Georgia Bulldogs Pass Big Test With Win Over Auburn

Georgia Football, Hairy, mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Georgia Football, Hairy, mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Georgia Bulldogs were on the road to face off with the always pesky Auburn Tigers. With a win, the Bulldogs could wrap up the SEC East, punching their ticket to Atlanta for a matchup with the LSU Tigers.

After losing to South Carolina in a weird game, the Georgia Bulldogs lost any wiggle room regarding the College Football Playoff they had before the loss. With the loss, the Bulldogs were somewhat of an afterthought with Florida riding high. Even with the loss, the Bulldogs still had a formidable schedule ahead of them with games against Florida and Auburn being the main tests remaining. After beating the Gators in October, the Bulldogs faced off with the Tigers over the weekend with a chance to clinch the SEC East.

Any time a Georgia-Auburn game is played on the plains of Auburn with real, tangible stakes on the game tends to get a little wonky. The last time these two teams met in Auburn, just two years ago, when Georgia was ranked number 1 in the nation, Auburn handed Georgia their first loss of the season. Georgia would get their revenge that season in the SEC Championship Game, but that season proved that you can never look past Auburn, ever.

The game on Saturday was a defensive slog. After Auburn missed a field goal on their opening drive, both teams traded punts until Georgia broke down the Auburn defense for a touchdown, making the lead 7-0. The Georgia defense would remain solid, forcing Auburn to punt every drive for the rest of the first half. The Bulldogs would add a touchdown before halftime to extend their lead to 14-0 going into halftime.

The second half started the way the first half ended with both teams punting the ball back and forth. More than halfway into the 3rd quarter, the Bulldogs would add another touchdown, making the score 21-0. With the 21 point lead and the way the Georgia defense was playing, the game seemed over after the third touchdown. Auburn had other plans.

After the third Bulldogs touchdown, Auburn would get on the board with a touchdown to make the lead 21-7. Auburn forced Georgia to punt of their next possession and quickly scored another touchdown to make the game 21-14. It was a whole new ballgame in the 4th quarter.

The Auburn defense continued to stifle the Georgia offense, forcing the Bulldogs to punt of their next drive. With the ball back and a chance to tie the game, Auburn was moving the ball down the field with ease. Bo Nix led the Tigers to Georgia’s half of the field with time dwindling. The Bulldogs defense found their composure once again, shutting down the Auburn drive on downs at the Georgia 34 yard line.

On Georgia’s next drive, Auburn forced another three and out. Auburn would get the ball back with a chance to tie the game with a little over 2:00 minutes left in the ballgame. Georgia’s defense remained focused, shutting down the Auburn defense. Georgia would get the ball back and take the knee for the win. In a game that was much closer than it should have been, the Georgia Bulldogs escaped Auburn with the narrow win.

With the win, the Georgia Bulldogs did clinch the SEC East title, securing their trip to Atlanta in December. Now, with two games remaining, the Bulldogs can begin to focus on their last few tests before LSU. Texas A&M and Georgia Tech are the last roadblocks in front of Georgia’s CFP hopes. Texas A&M, this weekend in Athens, can’t be taken lightly. The Aggies are playing good football at the end of the season and would love to play spoiler to the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia should have no issue with the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia did their work by beating Auburn and Florida, easily the two most difficult games before an eventual showdown with the LSU Tigers. It wasn’t the prettiest with for Kirby Smart and his team, but a win nonetheless. Georgia continues to look completely dominant on defense while the offense continues to do just enough to win these games. It’ll be a great matchup with LSU’s high powered offense in Atlanta, but before that Georgia still has some work to take care of. Namely, Texas A&M this weekend.