The Georgia Bulldogs are on the road for the first time this season as they travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium for an SEC match-up against the Auburn Tigers. The Dawgs are coming off of a 49-21 win over the UAB Blazers as Carson Beck put up a career high 338 yards through the air against the Blazers. Beck will be hoping to have the same amount of success this week, as it will be the first road start of his career that just happens to be against a rival in a hostile environment. There are plenty of things to look for this week such as if the Dawgs will look to start quick and really open up the playbook on both sides of the ball or if it will be another second half wake-up call. Unfortunately, we won’t find that out until game time but in the meantime lets take a look at the key match-ups for this weeks game against the Tigers.
Beck and Receivers vs. Auburn Secondary
Carson Beck has turned in a solid showing for Dawg fans this year as he has thrown for 1,184 yards and six touchdowns so far this season as he currently ranks fifth in total QBR among SEC quarterbacks. Beck will be going against an Auburn secondary that hasn’t allowed 200 passing yards in a game so far this season as they have averaged 164.50 yards given up through the air this season along with only giving up four passing touchdowns. Though that might seem impressive, it’s worth noting that the Auburn secondary has yet to play against an offense with as much talent as Georgia’s, as the passing game has picked up for the Dawgs in the last couple of weeks as Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Dominic Lovett have begun to hit their stride as top targets for Beck. Along with Rosemy-Jacksaint and Lovett’s recent success, Brock Bowers is still showing that he is the best collegiate Tight End college football has seen in a long time as Bowers is coming off of a two touchdown game against UAB in which he accumulated 121 yards on nine receptions. With all that being said, let’s all hope the Dawgs open the playbook early in this one and challenge the Auburn secondary.
Auburn Quarterbacks vs. Georgia Defense
The Dawgs defense is going into Saturday's game more than likely prepared to see multiple quarterbacks as the Tigers played both Payton Thorne and Robbie Ashford in last week’s game against Texas A&M. Thorne and Ashford have two different play-styles as the Dawgs will have multiple things to prepare for. In the case of Payton Thorne, he is more of a game manager type of guy with a lot of starting experience. Whereas Ashford is the more athletic and explosive quarterback but has failed to make strides in his passing game. Even if the Dawg’s defense see both quarterbacks, there is very little doubt they will be unprepared for either. Georgia’s defense has continued to be the most well oiled machine in all of college football as the Dawgs are averaging only 11.25 points per game given up along with 781 total passing yards given up as Redshirt Senior Tykee Smith has led the way for Georgia’s secondary. Smith currently leads the Dawgs defense in interceptions and tackles as he has finally been able to fulfill expectations as he has battled injuries since transferring from West Virginia a couple of years back. Georgia’s linebacker room will also look to give both Auburn quarterbacks fits as Smael Mondon Jr. and Jamon Dumas-Johnson have continued to be leaders of the defense as both are top five on the team in tackles as they have 24 total tackles between the two of them as they are both capable of flying sideline to sideline. Needless to say, Payton Thorne and Robbie Ashford will have their work cut out for them this Saturday against this stacked Dawg’s defense.
Georgia O-line vs. Auburn D-line
The last key match-up for this Saturday’s game takes place in the trenches between the Dawgs offensive line and the Auburn defensive line. Georgia’s offensive line has begun to show it’s size and dominance over the last couple of weeks as they have made the way for 378 total rushing yards just in the last two weeks, 184 of which are from the legs of Daijun Edwards. Auburn’s defensive line will probably be the most talented unit the Dawgs offensive line has faced all season as they have a solid pass rush that ranks seventh in total sacks in the SEC. Auburn’s d-line room is led by Senior Defensive Lineman, Marcus Harris. Harris is the most productive defensive lineman for the tigers as he leads the room in tackles and sacks as he is a guy the Dawg’s offensive line wants to keep at bey. Though the Tigers have talent on their d-line, Georgia still has the slight advantage as Auburn ranks 72nd in rush defense throughout the FBS whereas the Dawgs rank 64th in rush offense as it will be the most even match-up in Saturday’s game.