Georgia Bulldogs maul Auburn this year

Auburn struggled against Georgia both offensively and defensively during their rivalry game this year.

The+Georgia+vs+Auburn+rivalry+began+four+years+before+Utah+officially+became+a+state+in+the+U.S.

The Georgia vs Auburn rivalry began four years before Utah officially became a state in the U.S.

Mya Mooney, Staff Writer

The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry game occured on October 3rd, 2020. This highly anticipated game is between Georgia and Auburn, both of whom were ranked in the top ten nationally. This rivalry began on February 20th in 1892, Auburn winning 10-0 . They have played over 100 times, 125 times to be exact, playing almost every year with the exceptions of five games. Three of those missed games were in 1917, 1918, and 1943 due to World War One and World War Two. Throughout those 123 games there have been eight ties, 61 Georgia wins, and 56 Auburn wins. The Bulldogs have had the upper hand since 2010; Georgia has won nine games and Auburn has won three of the twelve games. The Georgia vs Auburn football rivalry is one of the oldest behind rivalries, while Princeton vs Yale is the oldest rival in all of college football history. In the last ten years Georgia has made it clear that they are a well-established and mature team, whereas Auburn starts with a lot of momentum but tend to fall short, especially against the Bulldogs. The 2020 season started off with a bang for both teams, Auburn beating Kentucky 29-13, and Georgia beating Arkansas 37-10. After the first two weeks Georgia is ranked number one in the SEC East , 3rd nationally, and Auburn was ranked second in the SEC West and dropped down to 13th in the national rankings. This past Saturday Georgia came out on top once again, Auburn had a poor performance against the Bulldogs, with over a 20 point differential. Both teams have lost and gained players since the 2020 draft, which definitely had some contribution to the outcome of this year’s game.

 

This year’s game took place at Samford Stadium, the home stadium of the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia set the pace of the game during the first quarter, Zamir White scoring a rushing touchdown around the nine-minute mark, followed by Jack Podlesny kicking the extra point. Auburn was unable to respond to Georgia’s touchdown, and ultimately failed to get into the field goal range. Georgia then had possession once again, and around the four-minute mark the Bulldogs’ went for a field goal, as they were unable to score another touchdown, adding another three points on the scoreboard. As the first quarter dwindled to an end Georgia had tallied up ten points, leaving Auburn with zero on the board. The beginning of the second half went in Georgia’s favor. Stetson Bennet (Georgia’s starting quarterback) threw a 21-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver George Pickens for their second touchdown of the game, followed by Podlesny once again getting the extra point. Auburn was now 17 points down, with 11 minutes left in the first half of the game. Once again Auburn was unable to respond to Georgia’s touchdown, and ended their drive too far away for a field goal attempt. White would make another play, running one yard to score Georgia’s third touchdown of the game, and his second of the game. The extra point was good, putting Georgia at a solid lead for the first half with 24 points. Finally at the one minute mark Auburn was able to put some numbers up, Anders Carlson kicking the field goal, giving Auburn a total of three points, compared to Georgia’s 24. The first half of this rivalry game was a rough start for Auburn, Bo Nix their young sophomore quarterback and his offense were simply unable to consistently complete their drives against a well-established and strong Georgia defense. On the flip side, Bennet and the rest of Georgia offense was doing rather well, especially White who has been their playmaker this game. Georgia’s defense also had Auburn on lock down and left them no room to run the ball. While Georgia was ahead by 21 points, Auburn still could have attempted to at least tie the game up.

 

After half time both teams returned to the field, Georgia feeling confident, and Auburn determined to score some more points. Auburn was first to put up points this half with a 45-yard field goal kicked by Carlson at the ten minute mark, Auburn now having scored six points. It took Auburn 15 plays to barely get into field goal position after their third down conversion attempt failed due to Nix getting sacked and ended with a loss of five yards. Carlson would then punt the ball, and Georgia had possession again. Due to the kickoff being a touchback, the Bulldogs’ were positioned at the 25 yard line to start their first drive of the second half. This would result in ten plays and a gain of 67 yards, but would not be enough for a touchdown. The Bulldogs’ attempted a third down conversion at Auburn’s eight yard line but Bennett’s pass was incomplete. Georgia opted to not go for a fourth down conversion but instead brought Podlesny for one final field goal attempt at roughly the six minute mark for the third quarter, and his kick was good.  This field goal would conclude the scoring for the rest of the second half, Georgia with 27 points and Auburn with only six.  Auburn defense was able to hold Georgia’s offense down to a single field goal, but their offense was just unable to score a touchdown against Georgia defense, evening throwing an interception. If the Auburn offense was able to make those third down conversions, they may have scored at least one touchdown, but were not mature enough as a team to score against Georgia’s brick wall of a defense.

 

Georgia walked away with another win that will be left in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry history. They came to win and did just that, leaving no chance for Auburn to win. Auburn was outplayed in every aspect, rushing, receiving, third down conversions, and defensively. By the end of the game Georgia had 202 rushing yards, 240 passing yards, 442 total yards, and completed nine of fourteen third down conversion attempts compared to Auburn’s 39 rushing yards, 117 receiving yards, 216 total yards, completed six of fifteen third down conversion attempts and also threw an interception. Auburn has a young quarterback that is still improving, his freshman season last year was a good start, but as a true sophomore, he still has room to grow and improve. Having a younger and less experienced offense play against a seasoned Georgia defense was the downfall of Auburn for this game, but they will continue to get stronger as they continue to play. Georgia’s defense did a lot of work this game, shutting down Nix completely, it was more of a defensive game than an offensive game. The Georgia defense proved themselves to be extremely tough to play against, and very efficient in keeping the run game of the opposing team down significantly. Overall Georgia is a more mature team who has more confidence in their playing, and simply stronger than Auburn this year. This rivalry game may have not been the most high scoring and fast paced, but Georgia clinched a solid win at their own home turf.

 

*All stats from ESPN, the Georgia Bulldogs’ official website and Auburn’s official website under stats.