Handle the Run Game – This is a strength versus strength matchup. Georgia takes great arts with Georgia’s kickers. They have to be on point with little margin for error. The coverage and protection must be top flight. Watch the fake! And can one of the Bulldogs talented returners pop one for a big gainer? Two years ago, in Georgia’s thrilling 21-14 victory over the Tigers, Jake Camarda was arguably the Bulldogs Most Valuable Player. He punted 11 times for a whopping average of 50.7 yards per boot.
Turnovers – Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart has emphasized bringing Georgia’s turnover number down, and pushing the opposition’s turnover number up. Everyone is trying to do that. For this game, the short field, the stolen possession, or the N.O.T. – that Non Offensive Touchdown that is great to get and a killer to allow – can tell the stroy. And the momentum swings are huge. Jordan-Hare will be on fire with the Tiger faithful doing their part to derail the Dogs.
Pride in its Run Defense – and it will be put to the test for a second straight week by a powerhouse running attack. Tank Bigsby of LaGrange, Georgia is one of the best running backs in college football. He is a powerhouse with home run potential. Bigsby’s sidekick, freshman Jarquez Hunter, from Marcus Dupree’s hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi., is elusive and can go the distance. If Auburn gets these two going in the run game, the Dogs are in trouble. Georgia’s run defense must be at its best, and then ….
Pressure the Quarterback – Whether it’s veteran, junior legacy Bo Nix or LSU transfer TJ Finley, who engineered the comeback drive to beat Georgia State, the Bulldogs defense has a talented signal caller to deal with. Sacks are great, but keeping containment is every bit as big. The defense must be sound against these talented Tigers. Auburn has the pieces to put together drives and strike for the big play. Georgia’s defense has one of its toughest assignments of the season.
Get the Run Game Going – Georgia’s running game must be at its best against the Tigers. So many times through the years in this grand rivalry, the team that runs the football better wins the game. Will we see the Bulldogs get a running back “lathered up,” getting 20-plus carries? Or will Georgia continue to divide up the rushing attempts. It is a talented backfield and offensive line. But Auburn has a typical stout defensive line. Shocker. And the linebackers are heat-seeking missiles. They don’t miss many tackles. Georgia’s running backs are going to have to win some one-on-one battles to get the rushing attack going.