Tomorrow, the foregone conclusion

It’s not so much the final score I’m referring to in the header – aside from the slobbering last night on ESPN and the Alabama media, most pundits see the game as more than just a minor step for Auburn before a massive Iron Bowl – as it is the idea that the game boils down in its entirety to whether the Georgia defense can stop Auburn’s offense.

Now, I will grant you that I can find statistics that chill my blood, like “Georgia has been especially inefficient against zone-read rushes outside the tackle box, allowing 9.3 yards per rush”, but since when did Georgia’s offense against Auburn’s defense become little more than an afterthought?

It can’t be the statistics, because in games against FBS opponents, Auburn’s defense ranks considerably lower than Georgia’s, both in terms of total yardage and in terms of yards per play.  Additionally, the only offense that Auburn’s faced to date higher ranked than the Dawgs in total offense is Texas A&M’s.

Health has certainly been a concern for the Georgia offense, but that seems to be looking up for tomorrow.

The numbers suggest that Auburn is going to struggle as much with Murray and Gurley as Georgia will with Malzahn’s offense.  Agree or disagree?

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58 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

58 responses to “Tomorrow, the foregone conclusion

  1. I Wanna Red Cup

    I don’t thihk Auburn can stop our offense. We win if turnovers are even and they do not score on a special teams blunder.

  2. Rebar

    Time consuming drives by our offense with TD’s will keep Auburn’s offense on the sidelines. I hope our defense produces a few 3 and outs for Auburn and we grind them down with our balanced offense.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I know my supposition may be a result of a media story this week, but by my own limited abilities of analysis I have developed a bromance with little Shaq Wiggins. That teeny CB is showing mucho grit, mostly in run support. Sometimes I am prone to melodrama/romance but, dollars-to-donuts, I figure he comes up with something big tomorrow and whips out the hobnail boot.

  3. I get the impression most national pundits assume it’s a walk for AUB, but most media outlets here see it a bit differently. The Vegas line (-3.5) speaks volumes, too.

    I think most people, without delving too deep into the stats, assume UGAs D is terrible as it was so in the beginning of the year. The real question is how improved is UGA? They’ve looked better as of late, but they’ve also played some terrible offenses. The game that leads me to believe they have turned a corner (somewhat) is the Missouri game. The Tigers are 10th in the nation in YPC and 15th in YPP in total. Against UGA, Missouri rushed for 3.8 YPC (5.72 YPC on the year) and finished 5.5 in YPP (average 6.76 on the year). That one game is why I’m a bit more confident than the national media are in terms of this being a good game.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I agree with your angles on this one. If it is possible to put aside the standard homer-centric urges, I imagine this game will be one of those classic UGa-WarPeople games. Down to the wick. I’d never wager this thing.

    • Miguel

      Yes, the line typically doesn’t lie. Vegas clearly knows something ESPN and the Wall St Journal don’t.

    • Olddawg 55

      It’s simple..from a casual observer’s standpoint. If our front seven..with their ample reserves..can stop or slow Marshall and their TB and the secondary stop or limit the short pass AMD our offense performs like they can on a good day, THEN, the Dawgs will leave Auburn with a win. There now, that should relieve all the Dawg nation’s worries. Go Dawgs, GATA!!

  4. Derek

    If we play like we played vs UF until Artie’s bonehead play we’ll win by two TD’s.

    • AusDawg85

      I expect this game to be like Jax…including the boneheaded mistake or two that keeps Auburn close. But if the OL will show up (“just one more time!”) then we should grind-out the win in the 4th Q again. I like that we have fast-attack potential in the final two minutes and the tiggers really don’t. Oh, wait…they’re throwing against our D backfield? Dear Lord, CTG don’t play prevent D. GATA.

  5. Debby Balcer

    I am glad the media is acting this way. I hope our D is listening because the media is saying they are not MAN enough and we know they are. I am ready for us to take them down.

  6. paul

    I believe emotion and early momentum could be huge. While Georgia does have the confidence that comes from being successful against Auburn in recent years, a big turnover early on, like LSU fumbling on their way into the end zone against Alabama, could kill us. If we let the Loveliest Village on the Plains get to rocking, it could easily get as ugly as the South Carolina game last year. Furthermore, Auburn has special teams that are actually special. This scares me as much as anything else they do well. The Dawgs handled the Zach Mettenberger story line very well earlier this year so I don’t see the Nick Marshall thing being a distraction despite the fact that I’m sure the announcers will beat it to death. I expect a competitive game. But I have to admit that a win will none the less be a bit of a pleasant surprise. I think it could go either way. And if comes down to a special teams play other than a Marshall Morgan field goal, I think we come up short.

