The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for Georgia fans. After dominant victories against Oregon, Samford, and South Carolina, Georgia has struggled to replicate those results over the past two weeks. People are voicing their concern, and rightfully so, as the standard at the University of Georgia is to not just win games, but to be elite in all categories while winning the game. However, those who doubt Georgia’s true potential to contend for another championship this season may want to reserve judgment, as there is plenty more football to be played, and a dominant win in “the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” is just what this Georgia team needs.
Over the course of the last few weeks, many are trying to figure out what has gone wrong with the Dawgs. In those two games, they are negative four (-4) in the turnover department and have struggled converting while inside the red zone. This would cause any team to stumble, even the defending national champions.
One of the causes of concern is the running game. While the stats may not show it, Georgia has not been able to impose their will on the ground early in football games. Numerous factors, such as offensive line play and the rotation of backs can play into this. It remains evident, though, that the lack of a successful running game has contributed greatly to Georgia’s struggles in the red zone.
Another component as to why Georgia has struggled is inconsistency with catching the ball. Georgia’s best wide receiver in the absence of AD Mitchell had been Ladd McConkey. Ladd, who had been known for his sure hands and phenomenal route running has had multiple turnovers and some uncharacteristic drops over the course of the past two games. Besides him, there is loads of talent in that receiver room, but not tons of experience besides veteran Kearis Jackson.
However, despite these struggles UGA has had internally, here is why Auburn is the perfect opponent for Georgia this weekend. There is no secret that these teams do not like each other. Unlike last week and the weeks leading up to games this season, all the talk about Georgia is once again negative and focused on how far back they should drop in the polls. The reality is the Dawgs are 5-0, and now they have a chip on their shoulder. Auburn’s center, Brandon Council, decided it was a good idea to call out the Georgia defensive line by saying that Auburn’s offensive line could “demolish them up front.” Georgia will have a sold-out Sanford Stadium ready to make some noise when Auburn has the football and players who want to prove why they deserve to be in that top spot nationally, once again. With this being said, expect Todd Monken to call a masterclass of a game offensively and for Kirby Smart to have his troops ready to battle. Georgia wants to make a statement, and despite recent struggles, they have everything needed to once again show the country why they are still the standard for college football.