Auburn Week: Kendall's Three Keys

AUBURN - Josh Kendall's three keys to Georgia's game with Auburn.

Pick up Tiger blitzes

Lesser defenses than Auburn's have forced Matthew Stafford into poor throws. The Tigers will bring multiple blitzes and probably some the Bulldogs have never seen before. Georgia has to give Stafford time to have a chance.

Stop the run

Auburn backs have a tradition of running wild on Georgia. The Tigers have had a 100-yard rusher in five of the last six games against the Bulldogs. Current tailback Kenny Irons had 179 last year.

Break even in special teams

Georgia probably is past the point of hoping to win special teams. It'll be happy just to make all its extra points (if there are any) and short field goal attempts today with first-time place-kicker. What the Bulldogs have to avoid is giving up a big play in the kicking game or this game could get out of hand.

One to watch

Cornerback Paul Oliver almost made the play of the game in this rivalry last year, when he caused a Devin Aromashodu fumble on the decisive play. However, Auburn's Courtney Taylor recovered the fumble to help Auburn seal that win. Oliver has made precious few plays of even that magnitude this year. He has just one interception -- granted, it was a big one, sealing the win over Ole Miss – but Georgia's secondary should have been better this year. As the veteran cornerback, Oliver has to take some responsibility for that. He'll be on Taylor, the Tigers' best wide receiver, most of the day today.

Forecast: Georgia is not nearly as good as Auburn. That doesn't mean the Bulldogs can't win. What it does mean is they have to either play their best game of the season or get a lot of help from Auburn. The Tigers aren't in the habit of giving much help. Tommy Tuberville's team has turned the ball over 13 times, second fewest in the SEC this year, and consistently plays as solid a style of football as there is in this league. As for the Bulldogs putting everything together, there's been no sign of that happening yet.

Winner: Auburn


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