StatTiger Analyzes the Auburn at Georgia Game

Stuart Carter crunches the numbers in detail to come up with a projected winner in the grandaddy of all SEC football rivalries.

Auburn 7-3/3-3 SEC at Georgia 5-4/3-3 SEC

2009 National Rankings:
Auburn/Georgia

Rush Offense: 10th/Rush Offense: 83rd
Pass Offense: 63rd/Pass Offense: 70th
Total Offense: 12th/Total Offense: 88th
Score Offense: 11th/Score Offense: 62nd
Rush Defense: 93rd/Rush Defense: 41st
Pass Defense: 32nd/Pass Defense: 50th
Total Defense: 63rd/Total Defense: 36th
Scoring Defense: 80th/Scoring Defense: 71st

About Georgia…

The Georgia Bulldogs come into the Saturday's game 1-3 in their last four conference games, but 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Southeastern Conference for the season. Like the Tigers, the Bulldogs are currently in a rebuilding process. Georgia is struggling to replace its starting quarterback and running back from 2008.

In terms of completions, attempts, yardage and touchdown passes, Joe Cox and Chris Todd have nearly identical numbers. The biggest difference between the two quarterbacks is Cox has thrown 12 interceptions to Todd's three with both having 17 touchdown passes for the season.

Georgia's leading receiver, A.J. Green, has 44 receptions for 732 yards and six touchdowns, but his status on how effective he will be is uncertain due to a chest injury although he says that he is ready to play.

A.J. Green leads the SEC in receiving this season.

Richard Samuel leads the Bulldogs on the ground with 395 yards while Washaun Ealey and Caleb King have combined for 506 yards this season. In the last three games, freshman Ealey has made progress and has rushed for 230 yards.

Linebacker, Rennie Curran has been a tackling machine for the Georgia defense for the past 2 1/2 seasons and is leading the defense again this season with 82 tackles. Linebacker Justin Houston tops the defense in tackles for loss (nine), including five sacks this season.

Senior defensive tackle Geno Atkins is a beast with 23 stops on the season, including 7 1/2 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The Bulldogs are currently No. 80 nationally in pass efficiency defense with only five interceptions for the season. Georgia is ranked 35th nationally with 22 sacks and 26th in third down defense. The Bulldogs are dead last in the country with only six forced-turnovers in nine games.

Inside the Numbers…

*Auburn leads the sereis 53-51-8, but Auburn has lost five of the last seven meetings, including the current three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs.

*Auburn does hold a winning edge in Athens with a 22-14-2 record.

*Since 1983 Auburn is 10-3 against the Bulldogs in Athens.

*The last 17 times Auburn has rushed for at least 150 yards against Georgia the Tigers have compiled a record of 13-3-1 against the Bulldogs. This includes a 4-1 record against Coach Mark Richt.

*Georgia has thrown at least one touchdown pass against Auburn in the last 17 meetings and Auburn has rushed for at least one touchdown against the Bulldogs in the last 20 meetings.

*Since 1961 Auburn is 17-4-2 against the Bulldogs when the Tigers score at least three offensive touchdowns.

*In the last 30 meetings with the Georgia Bulldogs, Auburn's leading rusher has averaged 113 yards per game at 5.5 yards per carry, which includes 16 100-yard games.

*In the last 16 times Auburn fielded a 100-yard rusher against Georgia, Auburn is 11-3-2 against the Bulldogs.

*Taking Chris Todd's first 10 pass attempts from each conference game, Todd has compiled a pass rating of 76.2. This includes a completion percentage of 48 percent on 4.1 yards per pass attempt.

*During this current decade, Auburn has compiled a pass rating of 108.9 against the Bulldogs, including a rating of 78.1 in the last three meetings.

Why Auburn should win…

*If you take the scoring averages and margins of both teams against BCS competition, Auburn is projected to win 34-29. Taking the scoring averages and margins of both schools against SEC opponents, Auburn is projected to win 35-33.

