All ‘Dawgs are created equal. It says so right there in the Declaration of Bulldog Independence. But when the Red and Black beat Auburn so badly it should be deemed unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment, it’s usually because some ‘Dawgs stepped up out of the crowd to make it so. Those players are the toast of the town on this night, your MVDs: Most Valuable ‘Dawgs.
Offense: The offensive line. Sure, I could have gone with Stetson Bennett staying cool in his first career start. Or Kearis Jackson setting career records for receptions and yardage. Or Zamir White churning out 89 yards on the ground. But all of that and more was only made possible by a Bulldog front that dominated the Aubbies from the first whistle to the final gun. Part of that effort was a drastic reduction in penalty yardage, and even more of it was just putting a hat on a hat and moving people out of the way. It was bea-utiful.
Defense: Tyson Campbell. A veritable Greek chorus of Athenians chased and screamed at Bo Nix all night. Adam Anderson in particular finished with a career high two sacks. Monty Rice chopped in 7 tackles to lead all ‘Dawgs. But the player whose effort stood out to me was Campbell, who spent much of the night in one-on-one matchups with Auburn’s top receiver, Seth Williams. Last week Williams torched Kentucky for 6 catches, 112 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Tonight Campbell draped him like a slice of melted American cheese product on the fried bologna sandwiches they serve in the formal dining room at the Auburn Country Club. Williams was essentially a non-factor, finishing the game with 3 catches for 34 yards and no scores.
Special teams: Jake Camarda. The specialists were not a big part of the story in this one, which is often a good sign. Jack Podlesny Hot on 1 of 2 field goal attempts. Kearis Jackson has a grand total of 6 punt return yards. Kenny McIntosh has a nice 38 yard kickoff return, but nothing came of it.
Camarda sort of takes this award by default after punting a total of 2 times for a 51.5 yard average. The first of those was a 63 yarder that set a new career record. But to put things in context, Camarda never even trotted on the field in the second half as Georgia completed its customary slow asphyxiation of Gus Malzahn’s dreams.
Again, there were a host of clutch performances on this night. But these are your MVDs. Until later....