The Mailman delivered! Another Saturday, another dominant Georgia win. Though I am supremely confident in the Dawgs moving forward, in order to avoid the possibility of hubris, we must recognize that this is not the Auburn team Georgia fans have been used to. Bryan Harsin is in the first year of his tenure as head coach of the Auburn Tigers, replacing Gus Malzahn, which puts Auburn in a semi-rebuilding phase. Bo Nix had flashes of brilliant play, but was inconsistent, which pundits are critical of him for.
Darnell Washington played a few snaps in his first game back from injury. I forgot how enormous he is (6’7) compared to the defensive backs charged with covering him. Tykee Smith, who has also been injured, played some snaps. Smith had three solo tackles. It will be interesting to see how Smith is rotated into the depth of Georgia’s defensive backs. Georgia receivers Dominick Blaylock, Arian Smith, and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint are noticeable injuries that were not able to play against Auburn. George Pickens was still not cleared to play from his ACL tear in the spring, but he did travel with the team to Auburn which was interesting. There are rumors that he could be back by the end of the season.
Four total sacks from the dominant Georgia defense. The dispersion of Georgia’s defensive players that were credited with the sacks show the immense depth of what must be the top defensive line in college football. Travon Walker (1.0 sacks, 3 QB hits), Zion Logue (1.0 sacks), and Jalen Carter (0.5 sacks, 1 QB hit) were credited with the sacks but these statistics do not give justice to the constant pressure Bo Nix was under during the game from the defensive line. Georgia’s linebackers and edge rushers were also noticeable in causing Bo Nix distress, Quay Walker (1.0 sacks) and Robert Beal Jr. (0.5 sacks) were also credited with sacks.
There were zero passing touchdowns by Bo Nix against the Georgia defense. Though a 6-yard rush touchdown late in the third quarter by Tank Bigsby broke Georgia’s two game no touchdown streak, Georgia’s secondary needs to be recognized as they played an excellent game against Auburn. Nakobe Dean, though he is a linebacker and not technically secondary, had an early interception. Latavious Brini and Kelee Ringo were both credited with a pass break up that each occurred at different crucial moments stopping Auburn’s momentum. Channing Tindall had another excellent game with five total tackles. Lewis Cine was all over the field preventing deep throws and had one tackle for a loss and one QB hit.
Another big game for Georgia’s running backs with 201 rushing yards. Zamir White, AKA Zeus, had a standout performance. White averaged 4.4 yards per carry. He gained 79 yards on 18 carries, with two touchdowns and his longest run being 12 yards. Big Zeus took the lion’s share of the carries with the next highest amount being Kendall Milton’s nine carries. Milton averaged 4.8 yards with a total gain of 43 yards. James Cook averaged 5.0 yards on seven carries. Stetson Bennett had a good game on his feet. Bennett had six carries averaging 6.8 yards per carry and his longest run being a gain of 30 yards.
Net passing yards for Georgia was 231 yards. This is interesting because Georgia only threw the ball on 21 plays. In perspective Georgia rushed the ball 49 times. Bennett was 14-21 on those pass attempts, so on 14 plays Georgia gained an average of 16.5 yards. Bennett threw 2 passing touchdowns, one to Ladd McConkey. McConkey had 5 completions on 7 targets, 135 total yards, and his longest gain on a completion was 60 yards. Brock Bowers had 2 completions on both the attempts he received and gained a total of 43 yards. Adonai Mitchell and James Cook each had a handful of receptions, Mitchell also had a touchdown. Darnell Washington gained 25 yards on his only reception, the other attempt was broken up which resulted in a defensive pass interference.