I still stand by my general statement that the rest of Georgia’s season will be defined by whether the offense shows up to play for each game. If it does, I don’t think either Auburn or Tech has enough firepower on offense to keep up with Stafford, Moreno and the receivers.
That being said, I thought I’d peruse the current SEC stats to see if they shed any further light on what we might expect on the Plains this Saturday.
What Auburn does well – honestly, not much that really jumps out at you.
- fourth in scoring defense
- fourth in pass defense
- first in kickoff returns (gah!)
- first in net punting
- fourth in sacks
- second in opponent third down conversions
- third in red zone defense
And, remember, on that third down conversion thing, at one point in time the Tigers led the country with some obscene percentage. They’re at almost 28% now, which is still very good, but clearly the trend is running against that of late.
What Auburn does poorly – same deal, not that much jumps out here, either.
- tenth in scoring offense
- ninth in rushing defense
- ninth in passing offense (Tony Franklin, we hardly knew ye)
- ninth in field goals
- ninth in third down conversions
- ninth in turnover margin
- last in red zone offense
When you look at Auburn’s stats as a whole, they scream mediocrity. It’s no surprise that the Tigers are 5-5 right now. But you know what? The SEC team closest to Auburn’s statistical picture is Kentucky (although Sagarin ranks UK’s strength of schedule as somewhat stronger than Auburn’s), and we saw how well that worked out last weekend.
Georgia should be able to move the ball on these guys and I’d look for Moreno to do well against that run defense. Auburn obviously is not a particularly strong offensive team and so presents an opportunity for the Georgia defense to begin to get its bearings again. Auburn gets bogged down in the red zone more frequently than does Georgia and its field goal percentage is also worse, so expect a healthy dose of bend but don’t break in the defensive scheme from Martinez. As far as special teams, there’s enough there to make me a little nervous, particularly with regard to kickoff returns.