Saturday’s matchup marks the 123rd meeting between No. 24 Auburn and No. 5 Georgia. The Bulldogs are currently leading the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry 58-56-8, including 10 of the last 13.
Auburn found itself ranked in the Top 25 once again after a come-from-behind victory against Texas A&M last week. Georgia is coming into this game hot with back-to-back wins over Florida and Kentucky.
Here are some players to watch, keys to victory and stats to know for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.
Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift (Georgia):
Georgia’s backfield has not skipped a beat this season with the emergence of Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift as the new dynamic duo. The two have split carries evenly and are performing both at high levels, averaging over six yards a carry a piece.
Auburn’s rush defense was put to the test last week, giving up 200 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against the Aggies. The test only gets tougher against Swift and Holyfield.
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Auburn’s stout defensive line versus the potent rushing attack of Georgia matchup will dictate if Auburn can keep this one close.
Jarrett Stidham (Auburn):
It is safe to say that Auburn can’t rely on its running game to get the job done anymore, that is why the burden falls onto Jarrett Stidham’s shoulders. Stidham performed well last week when given a clean pocket and was able to lead Auburn to a comeback victory when the Tigers abandoned the running game.
Stidham was electric in last season’s win over Georgia but was subpar in the loss in the SEC Championship game, which Stidham shows up is something that people watching need to keep an eye on.
Deandre Baker (Georgia):
The Bulldogs No. 1 corner has NFL talent written all over him. Deandre Baker leads the No. 2 pass defense in the SEC that is only allowing 172.3 yards a game. Baker has been a menace for opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers with eight pass deflections and two interceptions on the year.
With the emergence of Seth Williams and the constant threats of Darius Slayton and Ryan Davis, it will be interesting to see who Baker will line up against on Saturday.
- It will take a lot for the Tigers to go into Athens and pull off the upset. First thing that must go right is Auburn has to stop Georgia’s rushing attack. The run game is Georgia’s bread and butter and the offense needs a successful run game in order to execute their game plan.
- Do not turn the football over. Auburn is plus-9 in the turnover margin in wins and minus-6 in losses. If Auburn loses the turnover battle, then it will get ugly quick.
- Georgia needs to control the time of possession. If they can force Auburn into quick, inefficient drives on offense and keep the Tiger defense on the field as long as possible, the Bulldogs will have an easy Saturday.
- Jake Fromm has to make some plays through the air and not rely on the run game to hold the offensive burden. Fromm has tossed 17 touchdowns this season and is second in the conference in completion percentage, so if he keeps that pace against the Tigers then Georgia will that much closer to another victory against Auburn.
45.28: Arryn Siposs has completely turned around the punting game for Auburn with his performance this season. Siposs has Auburn No. 2 in the SEC and No. 10 in the country.
78: Auburn leads the SEC and is No. 4 in the country with 78 tackles for loss.
5.76: Georgia places No. 13 in the country in yards per rush at 5.76.
92.11: Georgia has converted on 92.11 percent of its red zone attempts this season.
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