As we do every Friday, predictions and projections for Georgia’s upcoming game, this one against surging Auburn:
1. WILL GEORGIA COVER THE SPREAD?
Yes. The line began at Auburn by 9, which seemed a lot, and then it actually increased. Someone told Sony Michel about that.
“Nine and a half points,” Michel said, repeating the question. “They should probably take that to Vegas or something. I don’t know. I don’t know how much they’ll make off of it because we’re gonna come out to play this game.”
At last check, the line was actually 10. That’s a lot considering Georgia is at home, Auburn might be without its leading rusher, and it’s a rivalry game.
Should you have a lot of confidence that Georgia will cover the spread? Well no, because we’re still talking about this year’s Bulldogs. But the chances would favor this being within 10 points.
2. DOES GEORGIA STOP AUBURN’S RUN GAME?
Only to a point. Whether or not Kamryn Pettway plays, the Tigers are loaded in the backfield. Kerryon Johnson (616 rushing yards this year) and Stanton Tuitt (averaging 6.3 yards per carry) will run behind a good, veteran line. Georgia’s run defense has been perhaps its best feature this year – but has faced the SEC’s five worst rushing offenses, and the best it has faced is Kentucky (5th in the SEC). The best guess: Auburn, averaging 299.78 rushing yards per game, ends up in the area of 225-250 yards.
3. DOES GEORGIA HOLD SEAN WHITE IN CHECK?
Again, only to a point. White may not be 100 percent, and Georgia’s pass defense may be improving (sixth in the SEC). The Bulldogs may also be able to pressure White, as Auburn has given up 16 sacks this year. But White has dynamic receivers, not to mention a dynamic play-caller. They’ll make some plays. The best guess: White passes for 200-225 yards, with Georgia getting one interception – itself a victory. (White only has two interceptions this season.)
4. WHAT ABOUT GEORGIA’S OFFENSE?
It will have a good day … not great. Auburn ranks fourth in the SEC in run defense and fifth in pass defense. We know about Georgia’s offense – it can’t depend on the line, and much depends on how creative the play designs and calls are. Nick Chubb and Michel will need room, and you can’t guarantee that. Eason will need open receivers and play calls that get them open. Auburn can get to the quarterback too (21 sacks), so Georgia needs those quick slants and screens. The best guess: Chubb and Michel combine for 150-175 rushing yards. Eason throws for 200-225 yards, but also an interception, and is sacked a couple times.
5. SO WHO WINS?
Auburn. This should be a fairly close game, but Auburn’s offense will be just a bit too much for Georgia. The best guess: Auburn, 34-27.