This year’s edition of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry finds Georgia and Auburn heading in different directions as they meet in Sanford Stadium for college football’s Week 6 action on Saturday.
Defending national champion Georgia is perfect through five games, but was demoted to No. 2 in the top 25 rankings this week after two sluggish performances against Kent State and Missouri.
Auburn is 3-2 and hasn’t scored more than 17 points the last three games with its head coach seemingly about to be fired every week this season.
Here’s what you need to know about this Saturday’s matchup.
Georgia vs. Auburn preview, prediction
How to watch
When: Sat., Oct. 8
Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern
TV: CBS network
Stream: fuboTV (Start your free trial)
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Odds, point spreads, betting lines
Odds courtesy SI Sportsbook
Georgia ATS: 2-3
Auburn ATS: 1-4
Moneyline: UGA -10000 AU +1800
REIT pick: Georgia 93.9%
Related: Georgia vs. Auburn picks, predictions: Week 6 college football odds, spread, lines
Georgia vs. Auburn: What you need to know
1. Auburn in the second half. Not that there’s all that much going on before halftime, but this team just isn’t getting anything done after the break. In the second half of the last three outings, Auburn scored a combined 6 points. Key to turning that around is getting the most from quarterback Robby Ashford, who has the ability to extend plays with his legs and spook Georgia’s front seven out of position now and then.
2. Is Georgia off autopilot yet? You could argue that the sluggish showing in the Kent State game was an outlier, an elite team not really putting their best work out there thinking they would just win easily. But then came the Missouri game, when Georgia needed a double-digit fourth quarter comeback to win. That was genuinely concerning. Missouri successfully clogged the primary running lanes early and often and was able to pressure Stetson Bennett out of rhythm more than a few times, holding him to 10 of 24 passing before the half. You can argue that Auburn is more athletic at the line defensively than Missouri is; get some pressure on Bennett early and things could get interesting in the first half.
3. Get the Tank rolling. Clearly the potential engine behind any would-be offensive renaissance for Auburn, lead back Tank Bigsby has not played up to its potential this season. He’s only scored once in the last three weeks and has gone over 60 yards just once this year, in the opener: 51 yards against San Jose State, 39 against Penn State, 44 against Missouri, and 45 against LSU. As a receiver, he’s yet to hit 40 yards in a game and hasn’t scored. It hurts to see a talent of Bigsby’s ability not get used as well as it can, and now he faces the gauntlet of Georgia’s proactive run stop from behind an Auburn line that hasn’t played well, either.
Georgia vs. Auburn: Fast Facts
+ Auburn is 17-22-1 against ranked Georgia teams all-time
+ Georgia is 70-5 when allowing 29 or fewer points under Smart and 2-9 when allowing 30 or more
+Auburn is 6th nationally with 44.11 net punting yards
+Georgia is 67-8 when scoring 20-plus points under Smart and 4-7 when scoring 20 or less
+ Auburn is 17-3 scoring 20-plus points under Harsin and 1-6 when scoring fewer than 20
+ Georgia is 30 of 31 in the red zone with 19 TDs and 11 FGs, 7th nationally
+ Auburn is 3-10 under Harsin allowing 20-plus points and 6-1 when allowing fewer than 20
+ Georgia is 4th nationally allowing 10.8 points per game
+ Auburn is 25-1 the last decade when scoring a non-offensive TD
+ Georgia has outscored opponents 112-32 in the first half of games
+ Auburn is 7-0 under Harsin when rushing for 200-plus yards and 1-3 when running for under 100
+ Georgia is 3rd in the SEC with 39.0 points per game
+ Auburn is 6-3 under Harsin when leading after three quarters and 2-6 when not
Georgia vs. Auburn Prediction
Looking at Auburn’s record under Harsin, the formula for success seems pretty simple: score 20 points and you usually win. And that’s something both Kent State and Missouri were able to do the last two weeks against Georgia.
But the other end of that spectrum is Auburn’s 3-10 mark under Harsin when allowing 20 or more points. And looking at Georgia’s offense, even with its recent issues, that’s something it can do without really trying.
Auburn has some power on the defensive interior to plug the A-gaps in the run game, but doesn’t have the firepower on the back end to adequately suppress Georgia’s deep game, and nowhere near the agility on the offensive line or at quarterback to stop the Bulldogs’ front seven blitzkrieg.
College Football HQ Prediction: Georgia 38, Auburn 13
According to AP top 25 poll
- Ohio State
- Oklahoma State
- ole miss
- Penn State
- NC State
- kansas state
- Mississippi State
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