The Bulldogs come back home to host an Auburn team that can run the ball extremely well and are equally adept on defense at stopping the run. Georgia is a 10 point underdog between the hedges for the first time in a long while, but this is the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. If there was ever a game, a series where the intangibles apply, it certainly does for the Dawgs vs Tigers.
THE IMPRESSIVE RUN OF LATE
For decades, this grand rivalry, the deep south’s oldest, has been marked by road victories and upsets. Georgia has won the last four meetings at Sanford Stadium though, the 45-20 blackout triumph in 2007, a 31-24 win in 2009, a 45-7 rout in 2011, and 34-7 trouncing of the Tigers in 2014. Georgia has won eight of the last ten meetings with Auburn. The two seasons the Tigers won in this stretch, in 2010 and 2013, Auburn went on to play for the national championship.
MEMORIES OF ’59
In the first meeting between the team in Athens since 1929, the Bulldogs edged Auburn 14-13 on November the 14, 1959 on the strength of Fran Tarkenton’s 13-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds remaining and Durward Pennington’s subsequent extra point. The victory was followed by a 21-14 triumph at Tech – Georgia’s third straight over “The Enemy” – which clinched the Bulldogs the 1959 Southeastern Conference championship.
THE DOOLEY YEARS
Vince Dooley, an Auburn gridiron standout in the 1950s, led the Bulldogs to six Southeastern Conference championships in his 25 year College Football Hall of Fame career as Georgia’s head coach. Five of those crowns were clinched on the plains: 1966, 1968, 1976, 1980 and 1982. In 1981, Georgia beat Auburn 24-13 in Athens to wrap up a second straight SEC title. Losses (and one tie) to the Tigers directly cost Dooley’s Dogs SEC championships in 1971, 1978 (the 22-22 tie), 1983, 1987 and 1988.
TO THE VICTOR, GOES THE RECRUITS
With Auburn located just across the Georgia- Alabama state line, the Bulldogs and Tigers have naturally engaged in numerous recruiting battles since the late 1890s. Particularly from Atlanta west, the Tigers have consistently been the Bulldogs biggest recruiting rival. Once again, Auburn boasts talented Peach State performers, especially on the defensive line. When it comes to ones who got away, Georgia’s defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is an Atlanta native, and one of the greatest players in Auburn history. A College Football Hall of Famer and member of the Tigers All-20th Century Team, Rocker was a two-time All-American, three-time All-SEC selection, and in 1988 was awarded both the Lombardi and Outland Trophies as the nation’s premier lineman.