Week 11 – Georgia at Auburn

Posted Nov 7, 2012

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Georgia at Auburn


Georgia (8-1) at Auburn (2-7) Nov. 10, 7:00, ESPN2

Here's The Deal: It's time to finish the drill – at least this one.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt has the SEC championship in his sights needing to only beat a miserable Auburn team to get the job done. However, there are still bigger and better things on the table with the national championship still in play, and at the very least, an at-large BCS bid. It's going to take style points to be in the hunt for either one, but as long as the Dawgs can close out strong with wins over Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech following the trip to Auburn, they'll be in the discussion for big things going into the conference title game, and if they can beat Alabama – assuming it's Alabama – then it'll be time to get the debate started about whether or not they deserve to play for it all.

Auburn might be in the midst of a disastrous season, but as bad as the 2-7 campaign might be, there's a chance to end things on an epic note getting to play the two possible SEC championship combatants to close out. There might be one more win for the taking against Alabama A&M next week, but now it's about playing the spoiler role, hoping beyond all reasonable hope to put Florida in the SEC title game by beating Georgia. More exciting, though, is the possibility of screwing up Alabama's repeat dream in the Iron Bowl – a team can dream.

Georgia has won five of the last six meetings, with the lone defeat since 2005 coming to Cam Newton and the boys in the Tiger national title season. It's going to take something epic for Auburn to keep it from making it six of the last seven.

Why Georgia Might Win: Auburn is bad at playing college football. The biggest issue has been a banged up offensive front that hasn't done enough to pound away for the ground game, while doing absolutely nothing in pass protection. Auburn, meet Jarvis Jones. The Georgia has picked it back up again after registering just one sack in three straight games with nine against Florida and Ole Miss, and not coincidentally, the production started coming once Jones got healthy with three sacks against the Gators. He came up with 2.5 sacks in the win over Auburn last season, and if he's not a one man wrecking crew this week, that means all the focus will be on him and others will step up and dominate. The Dawgs are starting to come into their own in the secondary doing a great job over the last few weeks; this isn't going to be the week the Auburn passing game gets healthy.

Why Auburn Might Win: Is it possible that Georgia reverts back to its pre-Cocktail Party form? The Dawgs were fantastic against Florida and Ole Miss, with the downfield passing game kicking in last week against the Rebels, but the air show worked against Kentucky, too. However, the Dawgs had to fight to get by the Cats in a 29-24 win despite throwing for 427 yards and four scores. Even if everything works at times for this Georgia team, it doesn't always translate into consistent production. The Auburn pass defense is giving up too many big plays, but the overall problems have come from the lack of help from a struggling offense. If the Tigers can win the field position battle, control the clock and shorten the game, they might be able to stay alive – it's quite possible Georgia will come into the game thinking the SEC race is already over.

What To Watch Out For: Aaron Murray is looking like the type of quarterback who's good enough to carry the team to big things. The talent has always been there, and the numbers have always been solid, but now he's making better, smarter decisions while appearing to be in more control doing a great job of keeping his eyes down the field to make big things happen. Of the seven picks thrown on the year, three came in the win over Florida while spreading out the other four – he's not making the big mistakes. Brilliant last year against the Tigers – completing 14-of-18 passes for 224 yards and four scores – he'll have to be even sharper this time around after losing key target Marlon Brown for the year to a knee injury.

What Will Happen: Auburn will come out fired up and looking strong in the last home game that matters, but that will only last for a quarter. Reality, and Jarvis Jones, will set in and the floodgates will open after a few scoring drives and a few key turnovers. The Tigers won't have the firepower to keep up the pace, and Georgia will be off to the SEC championship.

CFN Prediction: Georgia 38 … Auburn 10
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Georgia -15.5 O/U: 53
Must Watch Rating (5 – Skyfall, 1 – Wreck It Ralph): 2.5