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Auburn's offensive woes in Athens continue

Georgia tailback Zamir White (3) scores during the Bulldogs' game against Auburn at Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker)
Georgia tailback Zamir White (3) scores during the Bulldogs' game against Auburn at Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker)

 

The home win streak for Georgia continued on Saturday, as the Bulldogs won their sixth consecutive game in Athens against Auburn, 27-6. Auburn has not scored more than 10 points in Athens since 2009.

Chad Morris’ offense was anything but impressive, totaling only 216 yards of offense. It reached the red zone once, totaling three points off an Anders Carlson field goal in its lone attempt. The six total points are the fewest points an Auburn team has scored in a game since Sept. 9, 2017, when Auburn scored six points in its loss to Clemson.

Auburn’s struggles began early in its offensive drives, only averaging 2.8 yards on its first down plays. The lack of production on first down put Auburn in passing situations on long second and third downs. Out of 16 third down attempts, eight of them were from nine-plus yards out. The Tigers converted 43.8% of their third down attempts.

The run game boasted little success against a strong defensive front for Georgia. Auburn rushed for 39 yards in the loss, but did see flashes of freshman Tank Bigsby’s potential.

“Tank’s a competitor,” said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. “He’s got some playmaking abilities. I think it was good that the last two weeks he’s got some game experience that will help him moving forward.”

Georgia’s defensive line was a strong suit for the Bulldogs all evening. The line consistently broke through Auburn’s offensive line, pressuring Bo Nix and sacking him three times. The quarterback had multiple plays where his only option was to shovel the ball either out of bounds or toward the line of scrimmage for an incomplete pass.

“They’re a really good defense,” Nix said. “We knew they were going to bring some pressure. Part of that’s on me. I didn’t slide the right way, I just got to get the ball out.”

Trailing 24-3 at halftime, Auburn has put only 11 points on the board in the first 30 minutes of play this season. In the Kentucky game, Auburn’s offense looked well-improved in the second half. Tonight, it was just as stagnant in producing points in the second half as it was in the first.

Despite finding somewhat of a rhythm in the second half, the Auburn offense was unable to bridge the gap in the deficit. It was unable to finish drives like it did in the Kentucky game.

“We just tried to come out in the second half and throw all our bullets at them,” Nix said. “We threw the ball around a little bit and had some successful drives and then we just stalled.”

One positive on the night, though, Auburn’s Seth Williams had 34 receiving yards. This puts him at 1,510 career receiving yards and 16th among Auburn career leaders.

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