Auburn entered its top ten matchup with the 4th ranked Georgia Bulldogs with the hope of ending a six game losing streak in Athens, Georgia. The Tigers left Sanford Stadium as losers of seven straight in that stadium.
The Bulldogs dominated in every phase for all four quarters on their way to a 27-6 victory. Georgia opened the game on a 24-0 run before the Tigers could get on the board. The Bulldogs offense, after struggling early against Arkansas last week, consistently moved down the field in the first half behind the legs of Zamir White and the arm of Stetson Bennett.
White ran for 88 yards on 19 carries and reached the end zone twice and Georgia had five other running backs get 20 plus yards. Bennett kept his momentum from his week one performance and finished with 17 completions on 28 attempts for 240 yards and one touchdown.
The Auburn defense struggled to find any answers for Bennett or the Bulldogs’ rushing attack throughout the first half but rallied in the second half and held the Dawgs to only 3 points.
They were without Jaylin Simpson, SEC Freshman of the Week, who missed the game due to injury and lost Smoke Monday in the first quarter following an ejection due to a targeting penalty. KJ Britt also battled injuries throughout the game.
The Tigers gave up 442 yards of offense to the Bulldogs as well as 25 first downs to Auburn’s 15. Georgia was 9 for 14 on third down conversions and kept a number of drives alive due to miscues by the Tiger defense.
The Auburn offense struggled to find any sort of momentum or rhythm throughout the game with only 216 yards of offense. The Tigers averaged 3.5 yards per play compared to Georgia’s 6.1. Nix completed 21 passes on 41 attempts for 177 yards and no touchdowns with one interception, his first in 251 attempts.
The offensive line struggled with protection as the Bulldogs ran a number of blitzes leading to three sacks, the most Auburn has given up since last year’s game against LSU. Nix was under pressure throughout the night leading to a number of errant throws.
Seth Williams was also battling injuries throughout the game and finished with 3 catches for 34 yards. Auburn’s leading receiver was freshman Tank Bigsby who had 7 catches for 68 yards.
The rushing attack for Auburn was almost nonexistent with the Tigers gaining 39 yards on 22 total carries. Bigsby was the leading rusher with 31 yards on 8 carries and Shaun Shivers did not play due to injuries from the week prior.
“I think, at the end of the day, we got to run the football better,” head coach Gus Malzahn said. When Georgia went up big early, Auburn was forced to abandon a struggling running game and become more one dimensional which led to more pressure on Bo.
“This will be a learning experience for our team,” Malzahn said. Georgia will take on SEC East foe Tennessee next week while the Tigers will return to Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks.