“That was more than team-wide, it was university-wide and fan-wide,” said head coach Kirby Smart. “The crowd noise at the end impacted the game. With less than two minutes, they could not convert and that was helped by the noise. These kids don’t have any quit in them. They fight.”
The win snapped the Tigers’ six-game winning streak and allowed Georgia to collect its second win over a top-25 opponent this season, as the Bulldogs opened the year with a win against No. 22 North Carolina.
The Bulldogs held Auburn to its lowest offensive output for the second time under Gus Malzahn, the first coming when the Bulldogs won 34-7 in 2014. The Tigers had been averaging 43 points per game over the last five contests coming into Saturday.
The defensive unit held the Tigers to 127 rushing yards, as the visitors have been averaging 494.1 yards coming into the contest. Auburn’s air attack posted just 37 yards, as its offense recorded 10 first downs in the contest, none in the second half.
Highlighting the defense was Maurice Smith’s pick six in the opening seconds of the second half, allowing Georgia to knot it up at 7 apiece. Roquan Smith led the defense with seven tackles followed by Jonathan Ledbetter and Malkom Parrish with five each.
The Bulldog offense found a balanced attack, as Nick Chubb led the ground game with 101 yards. The junior became the fifth Bulldog in program history to tally at least 3,000 yards in his career, as he moved to No. 4 on the list with 3,086 yards.
Jacob Eason went 20-for-31 with 208 yards, spreading the ball out with five receivers having at least two catches each in the first half and eight total for the contest. The freshman found fellow classmate Riley Ridley for a career-high 89 yards on three catches.
Auburn put up the lone score of the first half with a Kerryon Johnson three-yard rushing touchdown in the waning moments of the first quarter. Georgia wasn’t without its chances, getting into Auburn territory four times, but a turnover and penalties kept Georgia from connecting.
Smith changed that, though, with his 34-yard interception before Rodrigo Blankenship made a 45-yard field goal to put Georgia ahead 10-7 with 13:44 left in the game. Blankenship increased the Georgia lead to 13-7 with 2:25 to go, as his 11th field goal of the season came from 21 yards out.
Georgia needed to stop one more Auburn drive to wrap up the win. After a pair of four-yard receptions, an incomplete pass put the Tigers with 4th-and-2 and a pass breakup by Dominick Sanders sealed the win.
Georgia plays host to the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette next Saturday at noon ET on the SEC Network.