Mark Richt's Comments…
The Bulldogs rallied after allowing a touchdown on the opening drive, forcing a turnover and two punts to stymie the No. 1 offense in the SEC.
But Georgia was unable to sustain such success.
Newton, who finished with four total touchdowns, and the Tigers' offense sprang to life, scoring five touchdowns on its last five drives of the game, winning 49-31.
"Cam Newton is a magnificent athlete," Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo said. "He's very, very tough to defend."
In a game where both offenses were scoring handily, the Georgia defense was unable to get a much-needed stop in the second half. The Tigers scored a touchdown on every possession in the final half, clinching the SEC West in the process.
The run of Auburn scores turned a close game into an easy victory.
"It was hard, man," said Georgia senior linebacker Akeem Dent. "It was very frustrating. We went out and fought hard. We gave what we had. But they played a good game."
Newton produced his usual line of stats Saturday. He had two touchdowns rushing, piling up 166 yards on 30 carries. He added two touchdowns passing, finishing 12-of-15 for 148 yards.
"We expected it," said Georgia corner Brandon Boykin. "We knew they had a quarterback that could run the ball. We knew all these things coming in. We prepared for it, and we couldn't get it done."
Although the stats show a typical Auburn offensive beatdown, Georgia had initial success in the first half.
After a Newton 31-yard touchdown run on the Tigers first drive, the Bulldogs were able to get stops on three of the next four drives.
Rambo intercepted a Newton pass on the Tigers second drive of the game. The next series of downs saw the Tigers run six plays and punt.
Behind the defensive stops, Georgia built a 21-7 lead.
"We came out of there with a lot of momentum from the first half," Boykin said. "We hit them in the mouth, and they didn't really expect that. We knew it was going to be a fourth quarter fight. I don't think we came out with the same intensity. We didn't step up to the challenge."
Weathering the couple of poor possessions, the Tigers would score on the next six of seven series.
The Tigers unique style of offense employed reverses, Newton keepers and misdirection plays Georgia repeatedly could not stop.
"We knew they were going to run the ball," Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston said. "We just couldn't stop them."
When all the scoring was said and done, the Tigers had racked up 315 yards rushing, averaging 5.5 a carry. Onterio McCalebb added three touchdowns rushing, and Michael Dyer had 60 yards. Newton, McCalebb and Dyer finished with 55 carries, methodically wearing down the Georgia defense.
"They got skill guys…all three of those backs are good players," Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "They're each a little different so they compliment each other well."
Auburn finished with 28 first downs held the ball for over 34 minutes of the game clock.
"In the second half we had people in the wrong place, and they weren't where they needed to be," Houston said. "They capitalized on a lot of our mistakes."