Four in a Row vs. Auburn: News and Notes

ATHENS - Fletcher Paige's news and notes from Georgia's win over Auburn.

GROUND GAME STAYS HOT

Georgia's rushing attack picked up where it left off last week against Tennessee Tech.

After rushing for 304 yards last week, the Bulldogs' posted another 169 against Auburn.

Richt said the running game started showing signs of life against Vanderbilt and ran well against Florida. Saturday night was further proof that Georgia could run effectively, and that the running backs can be counted on.

"It's a great feeling," sophomore Caleb King said. "Before the Tennessee Tech game we all came together as a unit and said this is not going to be like the past any more. We said we were going to be who the team looked to. And we did it again tonight."

King, who started the game, ran for two touchdowns, including a 24-yard score to give Georgia it's final lead, 31-24.

Freshman Washaun Ealey continued his progression, notching 98 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown.

"I think I'm progressing as a back," Ealey said. "I think coach is trusting us to run the ball more and the offensive line is doing a great job. All the boys are doing a good job blocking and being physical."

The team averaged almost five yards a carry, helping wear down the Tigers, while also giving Georgia's defense time to catch it's breath.

"It does take a lot of pressure off," said linebacker Rennie Curran, "when we're moving the ball and rushing for points. It lets you know everybody is working as a whole and moving in the right direction. That momentum the offense provided, we fed off of."

BALL BOUNCES GEORGIA'S WAY

For the past two weeks, Richt has lamented the bad bounces Georgia has seen all season – including 12 fumbles by the opposition that the Bulldogs have failed to recover.

But Saturday, the momentum finally shifted.

Orson Charles hauled in a key 34-yard reception that ticked off the hands of Auburn linebacker Josh Bynes, setting up a touchdown on a Washaun Ealey run. Richt called the play the turning point in the game, and Charles said it was one he'll remember for a while.

"That was basically more of a concentration drill," Charles said. "My number was called, so I had to go make a play."

But it wasn't just about the offense's ability to keep the ball away from Auburn's defense. Georgia managed two takeaways in the game, too, winning the turnover battle for the first time this season.

Heading into the Auburn game, Georgia was ranked 119th (out of 120) in the nation in turnover margin, having forced only six turnovers, while giving away 22.

Against Auburn, the turnover margin finally fell in Georgia's favor.

The Bulldogs had no giveaways on offense, and snagged two interceptions, one apiece by safety Reshad Jones and cornerback Brandon Boykin.

"Coach Richt kind of got on us about the turnover margin and stuff like that this week" Jones said. "He said if we could make plays it would help us come away with a victory."

The pick was the third of the season for Boykin and helped stop a potential scoring drive for Auburn. Jones' interception, his second this year, proved to be a turning point in the second half.

"The victory, that was a representation of the turnovers we got and the ones we didn't give up," Boykin said. "It was huge momentum shifters at a key moment of the game. We played together, probably the most complete game of the year."


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