  7. DawgByte

    Sans Georgia injuries media pundits would be having an entirely different conversation about UGA vs AU game. Additionally, our record would not be what it is today sans injuries. Let them think what they want, lets just take care of business on the field. This is a winnable game for the Dawgs, but we can’t afford a lot of stupid mistakes and still expect a victory.

  8. I just don’t see how Auburn can stop our offense if Gurley is relatively healthy. This game has a USCe/LSU feel to it. If we were fully healthy, we would blow the War Tiglesmen out of east Alabama. If turnovers or special teams go our way or are neutral, we win a close one. If not, we lose and it could get ugly.

  9. sniffer

    Hell yeah, I agree. I hope Auburn is reading the clippings and believes the hype. 2006 all over again?

  10. Tim

    I’m hopeful that their players are as cocky as the media says they should be and are looking ahead to the Iron Bowl. I have to admit I have a lot of respect for Mahlzan though and worry he will keep them focused. If he does have them focused it could be a long day but if not Dawgs win, maybe easily. People seem to have let the loss to Vandy override beating SC and LSU and hanging tough to Clempzin. If Conley is back and Rumph is ready and they compliment a healthy Gurley Dawgs can score with anyone. Still not confident in in the D but hopeful. Go Dawgs

  11. ASEF

    I think on offense and defense that Auburn does not match up well in this game. I think the week of press that was didn’t do Auburn any favors. I think Dawgs win by 14 to 17 as long as Auburn does not receive any gifts.

    • I agree with you. If turnovers and special teams are even, I think we win by 2 touchdowns. If we lose one or the other (turnover margin or special teams), I still think we win, just in a close game. If we lose both though, that’s when we’re doomed. In short, if we lose, I think it’s because we beat ourselves. I’m not normally confident going into these types of games, but for some reason I just have a good feeling about tomorrow. We’ll see how we all feel tomorrow night though. :)

  12. I am 7 & 2 predicting the Dawgs this year. Loss on Clemson & Mizzou.
    I did predict Vandy to win (too many injuries plus the Refs obvious bias),
    Hope I am wrong but I am picking Aawbarn to win for the same reasons.

  13. Scorpio Jones, III

    At the risk of sounding like a Debbie Downer (a silly as hell cat-call to a grown man (very grown) or better, a Munsonite (thank you very much) I can’t stop my knees from knocking.

    It appears to me Awbun’s defense is pretty good…as good as Clempson? Maybe. Although if they do have a weakness it could be the deep secondary. And stats, folks are what the losers obsess over. I know what I see.

    It also appears to me that Awbun’s offense could very well be the most difficult challenge we have had all season. And Malzahn vs. Grantham…well, If I may, this looks like a splendid opportunity for Todd Grantham to move up in the polls…if he can.

    We just went a whole game, a whole game with only one high snap to a punter…against Appalachian State.

    We can’t find a punt returner who is consistently stout enough to merit catching them all….although there are signs, and talking about Rumph is nice, but he played several plays when Aaron Murray was directing traffic and never got a ball thrown to him…only when Hudson Mason came in did anyone notice Rumph.

    Maybe Appy changed their defense.

    The Georgia team that started the season simply does not exist any more. A healthy Todd Gurley and the rest of the walking and not walking wounded could play with anybody…even Bama.

    If Georgia’s defense could just become decent, not great, but decent…well if they don’t play their butts off, it is time for a Willie on Todd Grantham.

    We can beat these bums, folks, if we want it worse than they do and our defense plays with hair burning brightly. And maybe most of all, if the Kharmic Bitches will just go see Bama and Missy State or something.

    It’s hard to believe it is already time for Awbun…time flies when you are beat up, old and disappointed.

    Hunker down you banged up bunch of warriors and Get After Their Ass.

  14. anon

    as always, I hope it doesn’t come down to preparation or in-game adjustments. dawgs lose those matchups majority of time.

    • Dawgfan Will

      You’re absolutely right. We’ve out-talented everyone we’ve beaten this year with our freshman running backs and 3rd string wide receivers.

  15. americusdawg

    Presently I’m feeling cautiously optimistic (oxymoron?). I have to say that the Vandy game is still in the back of my mind and I’m worried that this game could have similar results. On the positive side, I’m looking forward to an overall good performance by the defense, no special team blunders, and Murray, Gurley and the O gang coming up with a couple of more scores than the Barners. Go Dawgs!

