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Taking on the Bulldogs!

By on November 14th, 2013 in Football 20 Comments »
Big Show

                                          Tigers are back in a big game on CBS!

      War Eagle, everybody! It’s Georgia week, and the vitriol is flowing! This game is set to be televised on CBS at 2:30 PM Central Time, and promises to be an exciting game. It has been 3 long years since CBS televised a football game at Auburn that had championship implications for both teams. The last such game featured Onterio McCalebb breaking away for a game-deciding touchdown against LSU in 2010.

     I do worry that some Auburn folks are taking Georgia lightly. That’s no wonder, since many of the newspaper writers keep saying that Georgia “ranks near the bottom of the league” in many statistical categories, especially on defense. Honestly, I’m not sure which statistics they are talking about. Checking the current statistical leaders page over at the SEC website, I see a defense in the top half of the league in many categories.

     The Bulldogs are 4th in the SEC in rushing defense, which is pretty important if you’re playing Auburn’s league leading running game. The Bulldogs are 5th in total defense, well ahead of Auburn’s 10th place ranking. Georgia is 2nd in the league in quarterback sacks. On the offensive side, the Bulldogs are again among the conference leaders, despite being missing a number of key skill players. Georgia is 6th in the SEC in scoring, with 35.6 points per game. The Bulldogs are 2nd in the league in passing offense, trailing only Texas A&M. That means that they are ahead of other passing juggernauts like Missouri, Ole Miss and South Carolina. The Bulldogs are 4th in the league in total offense, putting up 478 yard per game.

     On the Auburn side of the field, the Tigers are 4th in the league in scoring defense, but are way down at 10th in total defense. Pass defense is worse, ranking 11th as Auburn gives up 238 passing yards per game. That’s not a reassuring number, when facing veteran quarterback Aaron Murray. Auburn is 4th in the SEC in scoring offense, tallying 38.6 points per game. The Tigers are 2nd in the league in total offense, piling up 493 yards per game.

     The only real weaknesses I see in the Georgia season stats are that the Bulldogs only have 4 interceptions on the season, while Auburn has picked off 11. Auburn has a decided special teams advantage, as Georgia has yet to do much of anything in either the punt return or kickoff return areas. Georgia coverage has given up 2 punt return scores, and a kickoff return touchdown. On the season, Auburn is averaging 1.5 turnovers per game, while Georgia averages 1.8.

     This game is Georgia’s last big SEC game of the season, and I’d expect any injured Bulldog that can walk, limp or crawl to the stadium will play. After this game, Georgia hosts Kentucky, then plays Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Neither of those teams will be much of a speed bump for the Bulldogs, so they’ll surely let it all fly against the Auburn Tigers.

     In something of an unusual twist, Auburn is hosting Georgia for the second year in a row at Jordan Hare Stadium. The league office is now juggling a 14-team SEC, and making up the cross-divisional matches has been a struggle. Historically, Auburn has played Georgia better in Athens than at home, although that trend has died down since the 1990s. As one can see here, Auburn is 10 wins, 15 losses and 2 ties against Georgia in Auburn. In contrast, Auburn is 18-11-1 against Georgia in Athens. Overall, the Auburn vs. Georgia series is tied up with each team having 54 wins against the other, and 8 tie ballgames. In the last decade, it hasn’t really mattered where the game was played, as Georgia has won most of them. Auburn has lost 6 of the last 7 games against Georgia, and 7 of the last 10. It’s time to put an end to that trend.

     We’ll have our usual open thread up early Saturday morning, and as always, feel free to chime in and cheer on our Tigers! I’ll be away from the computer for this game, but should be back for the Iron Bowl. War Eagle, and let’s beat those dogs!

20 Comments

  1. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    We should not take the Bulldogs lightly. Murray is a worthy opponent who deserves our respect. But we have faced other good Heisman-level quarterbacks who can pass with laser-like accuracy and won such games.

    If Marshall and our wide receivers can sustain the passing performance they demonstrated in the last two minutes of the Mississippi State game, Auburn will present a formidable balanced attack.

    It is incumbent upon our defense to keep the score close in the first half. This season we have consistently been soft early on, allowing opponents to get on the board. If we get behind no more than seven at the half, we can overcome that. If the margin gets to 14 it will be a fight, but we should still be able to make it up. Against a quality offense like Georgia, if the score gets too far ahead of 14 at the half, we will be in a real struggle.

    Auburn has been a real second-half team, especially on defense. This team showed remarkable resolve in the LSU game. As long as they fight with similar tenacity, I like our chances at home.
    Auburn 38
    Georgia 35

  2. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    To all of US, there is only one game that really matters: GEORGIA at 2:30 PM in Jordan-Hare stadium on Pat Dye field! Let’s ALL get behind our wonderful Auburn Tigers and give ‘em all the support we have. They have come a long way in 12 months and they have a long way to go! AND, never forget, win or lose:

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

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    BEAT THE DAWGS !!!

  3. allanonj allanonj says:

    This is slightly off topic but, does anyone know when Auburn put names on the back of their jerseys in football?

    I called the AU information line and the transferred me to the athletic department who then transferred me to the desk of HC Gus Malzahn. I have a wager for a steak dinner with a buddy and we would like to get it settled.
    Many Thanks and War Eagle

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Sometimes my memory is faulty, but I think the first time Auburn put names on their jerseys was during the Barfield years. Maybe ’76?

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..I’m grasping at straws, but I don’t think the tear-aways of the 1970s had names on them. They went away in the early 1980s. Lemme go get my Auburn Centennial book off the nightstand and I’ll see if the pictures in it tell the story…

        …..No names on the jerseys in the 1978 orange-out game against Georgia. And no names on the back on the Bo over the top game in 1982, either. 1983 Iron Bowl shows none, either. None against USL in 1985. Tillman reverse in 1986, no names. None in the 1987 Iron Bowl. None in 1988.And none in 1989, “first time ever” Iron Bowl. That finishes that book out.

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          …..The “Attitude” book shows names on the jerseys, in 1993. Best I can give you right now is sometime between 1990 and 1993 for when the names started appearing.

          • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

            I just looked up Joe Cribbs on Youtube. The Auburn jerseys have names on them on the Cribbs highlights but I’m not sure of the exact year.

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

    I’ve been worried all week about folks taking Georgia lightly. In light of this season not being ‘their’ season (again) doesn’t mean that they’ve thrown in the towel and limping towards the finish line. This is a typical season for the Dawgs, which means that they’ve definitely had this date circled on their calendars for months.

    I want a win so badly that I can taste it. But it is not a foregone conclusion that we will win. That’s why these games are played. I believe that these Tigers can win this game. Let’s hope that their belief in themselves is as strong as their execution on game day….We can not get down more than two touchdowns and one field goal and expect to be victorious. I want to see Aaron Murray running for his life in the backfield and I want Gurley stuffed every now and again. This is a powerful offense, they will get their big plays and points. We just need to get our points too and keep those pups in check.

    War Eagle! Beat the UGaly’s!!!

  5. AUwaterboy says:

    Good preview Acid I love this rivalry, but it’s time for there to be a change in it. I’m tired of losing to the mutts. Auburn needs to get back to being the dominate half of the rivalry. Hope that starts this Saturday and it will be the beginning of Malzahn taking the program back to the top tier of the SEC.
    War Eagle!

  6. sparkey sparkey says:

    Who in the hell is taking Georgia seriously? All I see is people worried we’re taking them too lightly. Damn folks you’d make a saint angry. I’ve seen nobody take Georgia lightly. I’ve seen CBS pick them to beat us. I haven’t seen whatever it is you guys have seen apparently. Damn you make me want to jump in a river and scream we’re not that good Georgia will kills us! The end is nigh the end is nigh!!! Really folks, really.

