Check out the SEC Championship: Auburn vs. Georgia fearless prediction and game preview.
Auburn (10-2) vs. Georgia (11-1) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, December 2nd
Game Time: 4:00 pm ET
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Didn’t Auburn more than prove its point the first time around?
The Tigers destroyed Georgia 40-17 a few weeks ago in the statement moment that got them to this point.
They’re No. 2 in the latest CFP rankings, and with one more win, they can be the first to break through the two-loss barrier when it comes to teams getting into the College Football Playoff.
There was a meltdown on the offensive line early in the year against Clemson, a collapse in the second half in a loss to LSU, and outside of that, Auburn has been a total juggernaut, rolling for 40 points or more against everyone else except for Mercer (didn’t really try) and Alabama (it’s Alabama).
Jarrett Stidham has been the quarterback Auburn fans have been dreaming he’d be ever since he announced he was transferring over from Baylor, the defense has been fantastic, and now, all it takes is one more win and the program is in the national title mix for the second time in five years.
But Georgia, with one win, will have a legitimate shot at winning its first national championship since 1980.
The Bulldogs were rolling right along, too, doing a great job of dominating everyone but Notre Dame in a terrific early season win, and in the clunker in Jordan-Hare. But, like Auburn, its offense is good for at least 40 points a game, the defense has been magnificent, and everything is there to go storming into the College Football Playoff.
If Auburn wins, it goes in as either the two or three seed and is likely off to the Rose Bowl. However, if Georgia wins, it’s probably the No. 1 overall seed and plays in the Sugar.
It’s just the SEC Championship – that’s all.
Welcome to the quarterfinals of the College Football Playoff.
One Reason Why Auburn Will Win
The defensive front has been tremendous.
For all the talk about how good and efficient the offense has been, the defense is what’s taking the Tigers to national championship contention. It hasn’t allowed more than one touchdown run since the loss to Clemson in Week Two, and Alabama was the first team to average more than five yards per carry and hit the 200-yard mark last week.
Against Georgia? The Tigers stuffed the Dawgs for just 46 yards in the best performance of their season.
Sophomores Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson have been killers up front, along with the playmaking rock inside, Dontavius Russell. Not much has changed since the first go-round with Georgia, and now the Bulldog offensive front has to figure out a way to keep this group from holding down the great backs again.
But for Auburn to win, this has to be Stidham’s moment.
He’s been nothing short of phenomenal, hitting close to 70% of his passes on the season, spreading out a mere four interceptions – just two in SEC play – and he’s adding just enough mobility when he has to.
The only time he hasn’t been effective is when he spent an evening in Death Valley with a bunch of Clemson Tigers jumping on his head, which means …
One Reason Why Georgia Will Win
Georgia, it’s time to dial up the pressure.
The defense as a whole has been fantastic, but this isn’t a group that regularly makes big things happen behind the line. There’s a decent pass rush, but not a great one, and even when things started to work in the backfield against Auburn the first time around, it didn’t matter – there weren’t any/enough impact plays.
Kerryon Johnson ran 32 times for 167 yards the first time around, and now he’s going to try gutting it out with what appears to be a nasty shoulder problem. Stuff Johnson early, and the entire dynamic of the Auburn offense changes.
Offensively, the line has to generate some semblance of a push against this Auburn defensive front.
There was absolutely nothing happening in the first meeting, with the longest run just ten yards and with 46 total on the day. Jake Fromm has proven time and again that he can come through when all the other parts are working, but Nick Chubb and Sony Michel have to get rolling from the start.
The Georgia ground game was held to under 200 yards just twice all season – Notre Dame and Auburn. The other ten games were double-digit blowouts.
Don’t get to 200 yards rushing, Georgia; end up back in Atlanta in the Peach Bowl.
What’s Going To Happen
The Kerryon Johnson injury is a thing.
It’s not a deathblow, and it seems like he’s going to fight through it and get a full workload, but he’s the steadying force for the attack who’s going to be keyed on and blasted from the word go.
Is Stidham good enough to carry the offense if he has to? Absolutely, but this is the SEC’s No. 1 pass defense and it’s just not giving up much of anything.
It’s so, so, so hard to beat the same team twice, especially when the first time was an emotionally-charged beatdown at home.
Give this one to the prideful Georgia lines. They were embarrassed by Auburn the first time around, but this time, the ground attack will start working a bit better, the defensive front will be more of a factor, and it’ll be a different game with a different look and a different feel.
The Georgia coaching staff got to see the fastball, and it went through the batting order once. This group will have it figured out this time in a whale of a battle.
SEC Championship: Auburn vs. Georgia Prediction
Georgia 27, Auburn 23
– Get Tickets
Auburn -2.5, o/u: 48
5: Ann Curry
1: Matt Lauer … 2
Must See Rating
5: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
1: Coco … 5