Rewinding UGA-Auburn

The game that was

Georgia dispatched Auburn with stunning ease Saturday in Sanford Stadium, building a 35-7 halftime lead and rolling to a 45-7 victory that extended the Bulldogs' winning streak to eight games since starting the season 0-2.

What we learned

1. Georgia's offense is surprisingly deep. The Bulldogs have scored 15 touchdowns in the past two games, lopsided victories over New Mexico State and Auburn. Incredibly, 14 different players have scored: Branden Smith, Brandon Harton, Michael Bennett, Brandon Boykin, Chris Conley, Orson Charles, Aron White, Kyle Karempelis, Rhett McGowan, Tavarres King, Bruce Figgins, Bacarri Rambo, Malcolm Mitchell and Isaiah Crowell. The only player to score touchdowns in both of the past two games? Bennett, whose determined, diving catch in the end zone in the first quarter was one of the highlights of Saturday's game.

2. Todd Grantham has transformed the defense. In his two years as defensive coordinator, Grantham has turned the Bulldogs' defense from beleaguered to dominant. Georgia, which ranked No. 38 nationally in total defense in the season before Grantham's arrival from the Dallas Cowboys, now ranks No. 4. In its latest show of force, Grantham's unit held Auburn, which entered the game as the SEC's No. 2 rushing team, to 51 yards rushing and 195 yards offense.

3. Atlanta beckons. The victory over Auburn put the Bulldogs within one win -- Saturday against Kentucky -- of reaching the SEC title game in the Georgia Dome for the fourth time under Mark Richt and the first time since 2005.

Sound bite

"With the exception of the first drive, [Georgia] flat-out stopped our offense. ... The outward appearance was that we got physically dominated on both sides of the ball."

-- Auburn coach Gene Chizik

The numbers game


Consecutive SEC victories by Georgia, the program's longest single-season winning streak in league play since 1982.

Loose ends

Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones had two of Georgia's five sacks, giving him an SEC-leading 10 for the season. ... Returning to action after missing the past three games with a pulled hamstring, freshman receiver Malcolm Mitchell showed no effects of the injury, catching three passes for 85 yards. ... Of all the big plays in the game, Richt said the most impressive to him was freshman special-teams player Quintavius Harrow's "knock-'em-back, get-everybody-in the-stadium-excited tackle" of Auburn kick returner Tre Mason in the first quarter. ... Georgia had more than a 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession (40:55 to Auburn's 19:05). ... The Bulldogs were 12-for-15 on third-down conversions, including two for touchdowns. ... For the second consecutive game, Richt responded to kicker Blair Walsh's season-long struggles by rotating him with Brandon Bogotay. Walsh and Bogotay kicked off four times apiece; Walsh kicked four extra points and Bogotay two. The only field-goal attempt was by Bogotay, who made a 26-yarder in the third quarter. It was the first successful field goal of Bogotay's UGA career. He missed his only other attempt, a 35-yarder against Idaho State last season.

What's next

Georgia (8-2, 6-1 SEC) plays Kentucky (4-6, 1-5) at 12:21 p.m. Saturday in Sanford Stadium. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. Kentucky is coming off a 38-8 loss to Vanderbilt.

Tim Tucker