    • wdee1988 says:

      I honestly expect Auburn to get off to a slow start. Even though our last few games have had a huge margin of virctory in SEC battles, the first and second quarter have all had slow starts. Saturday, after the third quarter, Auburn should start pulling away with the win. I’m not entirely sure if this trend has just been half-time readjustments, simply better conditioning than the other team, or both. One thing that I can say for sure though.. I’m more than ready to take a W from those UGaly’s! War eagle everyone!!

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      Sparkey, are you seriously saying we are going to get killed by UGA? I don’t think that is what you mean but sometimes I have a hard time figuring it out.

      Someone told me once that oddsmakers automatically give SEC teams a 7 point advantage for home field. That being said in this game they feel UGA is 3 points better and Jordon Hare makes the difference. I think we will get close to 40 pts. I am not sure we can hold them under that.
      My score prediction……AU 38-UGA 34 for a push against the bookies.

      • KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

        I think Vegas gives the home team 3 points.

  7. usmc71au83 says:

    I enjoyed your preview of the game and I agree that Georgia should not be taken lightly. Thay consistantly have good recruiting years, so there is no shortage of talent. The injury situation has created some problems this yeaar, but some of the players are returning. With that in mind, I believe we have also had some very good recruiting years and have suffered from some injuries to players that could have made substantial contributions. I believe we have done very well under those circumstances.

    I don’t place as much emphasis on the historical record of wins and losses at either Athens or Auburn, since they cover the such a long period of time(1912, 1929, and 1959-2012) and invove coaches who are no longer involved in the game. The exception is Richt who has been at UGA for 12 yrs and has beaten us 8 of those years. The wins have been 4 in Athens and 4 in Auburn. He has the best winning percentage(66.67%) against the opposing team of any of the coaches who has coached a minimum of 10 yrs at his school. He is followed by Jordan(60.00%), Dye(58.33%), Tuberville(50.0%), and Dooley(40.00%). The success of the coaches does not appear to have been drastically affected by the location.of the game. It will be interesting to see how Richt and Malzahn match up in this rivalry.

  8. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    You know what, I’m going to buck the trend. I know in my head that UGA should be a very close test. But I’m now learning what it looks like to see a Gus Malzahn coached Tigers team. 18 and 32 point wins against Arky and Tenn??? 4 point win over one of the most transcendant QB to WR duos in history… at their house??? No, I am going to, as Yoda would say it, unlearn what I have learned. This team is different, this team doesn’t cringe at the sight of the LSUs, UGAs, and UATs of the world. This team expects to win, and plays up to that expectation.

    Put me on the record:

    AU 44 – UGA 17

    • KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

      I love your optimism. But UGA does has a defense, whereas aTm not so much. I hope you’re right, though.

      • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

        No one has ever accused me of being a pessimist in regards to AU football. 2010 was the perfect year for my predction percentage.

  9. tigertracker says:

    I’m going 41-31 good guys. Georgia does have a defense, but their back 4 are pretty suspect. Everything about this matchup says we should exploit the pass, but Gus loves to run and I think we will. There’s a lot of guys on the team that played in the last two games versus both georgia and bama. I hope they are polishing that enormous friggin’ chip on their shoulder tonight so they can run it thru our upcoming opponents!
    Nick gets 150+ pass and 50 rush with 3 TDs combined
    Tre gets 100+ and 2 TD

  10. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    I think you are dead on Acid. UGA will be ready to play against Auburn. Guaranteed!

    It’s like the COL was saying about the 2006 UGA game… we were highly ranked and came away getting our hat’s handed to us. Add insult to injury… it rained as well. The thing that really set me off… I had on my “supposedly” lucky Orange Sweatshirt! I found out after that butt whipping that it wasn’t so much lucky as I just liked how comfy it was. And, hey, I really do love the color orange and blue!

    We will require the best game from this AU team.

    Good hunting Tigers!

    WDE