Series record: 53-52-8 in favor of Auburn
2010 National Rankings:
Rush Offense: 4th/Rush Offense: 61st
Pass Offense: 73rd/Pass Offense: 45th
Total Offense: 6th/Total Offense: 54th
Score Offense: 6th/Score Offense: 25th
Rush Defense: 18th/Rush Defense: 13th
Pass Defense: 95th/Pass Defense: 37th
Total Defense: 52nd/Total Defense: 15th
Score Defense: 55th/Score Defense: 23rd
The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a 55-7 victory over Idaho State, bringing their record to 5-5 and putting the team one win away from becoming bowl eligible.
After starting the season with a 1-4 record, the Bulldogs have rebounded to go 4-1 in their last five games, which included an overtime loss to the Florida Gators. During their resurgence, the Bulldog offense has averaged 426 yards and 43 points per game.
If Georgia is to pull off the upset over No. 2 ranked Auburn, its offense will have to play extremely well to keep up with the record-breaking numbers being produced by the Auburn offense.
Freshman quarterback Aaron Murray leads an offense that is currently No. 25 in scoring. Murray is the No. 18 rated passer in the nation and the highest ranked freshman quarterback. He has thrown for 2,307 yards and 18 touchdowns with only six interceptions.
The Bulldogs have three players who have more than 450 yards in receiving, including A.J. Green, who is considered to be one of the best in the country. Green missed the first four games of the season due to suspension, but has averaged 85 yards per contest since his return. Kris Durham is second on the team with 25 receptions for nearly 500 yards.
Washaun Ealey runs for the Bulldogs.
Washaun Ealey leads the Bulldogs with 589 yards rushing, including 100-yard games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky. The Bulldog offense will be anchored by a very good line, which includes all five returning starters from 2009.
Linebacker Akeem Dent, who has 94 tackles, leads a defense that returned seven of its top 11 tacklers from 2009. Todd Grantham is in his first year as the defensive coordinator. He installed a 3-4 scheme that is currently 13th against the run and 23rd nationally in scoring defense.
Linebacker Justin Houston has been a major force on the outside, leading the team with 16.5 tackles for loss, which includes nine sacks. The defense is 53rd nationally in tackles for losses and 47th in quarterback sacks.
Sanders Commings leads Georgia in interceptions with three and the team has a total of 12 this season. The defense is 24th nationally in forcing turnovers. Look for the Bulldogs to bring zone pressure in attempt to disrupt the continuity of the Auburn offensive line.
Inside the Numbers...
•From 1993-2001, Auburn was 6-2-1 against the Bulldogs but has fallen to 2-6 since 2002.
•In the last 13 meetings against Georgia, Auburn has averaged 134.2 yards rushing, compiling a 6-7 record. During the previous 13 games prior to 1997, Auburn averaged 208.2 yards rushing on their way to an 8-4-1 record against the Bulldogs. Auburn has rushed for 200 yards only one time in the last 13 meetings.
•Auburn is 12-0-1 against the Bulldogs the last 13 times the Tigers have held Georgia under 100 yards rushing.
•In the last five meetings against Auburn the Georgia Bulldog offense has averaged 400 yards and 32 points per game.
•In the last 10 meetings between the two schools Auburn has not scored more than three offensive touchdowns.
•Over the past 50 years Auburn has finished its seasons averaging better than 400 yards in offense per game on 11 occasions. During those 11 seasons, Auburn compiled a 7-3-1 record against Georgia.
•Georgia is 4-2 against Auburn the last six times they entered the game with a non-winning record.
•From 1976-2005 (30 years), Auburn's leading rusher against Georgia averaged 116 yards per game. During the last four meetings against the Bulldogs, Auburn's leading rusher has averaged 58 yards rushing.
•Auburn has averaged 42.1 yards per offensive possessions while scoring on 55.4 percent of its possessions. The Tigers will face a Georgia defense that has allowed 24.8 yards per possession while allowing the opponent to score on 25.2 percent of its possessions.
•The Georgia offense has averaged 33.4 yards per possession while scoring on 45.8 percent of its possessions. The Bulldogs will face an Auburn offense that has surrendered 29.7 yards per possession and a score on 32.5 percent of the possessions defended.