  16. 69Dawg

    The keys to the game are Special Teams and turnovers. If we can get the Special teams to “first do no harm” I’ll be happy. If the D can get some turnovers, we win. Auburn is going to get their points and they sure as heck don’t need our Special teams to help them. Unless Nick Marshall is the second coming of Cammy Cam we might be able to slow them down and get into a tennis match. It’s up the D to break their serve.

  17. I think (hope) the defense plays well.

    Not great, good enough to put us in a position to win.

  18. Macallanlover

    This game is a coin flip, almost a 50/50 game to me. I feel UGA has the slightest of edges so only have a token bet on the Dawgs to win. I do however have a teaser for a larger amount with UGA +13 1/2 as one of the three games I picked.

    As surprisingly good as Auburn has been, it is basically offensive driven and the matchup is between the offensive strength they have running against the defensive strength we have in stopping the run. If we stay disciplined on defense, we can slow/control their run game. Our passing defense is our biggest weakness and their offensive weakness but I expect them to have their best night throwing the ball and enjoy some success. Bottom line, on that matchup is a win for UGA with them being held below their average.

    Our offense should enjoy success close to our season average even with Gurley’s limitations and the absence of JSW, Mitchell, and a reduced Conley. The only concern I have in this matchup is our tackles against their DEs, give Murray time and we will win this ball game. OL will determine if we take them down, more so than our defensive performance, imo. Even at JH Auburn will still enjoy a slight home field advantage so I lower my expectations a little due to crowd noise and pumping the cheaters’ adrenaline a notch higher.

    Unless we get sloppy with ball possession, or have another game where the refs decide to impact the game’s outcome with horrendously stupid calls (Vandy ’13, LSU ’09) I think we win a very entertaining game by 3-14 points, say 34-30. It would be much more enjoyable if I were just a CFB fan and not emotionally involved. Glad the game isn’t at night, but sure wish it were in Sanford where it belongs.

  19. Bryant Denny

    The stats are hard to analyze in this one. Statistically, AU looks more like a classic bend but don’t break defense: not so good yardage-wise, but ok with ppg and 3rd down conversions.

    Overall, AU strikes me as a team playing with a lot of confidence and UGA strikes me as a team battling through a whatever could go wrong season.

    I would tend to pick the team playing with more confidence, but I can’t do it this time.

    Hope y’all roll,

    BD

  20. WarD Eagle

    I think you guys win another one,but at least we aren’t hapless

    If you were injury depleted like earlier, I think we win. But Gurley et al will TCB.

    • I am in Auburn right now. A 4 year starter at QB and the return of the best back in the SEC will be hard for my Tigers to beat. Play action passes will kill us. GA 42–AU 38. Damn.

  21. Krautdawg

    Three words: red zone offense. Settle for three, get no V.

  22. Spooky

    Sorry ass UGA basketball. Same old sorry ass coaching by Fox. It’s really a crying shame we can’t have at least a decent BB team. We never will. It’s very sad with the money and resources we have and the quality players coming out of high school in the state of Georgia

  23. This is why I like you Blutarsky, though I’ve always disagreed with your opinions on the playoff system. You give stats and analysis from a Georgia perspective. You’ll admit when we suck and when we’re weak in spots.

    Compare that to this preview on a popular Auburn blog. The guy might as well have said “nanny nanny boo boo” and made fun of our moms. And this is the best Auburn blogs have to offer!

    http://www.warblogle.com/2013/11/15/football/georgia-preview-ends-now/

    • 81Dog

      Deep thinking isn’t exactly the hallmark of AU fans. Neither is reading. They have the arrogance of Tech fans and the IQ of ceiling fans.

  24. Erikm0602

    I think much like the Cam Newton year, UGA is the better TEAM and should have won then and should win now. The focus this year, just as that year, is how good the offense/QB play is (even though I don’t think Marshall is even in the same league as Newton). You can’t forget the UGA offense when at even 75% is better than almost every team they have faced. If you compare apples to apples, LSU is probably the most comparable team they have played. LSU blasted them with the power run and play action.

    The game will come down to our offense having their way with the Auburn defense. Bobo can’t be his usual conservative self after we take a 2 score lead in the first half, we have to keep the pedal down. Destroy their will with a healthy dose of Gurley and Murray.

    I also think our defense matches up better with auburn than some other teams we have faced. Our defense has more speed than strength. The only question will be discipline! Will we shut them out this year? Of course not! But I do think our defense vs their offense is a better matchup than their defense with our offense

  25. Scott W.

    I want them to look past. I want them to be unaware until they have a face full of dirt and it is too late.