Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry Gets Serious

By Posted on: November 11th, 2013 in Featured Article, Football 22 Comments »
auburn vs. georgia

So much has been accomplished by Auburn football this year, yet what defines a season still lies ahead. Not in our wildest dreams could we have predicted that Auburn would win as many games as they lost last year with three weeks to go before Thanksgiving.

Nothing can take away from what Gus Malzahn has accomplished in his first year, but for this season to be put in that category of all-time greats, Auburn must close the deal against Georgia on Saturday.

While the Alabama rivalry gets most of the press, Auburn has fallen behind Georgia in the last decade and desperately needs a win for recruiting purposes, not to mention SEC title aspirations and maybe even a Sugar Bowl invitation.

There’s no other way to put it. Georgia has owned Auburn of late. Take away the Cam Newton led 2010 season, and Auburn hasn’t gotten a win over the Dawgs since 2005. That’s six losses in the past seven games.

Alabama can wait.

It’s payback time on the Plains. Expected to contend for the national championship this year, Georgia is wounded but dangerous. Las Vegas has made Auburn an early three-point favorite. That means if the game was played in Athens, the house money would be on Georgia.

While Auburn fans are bought in, the rest of the country is still skeptical. Can a team playing in the SEC really keep the ball on the ground and win a conference title? The talking heads at ESPN have already weighed in, with Mark May saying there’s no way a one dimensional team can compete with Alabama.

Who says Auburn can’t throw the football? There’s no arguing that Nick Marshall hasn’t tired his arm since the pool water was still warm, but don’t forget about Sammie Coates and the much improved passing game. It’s not extinct, just in hibernation.

How’s this for a storyline? When was the last time an SEC quarterback faced a defense that he once played for – literally?

Find a way to win on Saturday, and we are looking at perhaps the biggest Iron Bowl in series history – a winner take all trip to Atlanta and the SEC Championship. It will likely feature the highest cumulative record for both teams in modern series history. You can count on ESPN and the traveling GameDay circus to roll into town.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet.

The storyline this week will be how Auburn’s suspect rush defense can handle Georgia’s Todd Gurley. After giving up more than 200 yards on the ground in consecutive weeks against Arkansas and Tennessee, Gurley will provide a test Auburn has not seen since squaring off against LSU’s Jeremy Hill.

On the flip side, Georgia will have to contend with Auburn’s three-headed running attack led by Tre Mason. Georgia’s defense has struggled against the run at times, but still ranks fourth in the SEC in rushing defense, giving up 126 yards per game. Cue the Auburn passing game.

Once referred to as one of the friendliest rivalries in college football, that has changed in recent years. Auburn has everything to play for Saturday. Georgia still has a chance in the SEC East. Throw all those inbred stories out the window. I could care less who played at Georgia and coached at Auburn and vice versa.

We can’t help but take a peek at the Saturday after Thanksgiving. But let’s enjoy the ride. There are few things in life sweeter than beating Georgia. It’s something Auburn hasn’t done enough of lately.

That all changes Saturday afternoon.

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  1. audude audude says:

    Well put Jay. Let’s enjoy this ride!

    WDE

  2. restless6 says:

    ESPN has hated on Auburn for years. I can vividly remember Lou Holtz giving Auburn no chance against Florida, but the Gators got chomped. They hated on the 2004 team too, slobbering all over USC and Oklahoma. They played along with the Updykes with Cam too.

    I hope some of the Auburn folks remember this when the Gameday buffoons come to town, along with the Chief Updyke, Paul Finebaum.

    I hate Georgia. I hate Alabama. I hate ESPN, and those two idiots, Verne and Gary.

    The media will always be Updyke friendly and anti-Auburn. ESPN can’t wait to kneel at Saban’s supposed “throne”.

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      I would give Herbstreit credit. He did predict a big year for AU in 2010 despite being mocked by one and all.

  3. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    Being originally from GA and have lots of GA grads in my extended family ~ I want to annihilate the dawgs. Not just a beat down but what they have done to us the last two years. I have family that still won’t come because of the sprinklers. Whut?! How many years have gone by? This used to be a friendly rivalry but they are still upset about 2010. Ridiculous. My last visit to Athens was 2005 ~ to me that was a game for the ages! They poured drinks on band members after the game and they (my daughter one of them) had to be escorted out of the stadium by GA State Patrol to their buses. How ridiculous is that? It’s the band people.

    I told Gus at one of the meet and greets that he still owed us for 2006 at Arkie and he made good on that! But forgot about GA. Hopefully someone else has filled him in!!

    Neuter the Dawgs!! #WarDamnEagle

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      They have morphed the story from sprinklers to hoses….like Bull Conner….those folks really need to learn how to let go…….Although, my hope is that in this game that we give them a whole new set of encumbrances to clutch near and dear to their ‘hearts’…..

  4. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Our blinders need to be on this week to keep out the noise. It’s Georgia Week! 7-83 is unacceptable. We have a long road to make that kind of repeated beatdown right again. Like I said yesterday, I don’t want to hear about Bama or Atlanta or the SEC championship….it’s all moot if we don’t beat Georgia. But we aren’t playing just for that….at least I hope that we are not. The South’s Oldest Rivalry is tied. The winner of this year’s game owns the series. Owns the motherflipping series! Are we ready to concede that to the Dawgs? Are we willing to say: hey you guys just won the last 6/7, you guys totes deserve to lead this series??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!

