Auburn wins 31-30: News and Notes

ATHENS - Josh Kendall's news and notes from the Georgia-Auburn game.

STARTER OUT: Georgia couldn't escape the injury bug after all. Just when it looked like the Bulldogs would play Auburn at full strength, starting cornerback Tim Jennings suffered an ankle injury during Thursday's practice. Jennings, a senior, had started 26 straight games for the team, more than any defensive player. He didn't dress out for the game.

Paul Oliver started in Jennings' place. Oliver got off to a rocky start, missing a tackle on Auburn wide receiver Devin Aromashodu that turned what would have been a third-and-eight into a third-and-one that the Tigers converted. He made up for it on Auburn's next series, intercepting a Brandon Cox pass.

Thomas Flowers took Oliver's spot as the Bulldogs' nickel back.

IN-GAME INJURIES: Starting defensive tackle Kedric Golston and backup running back Danny Ware left the game in the first half. Golston sat for most of the second quarter with ice on his left ankle. Ware appeared to hurt his right knee, but his injury seemed serious at the time.

SWITCHAROO: Senior center Russ Tanner voluntarily gave up his team-high starting streak. Tanner, who had started 34 straight games before the Auburn game, rotates series with fellow senior Ryan Schnetzer. Against the Tigers, Schnetzer made the third start of his career and the first since 2002.

LUCKY BREAK: The Bulldogs started the game with on the wrong foot as they were flagged for an illegal formation on the opening kickoff, a penalty which may be the rarest in the sport. Brandon Coutu's original kickoff was was a touchback, which would have given Auburn the ball at the 20-yard line.

On the re-kick, Aromashodu returned the ball to the 25-yard line, but Auburn was called for an illegal block in the back. After that penalty was marked off, the Tigers started at their 8-yard line.

BIG WEEKEND: Georgia hosted some of their top remaining recruiting targets at Saturday's game. The headliner of the group was Dallas, Texas quarterback Matthew Stafford, who already has committed to the team. According to Scout.com, Stafford was expected to be joined by wide receivers Jamar Hornsby of Jacksonville, Fla., (6-4, 195 pounds; rated five stars by Scout.com), Jarred Fayson of Tampa, Fla., (6-0, 195; five stars), and David Ausberry of Lemoore, Calif., (6-4, 215, four stars); defensive tackles Jared Odrick of Lebanon, Pa., (6-6, 285, four star), and John Graves of Richmond, Va., (6-3, 250, four star); offensive lineman Butch Lewis of Aurora, Colo., (6-5, 280, four star), and linebacker Chasman Davis of Fort Pierce, Fla., (6-0, 210, four stars).

SIDELINE GUESTS: Among the non-recruits to visit Georgia's sideline before the game were Atlanta Braves outfielder Brian Jordan and former Bulldogs Charles Grant and David Pollack.

DIALING LONG DISTANCE: Coutu hit a 49-yard field goal that looked like it would have been good from more than 60 to cap the Bulldogs' first drive of the game. The connection made him 6-of-7 this year from between 40 and 49 yards.

MEMORIAL: In honor of the Veterans' Day holiday, Georgia's pregame and halftime festivities has a military theme. Five parachuters landed on the Sanford Stadium turf prior to the game, carrying the game ball, the flags from each school and a POW/MIA flag. At halftime, fans stood for a moment of silence recognizing POWs, and the Auburn and Georgia bands combined on the field to play Taps, Amazing Grace and America the Beautiful.


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