Why Auburn should win...
•As much scrutiny as the Auburn pass defense has been under this season the Georgia pass defense is almost as porous. Auburn is currently 69th in pass efficiency defense and the Bulldogs are 65th. The Georgia defense will face an Auburn offense currently No. 2 nationally in pass efficiency offense.
•All five of Georgia's victories have come against opponents with a non-winning record and four of their five losses have come against teams with a winning record. Auburn is currently 6-0 against their opponents with a winning record.
•The two teams have faced four common opponents this season. Georgia is 1-3 in those games and Auburn is 4-0.
•Auburn's offense has produced 108 impact plays or plays of 15 yards or more and Georgia's defense has allowed 68 impact plays. The Bulldog offense has totaled 77 impact plays while the Auburn defense has allowed 61 impact plays.
Auburn's offense has produced 33 plays of 30 yards or more while the Bulldog defense has allowed 18 such plays. The Bulldog offense has totaled 25 plays of 30 yards or more while the Auburn defense has allowed 11 big plays on the season.
Why Georgia should win...
•Of Georgia's 25 big plays on offense, 20 have come from the passing game. Of the 10 big plays allowed by the Auburn defense, eight have come on pass defense. It matches up the Bulldogs' strength on offense against Auburn's weakness on defense.
•The Bulldogs are 6-2-1 at Jordan-Hare Stadium since the SEC expanded to 12 teams in 1992.
•Under Mark Richt, Georgia is 23-9 against SEC teams from the West Division.
Georgia coach Mark Richt
•The Bulldogs' offense is currently averaging 387 yards and 29 points per game against conference opponents.
•Murray will be the fourth quarterback Auburn has faced this season currently ranked in the nation's top 30 in pass efficiency. The three previous opponents averaged 35 points per game while compiling a pass rating of 171.5 against the Tigers.
Auburn has all the motivation in the world to be focused for the Georgia Bulldogs this Saturday. The Bulldogs are the Tigers' second biggest rival and Auburn currently has a four-game losing streak to Georgia. If Auburn wins this Saturday, the Tigers clinch the SEC West with an opportunity to win a conference title.
Auburn and Oregon remain the heavy favorites to play for the BCS national championship as long as both teams win out. Despite Georgia's overall record, the Bulldogs have won four of their last five games and are not the same team that started off the season 1-4. There is basically no way Auburn comes into this game overlooking the task at hand.
Though Auburn is the favorite in this game, it should be worth noting that Georgia is a few plays away from being 8-2 rather than 5-5. Keep in mind, Auburn had 285 yards more than LSU, but only won the game by seven points. Missed opportunities, poor special teams play and poor field position on the part of Auburn made the LSU game much closer on the scoreboard than it should have been.
Georgia will come into the game with an "us against the world" mentality that could manifest into an upset should Auburn fall into a self-destruct mode. The 2010 Auburn offense might be the best in school history, but it shares the field with a questionable pass defense and special teams with a tendency to be inconsistent.
During their last 14 trips to Jordan-Hare, the Georgia Bulldogs have either shocked or stolen victory away from the Auburn Tigers on eight occasions. Overall, they hold an 8-5-1 record during their last 14 visits to Auburn, but very few Auburn fans will forget the outcome of the 1982, 1986, 1994, 1996, 2002, 2006 and 2008 games.
If the Bulldogs were to pull off the win this season, it would be biggest upset in the modern era of the rivalry with Auburn in position to win a possible national title and Georgia possessing a 5-5 record. Georgia won't be intimidated by Auburn's success this season when the Bulldogs come to town, but the strength of this Auburn team is its ability to remain focused on its opponents. Auburn is 10-0 because the coaches and players believe in what they are doing and not even the recent history of this rivalry can alter the destiny of these Tigers. Auburn 38, Georgia 24
Around the SEC... Florida over South Carolina by 3
Arkansas over Texas El Paso by 35
Kentucky over Vanderbilt by 14
Alabama over Mississippi State by 6
Ole Miss over Tennessee by 6
LSU over Louisiana-Monroe by 24