load the box with eight – or even nine players – to take away that facet of the Auburn attack and make freshman Bo Nix win the contest with his arm.
Nix has improved along the way in 2019, but he isn’t a good enough QB to step out and win a game on his own against such a loaded defense. In four games against ranked opponents this season he has a high yardage total of 177 yards passing and has thrown for a combined five touchdowns against six interceptions. Isolate Nix and win the game.