Georgia’s time at the top of the College Football Playoff standings will come to an end Tuesday, after the visiting Bulldogs lost 40-17 to No. 10 Auburn on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The Tigers turned the tables on the Bulldogs, who had dominated most of their previous opponents this season and had outscored their first six SEC opponents 236-62. Georgia hadn’t trailed in a game since the fourth quarter against Notre Dame on Sept. 9.
On Saturday, Georgia received the opening kickoff and after an eight-play drive the Bulldogs led 7-0. That drive accounted for 70 yards. It went downhill the rest of the way for Georgia finished the game with 230 yards of offense.
Here are three things to know about the game:
Auburn’s offense was in control.
Just as Auburn’s defense controlled the line of scrimmage, so did its offense. Tigers running back Kerryon Johnson rushed for 167 yards on 32 carries. He rushed for 91 yards in the second half after rushing for 76 in the first half. He also caught two passes for 66 yards. The second was a 55-yard screen pass that went for a touchdown. As a team, Auburn rushed for 237 yards on 46 carries.
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham was 16-for-23 passing for 214 yards and three touchdowns. Most of his damage came in the first half, when he was 12-for-18 for 125 yards and a touchdown. The running game took over in the second half.
Auburn had to settle for field goals on its first three scores, but then the onslaught began. The Tigers scored on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Stidham to Darius Clayton, a 7-yard run by Stidham, a 32-yard pass from Stidham to Ryan Davis and Johnson’s screen pass.
Georgia’s offensive line couldn’t run-block or pass-protect.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was sacked four times for minus-37 yards. The pressure may have gotten to Fromm, too. He completed his first three passes for 56 yards before the first sack. After that Fromm was 10-for-25 for 128 yards, continually under pressure throughout the game and with no running game to help.
Even not accounting for Fromm’s sacks, which are subtracted from a team’s rushing yards, Georgia rushed for 83 yards on 29 carries. Nick Chubb was held to 27 yards on 11 carries and Sony Michel to 21 yards on nine carries.
Georgia’s critical mistakes.
Auburn’s first touchdown was set up by a personal-foul penalty against D’Andre Walker, who was called for roughing the kicker on an Auburn punt. The play allowed Auburn to keep the ball at its 46 and two plays later, Slayton scored on a 42-yard pass play.
Auburn’s second touchdown came after Georgia’s Mecole Hardman fumbled a punt return. Auburn took over on the Georgia 23 and scored four plays later.
Another penalty on an Auburn punting play, this time a personal foul against Sony Michel, allowed the Tigers to keep possession, and they scored two plays later on the 32-yard touchdown catch by Davis.
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