So, being fashionably late is still in style.
As the college football season races towards the finish line, Auburn was on the outside looking in heading into Week 11.
After this weekend, the Tigers are ready to dance.
Auburn pummeled No. 1 Georgia over the weekend, dominating every phase of the game and enacting revenge in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.
The Tigers held Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, the SEC’s top running back duo, to just 48 yards on 20 carries.
In between Georgia’s opening touchdown drive and final touchdown drive against Auburn’s backups, the Tigers held the Bulldogs to 85 yards on 41 plays over 10 drives.
In his first start in a hostile environment in the SEC, Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was rattled early and often, as Auburn pounded the freshman play after play.
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Georgia entered the game averaging over 445 yards and 36 points per game. Auburn held the Bulldogs to 230 yards and 17 points.
Offensively, Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey shined in the spotlight as his brilliant play calling kept the Tigers one step ahead of Kirby Smart’s defense for all four quarters.
Georgia entered the game as the No. 5 rush defense in the country, but the Tigers torched the Georgia defense for 237 yards on the ground, 167 of which came from Kerryon Johnson, who firmly placed himself in the Heisman Trophy race.
Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham shined on the biggest stage of his career, completing 16 of his 23 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. He also scampered for a seven-yard rushing touchdown early in the third quarter.
The stage is now set for Auburn. The Tigers jumped from No. 10 to No. 6 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, and likely will earn a spot in the top four if they win out.
However, the work has just begun.
Auburn entered Amen Corner with three possible tests standing in its way of a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Test one? Complete.
Test number two looms two days after Thanksgiving, when Auburn will host No. 1 Alabama in one of the biggest matchups in Iron Bowl history.
If Auburn knocks off a top-ranked rival for the second time in three weeks, it will meet a familiar foe for the second time in a month.
Georgia has already punched its ticket to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on Dec. 2. If the Tigers are to meet the Bulldogs again, it would likely become a play-in game for the College Football Playoff.
A lot can happen over the next three weeks. Following what should be an easy victory over Louisiana-Monroe, all eyes will be on Auburn for the 82nd edition of the Iron Bowl. If Auburn can continue its improved play since its meltdown at LSU, Alabama could have a tough time inside the confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Nonetheless, the Tigers have sent a message to the college football world: They are here to play.
The stage is set for Gus Malzahn and his Auburn team. Turn the music up and flip the bright lights on. It is time to see if this 2017 Auburn team will be remembered forever.
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