Georgia Versus Auburn – November 16, 2013

georgia_auburn_2013The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry             
Georgia and Auburn square off for the 117th time this weekend.  The series is deadlocked, as the Dawgs and Tigers have each won 54 games and played to eight ties.  UGA began playing Auburn in 1892. The Dawgs have been victorious in their last two meetings with the Tigers.

The Auburn Tigers Have Been Running All Over the Opposition
For Georgia to pull off the upset, they must find a way to slow down Auburn’s running game.  The Tigers rank third in the nation, averaging 322 yards on the ground per game.  The Bulldogs have had some success stopping the run this season, UGA’s rush defense is fourth in the Southeastern Conference.

Aaron Murray’s Last Big Stage?
Barring a minor miracle in the SEC East, week 12 marks Aaron Murray’s final game against a top-ten opponent.  ESPN notes Aaron Murray has played brilliantly against the Tigers.  In three career starts, Murray’s completion percentage against Auburn is 67.1.  The fifth-year quarterback is 2-1 against the Tigers, throwing for a total of 705 yards with ten touchdowns. Murray has yet to throw a pick to the War Eagle. Hopefully I did not just jinx the Dawgs.

The Dawgs Must Make Nick Marshall Throw
Current Auburn QB Nick Marshall began his college career in Athens as a cornerback.  According to All Alabama, the Georgia coaches thought Marshall would be a future All-SEC defensive back in Athens.  Unfortunately for both sides, Georgia head coach Mark Richt dismissed Marshall from the program after he violated team rules.

Now the starting quarterback for the Auburn Tigers, Nick Marshall’s athletic ability is obvious.  In the six games that Marshall has attempted to throw the ball more than ten times, his completion percentage has only exceeded 60 twice.  Still, teams have struggled to keep the Auburn QB in the pocket.  Marshall has run for over 100 yards in four of Auburn’s last five games.

Georgia 83, Auburn 7.
Bulldog Nation has rebounded from a rough October.  UGA is ranked in the top 25, bringing a record of 6-3 into Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers are 9-1, with aspirations of playing Alabama in a winner-take-all game in the Western division at the end of the regular season.  Considering the Dawgs have tamed the Tigers by a combined score of 83-7 over the past two seasons, planning ahead does not seem wise.

Georgia Needs to Focus on Winning Out
Despite the inconsistency in Athens, a victory over Auburn would give the Bulldogs three victories over teams ranked in the top ten in 2013. UGA should be focused on finishing 9-3 and sending their seniors out victorious in a bowl game.  If the Dawgs can win their two remaining SEC games, Missouri would have to lose their final conference contests for the Bulldogs to end up in Atlanta.

Maddawg’s Play of The Day – College Football Week 8 (October 23, 2011)

In a season that had largely gone as expected, with very few upsets, week 8 of the regular season turned the college football landscape on its ear. Two big upsets were the order of the night, but before they occurred LSU proved they are the only true Tigers in the Southeastern Conference with a dominant performance over Auburn. #1 ranked LSU certainly looks like the best team in college football as they have a bye week before they travel to Tuscaloosa for an epic showdown with Alabama.



Many other teams did their part to hold serve as well. The aforementioned Tide rolled over Tennessee after giving the Volunteers a false sense of security in the first half. The game was tied at six when the two teams went to their locker rooms but Alabama came out swinging as they scored 31 second half points while blanking the Vols in the final 30 minutes. Elsewhere, Boise State was able to ground Air Force’s hopes of ending their undefeated season. The Broncos won 37-26.

Clemson also looked strong as they beat the tar out of the North Carolina Tar Heels. Next week’s game against Georgia Tech has lost nearly all of its luster as the Jackets have looked terrible in losing two in a row. The Clemson Tigers appear as if they will be immune to the sting of Georgia Tech, but as last night proved, anything can happen in college football.

BCS chaos is the lifeblood of a compelling college football season. It is fitting that in the first weekend of the Bowl Championship Series standings there would be two season altering outcomes. In a game that ended early this morning in the east, the Red Raiders of Texas Tech shocked the Oklahoma Sooners, 41-38,  in Norman. While it was tremendous to watch a stunning upset, it is also hard not to feel terrible for Oklahoma kicker Michael Hunnicutt, who missed two crucial field goals. Here’s hoping that Sooner fans can be reasonable human beings and leave the kid alone.

Now for Maddawg’s Play of The Day: Wisconsin had been steamrolling the competition through the first seven weeks of the college football season. The Badgers’ road trip to East Lansing was supposed to be a statement game as they found themselves at #6 in the BCS standings. However, somebody forgot to tell Michigan State. The Spartans fought hard all game, and, with 4 seconds left the game appeared to be headed for overtime.

What followed is the reason why I love college football more than any other sport. Michigan State won on a 44 yard Hail Mary that bounced off of two Badgers before Keith Nichol was able to catch the ball and score a touchdown. The play is arguably the most memorable play in the history of Michigan State football. The Bowl Championship Series is not perfect, but after last night, one would be hard pressed to argue that it does not produce tremendous results in the product on the field. In addition, Michigan State and Wisconsin could have a high profile rematch in the Big Ten title game on December 3rd.