A few thoughts on Georgia-Auburn

I have mixed feelings about today’s game.  Skip past the obvious structural deficiencies — Georgia’s at a disadvantage in special teams and the offensive line’s match up against the Tigers’ defensive line — and I’m still left with some statistical shortcomings that suggest the 10-point spread isn’t a stretch in the slightest.

Check out these conference ranking comparisons to get a flavor of what I’m getting at:

In short, Auburn is more explosive and efficient on offense, much better at defending the red zone and more likely to put opponents in unfavorable down and distance situations.  If you think Georgia’s best chance to win lies in controlling the ball and limiting the number of touches Auburn gets on offense, that’s a very bad combination.

Funny thing is, while my head tells me Auburn’s going to grind Georgia down slowly and walk away with a two-touchdown win, my heart wouldn’t be surprised if the Dawgs surprise and spring the upset.  Why?  Well, history, basically.  It’s not as if Gus Malzahn’s been Steve Spurrier, after all.  Auburn’s only won two of the last ten games in the series, neither of those in Athens, and it took magical seasons from its quarterbacks to pull those off (plus one of the flukiest plays we’ve ever seen, of course).

The other thing in the back of my head is that we’re at game ten now.  It’s about time for things to start coming together.  The coaches know their personnel.  The players have had time to adjust to what the new staff is doing.  We’re starting to see positive development in areas like the defensive line.  All of which isn’t to guarantee a win; rather, it’s just to say that an upset wouldn’t be totally out of the question for me.

If you really want a key for the game, keep an eye on first quarter scoring.  Auburn is tops in the SEC in that, while Georgia is tenth.  If the Dawgs can keep things close early, they might be in store for a good day.

25 Comments

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25 responses to “A few thoughts on Georgia-Auburn

  1. DawgByte

    You missed the most important stat of all – wins and losses. Only 1 SEC East team this year has defeated a Western conference foe. That was Kentucky over Miss St.

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  2. St. Johns Dawg

    Agree on all counts, especially first quarter scoring. If UGA gets down a couple scores early, I’ll be making dinner reservations.
    Unfortunately I think Auburn’s D-line should be stout against our weaker O-line, which coupled with Chaney’s inability to adjust as a play caller (see Ole Miss, Vandy (ugh) and Florida games) will probably mean a 31-13 kind of game. Would love to see quick slant passing and creative running plays today … Not counting on it.

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    • DawgByte

      “Chaney’s inability to adjust”.
      You’ve said a mouthful on that front. Eason runs one of the best two minute offenses in the country. Why Chaney doesn’t recognize that Eason operates more efficiently and effectively in those formations and types of plays is a mystery to us all.

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      • Mayor

        It may not be Chaney.

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        • The other Doug

          Bingo!

          Chaney hasn’t been rigid at his other gigs.

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          • S

            This will only encourage them to blame Kirby instead. I can see the memes now. “Chaney wants to open up the offense, but Kirby is stubborn and is forcing him to run a power offense by changing blocking schemes”. Oh, wait. Some of them already are.

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      • Sh3rl0ck

        Why Chaney doesn’t recognize that Eason operates more efficiently and effectively in those formations and types of plays is a mystery to us all.

        Chaney does recognize that. The issue is that teams only run their 2-minute prevent defense in the last 2 minutes and when the score it tight. If teams would only rush 3 or 4 and play quarters coverage every play, running the 2 minute offense full time would be a great idea. Defenses don’t, so neither do offenses.

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        • We ran the no huddle spread successfully against UTK throughout the game.

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          • Sh3rl0ck

            That is not an argument. It is a one game anecdote. UTK didn’t have the DB talent to match up in man coverage and relied on having to play zone. Chaney knew this and incorporated it into his game plan. He has run a varied multiple offense with a very diverse running game, and he is having to scheme around a sub-par OL.

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  3. Part of me is hopeful about the outcome, but I really don’t think we have a chance to keep it close because we can’t block anyone with a good defensive line (or Nicholls) consistently. The other point is good old 3rd & Tucker coming back to bite us. If Auburn can get to 3rd and manageable, we’re in trouble.

    I’ll be there wearing my red & black and cheering for our Dawgs, but I’m heading to Athens with a sense of dread.

    Gosh, I hope I’m wrong …

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  4. J-Dawg

    It “is” possible for an upset to happen. Kirby doesn’t want to mess the bed again in our house and he’s desperately fighting to have a non-losing season and go to a bowl. I look for a little creativity in the run game and maybe a trick play or two. Turn Eason loose early with some long shots and who knows what can happen. After all, who figured the bitch would lose the election. Anything can happen.

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  5. Will Trane

    Dawgs lose like Hillary lost.
    Already have two of my victorues this week
    My family in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Texas loved Hillary getting trucked.
    Auburn has more weapons than dawgs.
    Thibk Auburn wins by 17-21 points
    Millennials leave Sanford early.

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  6. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Marshall Long is out for the rest of the season. Ramsey is punting. Hope they use that he has to be out there every punt as a smokescreen for a fake.

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  7. Hardcoredawg 93

    86,96,06… 16. Today could be awesome.

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  8. Macallanlover

    Better than a puncher’s chance but several match ups favor the Barners so UGA will have to play strong, mistake free football. And that will not matter of Chaney hasn’t dialed up a better scheme and utilize the Vandy formula because we will only be able to run effectively if we first loosen them up with short, quick passes. Should be competitive but Aubirn is to far ahead of this UAG squad. Let’s hope home field, and a complacent Auburn team let us hang around and pull the upset. Football gods owe us a few in this rivalry.

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  9. Cosmic Dawg

    No telling. My gut says 49-13 Tigers. But no good logic behind that. We have been kryptonite for them and so has CKS, correct?

    GO DAWGS!

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    • Macallanlover

      Well, Bama has been, as they have with all teams nationally. Actually, the Bama defense has been pretty weak against Auburn the last 5-6 years, had more troubles with them than UGA has. Don’t know if you put that on CKS, or Satan, but he was the defensive coordinator. If we klet them get into the mid-thirties or forties we are in deep doo doo. With Pettway out, and I think he will be, can’t see Auburn dominating on offense like that. Most projectiosn I have see call for them to be low thirties tops, with us in the low to mid teens. I would be disappointed with a loss more than 17 points, we need to compete better than that and defend the home turf.

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  10. WarD Eagle

    I think Auburn is still susceptible to a good passing game. Hopefully this isn’t Eason’s coming out party.

    I dont understand why Chubb & Michel haven’t rushed for 1000 each this year.

    If I’m Kirby, I pound those guys and throw slants until the D loads the box and then try over the top. That would be my entire game plan for 4 quarters. Eventually, the backs break a big one, a slant goes big, or a post pattern works out.

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    • Macallanlover

      Well, I know why we haven’t rushed against anyone with a pulse, and it won’t work against Auburn either, unless we lead with the short, quick passes to open up running lanes. Slants, fare passes to backs are the way to start. Get Eason in a rhythm and spread your defenders out then we might have success running. If Chaney does his usuall two runs uo the gut than a pass on 3rd and long, we won’t score in double digits. Nothing wrong with those backs but they are consistently hit behind the LOS before they get any momentum.

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