    I’m tired of the Bulldogs. I’m tired of Mark Richt. I’m tired of the sanctimonious fans who like to point out that everyone is dirty BUT them (I wish I was kidding). I would say that I want Richt’s head on a platter, but I’ll likely get flagged for targeting…even though I meant that in a figurative sense (mostly)….On Saturday, it’s go time! We need to come out firing. I don’t care if we win through the air or by running it down their throats….Just WIN!

    My pads are out and I’ve got my helmet on. I’ll be resting my vocal cords so that my Tigers will hear me all the way from the Great Plains. It’s Georgia Week folks. Bring your hate. Bring your love of the Tigers! It’s all about this week and it’s all about a WIN! Let’s do this! War Eagle!!!!!

    • AUAlum69 says:

      AMEN, TOTM! UGA has been picked to win it all for so long, but always find a way to choke. This seems to be the case with all of the GA teams. GA fans have really hateful attitudes and want to look down their want-to-be snobby noses at us. They call the AU program dirty and ignore all of the dirty laundry in their own program, I want the Tigers to take them apart… give them something to REALLY hate Auburn about!

  5. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Being a ’67 graduate of Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine, we learned a good bit about dog neutering. Let’s neuter the dawgs on Saturday. Nothing else matters right now. Three of us old grads are making the trip on Friday. I sure hope the trip back home is an enjoyalble one !

    But, ALWAYS REMEMBER, WIN OR LOSE :

    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    BEAT THE DAWGS !!!

  6. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    I look for UGA to come into the game with a balanced attack. They have the best passer in the SEC. And Gurley… well, he is a game changer at running back. Georgia’s offense will be a test for our defense.

    Our offense will be going against a defense that always, ALWAYS plays up to Auburn. Most of these kids went to school with the guys on the Georgia squad. It will be a slug fest. I expect this game to go to the wire.

    I hope that Malzahn attacks all game long. No conservative play unless we are up by 21 points or more.

    Let the tiger hunt! Skin the bulldawgs. In the process, let this defense grow some fangs as we get ready for the pachyderms.

    WDE

  7. gumptowntiger says:

    I hope we kick the Dawg Sh!t out of UGA.

  8. mikeautiger says:

    We can also remember Ellis Johnson was the DC of the cocks that beat them most of the time when he was there, I bet he knows a few tricks to help us out with GA. Go Tigers!

    • WarEagleBattleCry says:

      Great post, Jay! We also have Coach Rodney Gardner who coached 15 years at UGA with Richt…think he may know a thing or two about the Dawgs?? This game is HUGE!! WAR EAGLE!!

  9. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Living in Ga, I want this game probably more than the bama win…well, almost anyway. UGA fans are funny. When they beat you, they are the most obnoxious people. When you beat them, they have a truck load of excuses… Let me go ahead and prime the pump; here will be their excuses for losing this year:

    “We were injured”
    “Murray can’t win the big games”
    “Richt needs to go”
    “Bobo’s an idiot”
    “Auburn cheats”
    “Targeting sucks”
    “I didn’t get my welfare in time to buy beer and scratch offs” (please add more below)

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      “The Refs don’t want Georgia to win”

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..There’s been “refs like Auburn” posts in every meltdown this year from fans of teams we beat. In my opinion, they are really letting a lot of holding on the line go, and allowing defenders a good bit of contact on receivers, as long as they aren’t seen grabbing.

        …..Main thing you’re going to get dinged for is substitution infractions, false starts/offside, and things they can see before the action starts. Oh, and if you really wallop an offensive player who has the ball, watch out for the targeting flag. I think replay has overturned a lot of those ejections. The flag needs to be overturned, too, in the rules committee this offseason.

        • wpleagle says:

          To which, may I add, some serious rethinking of the so-called celebration penalties. I almost threw up when I saw the call after UT’s pick six in the second quarter. So what if the UT guy spiked the football in the end zone – he made a whale of a play for his team at what could have been a crucial moment. He was entitled to some joy as long as it did not include deliberate, vicious taunting. Let them play.
          Is there any way this and other thoughts about officiating can be communicated to the SEC and/or NCAA offices? I’m not just talking about the “official” sites but a real person with clout who might actually listen!

        • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

          I believe that UGA had a thug, I mean, player ejected last week for targeting. It seems to be a recurring theme if I read the comments correctly on DawgSports. Not having seen the plays, I can’t comment on their justification. BUT, I have seen the Targeting rule called so inconsistently that my guess is that dawgs may have a point…….if the point of a rule is to make the game safer, it seems that the rulz around said penalty would be straightforward in black and white so that coaches could mentor players appropriately, but whatevs we don’t need no education, coach.

    • mvhcpa says:

      I thought that very last excuse would be used by our following opponent :-) MVH

  10. tigertracker says:

    This game is going to be awesome! I’ve had this tingle in my tummy before. ’93, ’04, and 2010. I think the dawgs make it interesting for a half. Maybe even lead at halftime, but we will own the second half. Gurley is already gimpy. Still very dangerous per touch, but with some good solid tackles those will be limited if he starts hobbling. Murray is going to get dirty! They may not all be sacks, but garner will have those guys hitting him clean whenever possible. A personal foul call might even keep a drive alive for them…just saying. But this will be made up in rushed throws later and pick opportunities. In the second half we will be fresher and faster and dominate. That’s my crystal ball report anyway.

  11. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    I hate UGA. Let’em piss, moan, and cry all the way back to Athens. Soak’em down this time after we hang 50 on them. It’s kick a mongrel week!