AUBURN AT GEORGIA
When: 7:15 p.m. Saturday
Line: Georgia by 2 1/2
WHAT TO EXPECT
Georgia on offense: Todd Gurley will play tailback for the first time since rushing for 163 yards and two touchdowns Oct. 4 against Vanderbilt. And coach Mark Richt wasted no time in announcing that Gurley would start. That’s significant, considering that freshman Nick Chubb averaged 168 yards and 1.2 TDs per game in Gurley’s absence.
Auburn on offense: Georgia leads the SEC in scoring, but Auburn’s not far behind. The Tigers are third with 38.7 points per game, and they’re second in total offense at 506.9 yards per game. Nick Marshall is the key to making the run-oriented spread offense work. The quarterback averages 253 yards of offense and combines with senior running back Cameron Artis-Payne, the SEC’s leading rusher (132.2) to keep opponents guessing.
Georgia on defense: The Bulldogs allowed 632 yards on the ground the past two games and continue to struggle to defend the zone-read run. That’s not good with the SEC’s best rushing team (286.4 ypg) coming to town. Georgia has worked overtime with outside linebackers and defensive backs on perimeter containment and with linebackers and safeties on gap control. But the key for the Bulldogs will be getting some occasional penetration and forcing the action in the backfield.
Auburn on defense: The Tigers are relatively stout against the run (129.4 ypg) and rank in the upper half of the SEC at preventing opponents’ third-down conversions (35.2). But their inability to create much of a pass rush (17 sacks) has made them vulnerable to aerial attacks. They rank 13th in the league in passing yards allowed (256.9), and only Arkansas and Kentucky have allowed more TD passes than Auburn’s 15.
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