TIGERS TO WATCH: Georgia vs. Auburn

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TIGERS TO WATCH: Georgia vs. Auburn

Jarrett Stidham, Auburn QB (Photo from Auburn Athletics)
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn QB
(Photo from Auburn Athletics)

Who are the Tigers to watch in the Georgia vs. Auburn game on Saturday?



Now that bruising 235-pound junior Kamryn Pettway is out indefinitely with a fractured shoulder blade sustained in the Arkansas game (which Auburn didn’t reveal until 10 days after the Oct. 21 game) Johnson will continue to carry the blunt of the Tigers’ running attack. Johnson, a 6-0, 212-pound junior, is the Tigers’ home run hitter, with the quickness and speed to go the distance on any given snap. Also a dangerous receiving threat, Johnson is Auburn’s leading rusher this fall and entered the Texas A&M game this past weekend with 14 touchdowns. Clearly, the Bulldogs’ splendid run defense is facing another big challenge Saturday as it attempts to slow down Kerryon Johnson.


A sophomore transfer from Baylor, the 6-3, 214-pound Stidham rates one of the SEC’s top passers, completing 65 percent of his attempts, and thus gives the Tiger backfield outstanding balance to complement Johnson’s running. Georgia will need to bring pressure on this guy, who was rated the nation’s top dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school in Texas.

Tray Matthews, Auburn Safety (Photo from Auburn Athletics)
Tray Matthews, Auburn Safety
(Photo from Auburn Athletics)



Of course, all Bulldog fans remember this former UGA defensive back, who was involved in the “Immaculate Deflection” pass that enabled the Tigers to break Georgia’s heart at Jordan-Hare Stadium in the 2013 meeting. Now a standout safety at Auburn, the 6-1, 209-pound Newnan, Ga. native led the Tigers in tackles last season and is also excelling in his senior season. Matthews would like nothing better than to pick off a couple of passes against his former team, and Jake Fromm and the Georgia receivers can’t allow him to do so.


One of the SEC’s all-time placekickers, this 6-4, 223-pound senior is a two-time Lou Groza finalist and goes by the nickname of “Legatron.” Having never missed an extra-point kick in his AU career, Carlson is also deadly on his long-range field goal kicks. And don’t expect any kickoff returns by the Bulldogs Saturday as Carlson always booms the ball out of the end zone.



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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.