I had sketched out my thoughts on the Auburn game this weekend in some detail before I got around to reading Doug's treatment of the game over at SB Nation Atlanta. He wrote 80% of what I was going to, and better than I would have. Go read it now, then come back if you believe there's anything he left out. Because what follows is really just an extension of and extrapolation from what Doug already wrote. Seriously. I'll wait. . .Done? Good. Doug is right. This game is all about whether or not a Georgia team that should win on paper can actually win on turf. Auburn will trot(ter) out an inexperienced quarterback against one of the most sack-happy and interception-greedy defenses in the SEC. They'll field a secondary that's looked vulnerable against as deep a group of Georgia receivers as we've seen in some time. And they'll be playing run defense against a Bulldog unit that has proven surprisingly capable of moving the pile and opening holes when it needs to.
Here's the crazy bit. Ever since the Tennessee game I've been fearing that this team would finally decide that it is too cool for school and take a week off. So far it hasn't happened, at least not teamwide (clearly some players have been engaging in recreational activities on their own). I'm beginning to hope that this group is the exception to the rule we saw in action against Georgia Tech in 2008 and countless times since. Georgia teams have had an alarming tendency to take their collective foot off the gas at truly awful times over the past few years.
Now, with a trip to the Georgia Dome looking more feasible than it has at any time in the past 36 months, we get a chance to see if Mark Richt's Bulldogs have once again learned how to finish the drill. Auburn has spoiled more magical seasons in the Classic City than any other rival. As a historical bridesmaid to both 'Bama and Georgia, it's kind of been their schtick through the years. This may not be the biggest installment of the
Deep South's Oldest Rivalry from a national perspective, but from where I sit it's huge. Huge for this team. Huge for Mark Richt. And huge for the direction of Georgia football. It's time we returned from our stint as the hunted to being the hunter once again.
Saturday absolutely cannot get here soon enough. Until later . . .