Thursday, November 10, 2011
Huge game Saturday night in Athens for both programs. For Georgia, they control their own destiny with regards to an SEC title shot. Beat Auburn and Georgia all but assures itself a trip to Atlanta with lowly Kentucky remaining on the schedule. Georgia is also looking for validation as they've yet to beat an SEC team with a winning conference record (unbelievably will have only played two all season--South Carolina and Auburn...and if UGA and Bama beat Auburn, UGA will have only played one team with a winning conference record). Auburn on the other hand is still looking to play its first complete game of the season. They came very close in their last outing against Ole Miss with the exception of poor run defense in the first half. A win over Georgia does wonders for bowl slotting and essentially gaurantees this Auburn team exceeds the expectations of even the most unrealistic Auburn fans.
There are some match-ups in this one I don't like...
1. Georgia's offensive line vs Auburn's defensive line. Georgia has the biggest OL in the country...larger than every NFL offensive line! Girth doesn't necessarily translate into dominate offensive line play, but a group that enormous leaning all day against a defensive line as young and thin as ours is not a match-up favoring the Tigers.
2. Georgia's defensive line vs Auburn's offensive line. I don't think this match-up becomes an issue unless Auburn struggles to run the football. If Georgia makes us predictable and forces obvious passing situations, their 3-4 defensive scheme and edge rushers will have a field day. To prevent this we must be incredibly balanced, break tendencies, give Clint Moseley some easy throws to build upon, and get Onterio McCalebb into the mix by forcing the Georgia defense to defend the run game from sideline to sideline.
3. Aaron Murray. The Georgia QB may be the best the we've seen this year. He will complete some passes and have success. We just have to make him earn everything he gets and make him pay when he makes the slightest mistake. We can't afford to allow Georgia to jump out in front several scores early. We just aren't built to play from behind.
In Auburn's favor...
1. No team seemingly does less with more than the Georgia Bulldogs. This Georgia team is really not very good if you've seen them play this year. They play to their opponents level. Their wins against some terrible teams have required far too much fight down to the wire. I have never seen an easier path to an SEC championship game than the one the Georgia Bulldogs are currently on. Mark Richt may have been on the hot seat but when the combined conference wins of all the SEC teams you've beaten to date is 5-24, the hot seat cools off in a hurry! Georgia most definitely caught a break from the scheduling gods.
2. Georgia hasn't played a team as capable as Auburn since it's first game against Boise. No, I'm not comparing Auburn to Boise. But the speed Auburn will play with will seem remarkably different to UGA. Contrast that to Auburn, who's seen LSU in Death Valley...all games from here on out are in slow motion.
3. The two-headed attack of Dyer and McCalebb. Something makes me believe Onterio goes off in this game. Georgia has always been the type team with terrific talent that plays terrifically undisciplined. Onterio McCalebb is the guy that will break a defense's back when assignments are missed.
4. When was the last time Emory Blake and Trovon Reed lined up at WR at the same time this year? Clemson? Emory is a playmaker...this we know. Trovon? He needs to play the game of his life in an Auburn uniform this week. Become the playmaker we've been waiting for!
I still feel like it's an uphill battle anytime you're playing a QB as inexperienced as Clint Moseley. The game plan must unfold perfectly and Auburn's defense will need to give our offense plenty of opportunities. The diffence in my mind is what takes place in the trenches. Georgia's line is superior to Auburn's at this point. Because of that I feel like Georgia has the edge. Prove me wrong Tigers!