This is Numbers To Know, in which we look at the stats, figures, and factoids which will go a long way toward determining the winner of this Saturday's 118th version of the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. Or not.
43. The number of points per game the Georgia offense is averaging this season, tops in the SEC AND seventh in the nation. They may need all 43 and more to win this one.
286.4. Rushing yards per game the Auburn offense is averaging. Also tops in the SEC and seventh in the nation. The Plainsmen average a head-spinning 506.9 yards of total offense per game. That makes me a little nauseous.
167.8. Rushing yards per game averaged by Nick Chubb during Todd Gurley's four game suspension. Who thought that we'd be wondering whether Gurley could put up Nick Chubb-type numbers rather than vice versa?
36. Consecutive number of games started at center by David "Boss" Andrews. In fact Georgia's managed to start the unit of Andrews, Kublanow, Pyke, Theus, and Houston for the entire season. That consistency has also been critical to those gaudy rushing numbers put up by Gurley and Chubb.
1. How many more interceptions Nick Marshall has thrown (4) than Hutson Mason (3) in 89 fewer pass attempts. It's not a lot, but Marshall ain't a thrower. He's got a cannon for an arm but his accuracy and decision-making leave something to be desired. If Georgia can bottle up the rushing attack, get a lead, and force Auburn to throw it, there's a reasonable chance that Nick Marshall is going to make a mistake.
1 is also the margin in the all-time series, with Auburn leading 55-54-8. That margin is owing to Auburn's historic success in Athens, where they own an 18-12 advantage. Georgia holds the series lead in games played in Auburn (15-11-2), Columbus (21-16-2), and all other neutral sites (27-26-6).
0. The number of times Auburn has played both Georgia and Alabama in true road games in the same season prior to 2014. I feel zero sympathy for them because, well, you know.
5th. Auburn's position in net turnover margin in the SEC. Georgia remains #1. If you asked me what one stat will make the difference in this game I'd pick turnovers. I think Auburn's going to get its yards. That's basically inevitable, as we saw when they rolled up 449 yards against Jeremy Pruitt's FSU defense last year, a defense with much better overall personnel and execution than we've seen from this Bulldog unit. But if Auburn shoots itself in the foot the way it did last week against A&M, Georgia's got a real shot to control this one.
59. Number of points by which Auburn has outscored opponents in the fourth quarter this season (93-34). If ever there was a game in which we could not afford to take our foot off the gas, it's this one. That worries me. A lot.
10-1. Auburn's record under Gus Malzahn when rushing for 300+ yards. This also worries me.
Less than 0. How much all of these numbers mean in this one once the whistle blows. If we've learned anything in this series, it's that guys like Tra Battle and Ricardo Louis have a way of happening in this series, and when they do it's often statistically inexplicable. That both worries and exhilarates me. We'll see you right before kickoff for the First Half Open Comment Thread. Until then . . .