*Auburn's offense is currently No. 20 nationally in pass efficiency and the Georgia defense is No. 80 in defense.

*Auburn's running game is ranked No. 10 in the nation and the Bulldogs' defense is 41st against the run. In their four losses this season, Georgia has allowed 175-yards rushing per game.

*During this current decade, Georgia is 10-11 when its opponent rushes for at least 150 yards and passes for at least 150 yards in the same game. Auburn is 6-0 this season with 150 yards rushing and passing in the same game.

*The Georgia defense has allowed 48 plays of 15-yards or more this season while the Auburn offense has generated 96 such plays.

Why Georgia should win…

*Taking the scoring averages and margins from Auburn and Georgia's three common opponents, Georgia is projected to win this game 36-33.

*Though Auburn's overall offensive averages have been impressive, the Tigers only averaged 349 yards and 21 points per game in their last five conference games. At the same time the Auburn defense allowed 406 yards and 28 points per game.

*In its last two road games Auburn has averaged 284 yards and 16 points on offense while allowing 435-yards and 37 points on defense.

*The Bulldogs might have rediscovered their running game this past Saturday which could spell trouble for an Auburn defense allowing 189 yards rushing against their last eight BCS division opponents.

*In his previous three road games, Todd has averaged only 133 yards passing with one touchdown pass from 74 attempts.

Final Word…

The key question this Saturday night will be whether or not the Auburn offense is back to stay. After looking like a million dollars in the first five games of the season, the offense went into a funk during a three-game losing streak. The Tigers gained more than 400 yards against Ole Miss and rolled up 655 yards against an out-manned Furman squad so a question is which offense will show up in Athens?

Looking at the matchups between Auburn's offense and Georgia's defense the course to success appears to be smooth sailing for the Tiger offense. The Bulldogs have struggled on pass defense and during their four losses allowed 175 yards rushing per game. If the Auburn offense can limit mistakes and execute well the Tigers should be able to move the ball consistently on Georgia's defense.

Chris Todd is shown in action during Auburn's victory at Tennessee this season.

During Auburn's three-game losing streak Todd did not play well, but he did not hurt the team in terms of excessive turnovers. One of Todd's best attributes this season has been his ability to protect the football when throwing it. He hasn't thrown more than one interception during a game and has not thrown a pick in seven of 10 games. His efficiency rating of 146.5 against Georgia's poor pass efficiency rating on defense could translate to a big night for the senior quarterback. A return of a healthy Onterio McCalebb could keep the Bulldog defense primarily in zone coverage allowing Auburn's receivers to become easier targets for Todd to locate.

The Georgia offense has sputtered this season with only one 400-yard game against eight BCS opponents. Cox has thrown at least one interception in every game except Tennessee Tech. Despite Georgia's offensive woes, the Auburn defense has made its opponents look better by allowing five of their seven BCS division opponents to gain more against Auburn than their seasonal average. For the season, Auburn's seven BCS opponents have averaged 5.9 percent more in yardage against Auburn than their season average. Auburn has allowed 27 points per game against its seven BCS opponents, which could be the break Georgia has been searching for on offense.

Of of Auburn's biggest conference rivals, Georgia has been the opponent that Auburn's skill players have found success against more than any other. In the last 30 meetings against the Bulldogs, Auburn's leading ball carrier has averaged 113 yards rushing. Ten Auburn quarterbacks have posted a rating above 130 against the Bulldogs since 1986 and Auburn's leading receiver against Georgia has averaged 80 yards per game.

With Georgia struggling on defense this season, this could be a great opportunity for Auburn's skill players and offense to have a big night on the road. Auburn 37, Georgia 27

Around the SEC…

Mississippi State over Alabama by 4
Arkansas over Troy by 22
LSU over Louisiana Tech by 24
Tennessee over Ole Miss by 6
Florida over South Carolina by 15
Kentucky over Vanderbilt by 7


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