Breakdown: No. 2 Georgia 42, Auburn 10

ATHENS – The No. 2-ranked Georgia Bulldogs reverted to their old slobber-knocking ways Saturday, running over, around and through a sadly overmatched Auburn team 42-10 before 92,746 at sold-out Sanford Stadium. With the victory, Georgia defeated the Tigers for the sixth consecutive year, winning those games by an average margin of 20 points.

Here’s how it broke down:

Game ball

This week’s game ball goes to Georgia’s defensive line. Playing without junior All-American Jalen Carter, who is going to be out of action for at least three weeks with a sprained knee, the Bulldogs big men in the middle stuffed Auburn’s run game to the tune of only 93 yards on 25 carries. Most of that came from jet-legged quarterback Robby Ashford, who was running from Georgia’s pressure all night but managed to gain 52 yards. But the Tigers’ vaunted running backs, Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, were limited to 39 yards on 15 carries. That it came on the Saturday after center Brandon Council predicted that Auburn would “demolish” the Bulldogs with their run game made it all the sweeter.

ExploreNo. 2 Georgia uses run game to demolish Auburn

Key stat

Thirty-nine carries, 292 yards, six touchdowns. That was Georgia’s rushing numbers for Saturday’s game. The six rushing TDs – scored by running backs Daijun Edwards (3), Kenny McIntosh (1) and Branson Robinson (1) and quarterback Stetson Bennett (1) – were the most by the Bulldogs since they also had six against Massachusetts in 2018. The schools record is seven against Ole Miss and Tulane in 1985 and South Carolina in 1974.

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Key play(s)

Trailing 14-0, Auburn was gifted the football at Georgia’s 19-yard line after a sack of Bennett led to a turnover. But after a 5-yard gain on first down, Zion Logue stood up his blocker in the middle of Georgia’s defense and stuffed Bigsby for no gain. On third down, Nolan Smith pressured the Tigers’ quarterback into the boundary for a two-yard gain, forcing a chip-shot field goal. The Bulldogs’ offense then answered the bell with an 11-play, 81-yard touchdown drive. Edwards’ one-yard touchdown never happens if Bennett doesn’t hit Ladd McConkey with a 21-yard completion on third-and-6 at the Georgia 39.

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What we learned

First, Auburn is a really bad football team. The Tigers have had down times in the history of the program, but never have they seemed more helpless than these past three seasons under coach Bryan Harsin. Also, Georgia can run the ball when it has to. The Bulldogs ran the football with authority on their last three possessions against Missouri and most of the day Saturday.

Georgia 42, Auburn 10

They said it

“I’m disappointed. That was a really good football team we just played in Georgia, all the way around. They were physical as well, and I thought that was a big part of the game, just the physicality of it. That showed up in the second half.” – Harsin

“I don’t know that criticism helps. You know, it makes you maybe want it more. There’s a pride factor and everybody needs some kind of motivation.” – Georgia coach Kirby Smart on the Bulldogs’ offensive linemen

“I’m not shocked about it, but, man, for Daijun to get the opportunity he got today to go out there and perform is a blessing. I know he’s excited, and I’m excited for him. But I always seem him run the ball, and I’m always impressed with the way he runs with the size he is and the quickness he’s got. He’s a complete back in my eyes.” – McIntosh on backfield mate Edwards

What’s next?

The Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0 SEC) will play their third in a string of seven consecutive conference games when Vanderbilt visits Sanford Stadium on Saturday (3:30 p.m., SEC Network). The Commodores (3-3, 0-2) led Ole Miss 13-3 early Saturday and 20-17 at halftime. But they were overwhelmed in the second half and lost 52-28. The Rebels improved to 6-0 (2-0).