Another win against Auburn and a clinching of the SEC East. Here’s how Georgia met the keys to the win on The Plains.
Let’s state the obvious. As we saw two years ago, Jordan-Hare can be a tough place to play with its piped-in audio / rabid fans knowing full well that its season boils down to this game and the Iron Bowl.
Georgia has to avoid getting rattled in that environment, and its young players who have played at one true road setting this year at Tennessee will have to handle it.
Of course, part of this includes George Pickens. He’s described as an emotional type of player, and given his spurning of Auburn and how the Tigers will put a target of his back, Pickens will have to block that out and most importantly - not get baited into costly penalties.
This game had an absolute different feel than the previous trainwrecks in the SEC West - obviously the long pass to Blalock early on helped - but moreso because Georgia did not get unsettled in the midst of the crowd at Auburn.
There were some blips on the radar - notably Tyler Simmons getting pinged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on special teams - but overall, Georgia kept a level head and did not give Auburn a large amount of free yardage.
Don’t let Auburn’s defensive line disrupt
Georgia’s vaunted offensive line has looked less than ideal at times this year, and that’s not a good thing when the apparent plan is to out-man ball the opposition. What cannot happen Saturday is for the running lanes to be all but shut down and Jake Fromm having no time to throw.
When you can put 21 points up against a defense like Auburn, you are doing some things well. The biggest thing for Georgia was making sure that red zone trips did not end with field goals. For all that was good in those parts, there were the fourth quarter where Georgia could not move the ball if its life depended on it.
Give lots of credit to Auburn’s defensive line...but also tip your hat to Georgia’s offensive line to not allowing the Tigers to harass Jake Fromm all day long.
Make Nix Win It
Even without Boobie Whitlow at full speed if he plays, Auburn’s stable of running backs are plenty capable. For that reason, Georgia needs to make them a non-factor and force the inconsistent Bo Nix to beat them
So here’s the thing about being inconsistent. At times, you are not good and average, and at other times, you are well above the curve. That’s what happened on Saturday. With Georgia mostly shutting down Auburn’s run game, the Tigers offensive success was limited to small chunks of yards on slant routes.
That dynamic changed in the fourth quarter when Nix found a few creases in what Georgia did defensively.
However - Georgia making sure that Auburn could not control the game with its rush attack was a key in the win.