AUBURN, Ala. — A quarter-by-quarter look at Georgia’s 20-13 victory over Auburn on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium:
Big play: On the biggest play of a game-opening drive, Auburn running back Jovon Robinson gained 23 yards around right end to the UGA 23-yard line. Four plays later, running back Kerryon Johnson took a direct snap from center and ran seven yards untouched up the middle for a touchdown to end the methodical 11-play, 75-yard drive.
Turning point: Georgia’s offense was moving toward the Auburn end zone as the quarter ended. On the next-to-last play of the quarter, a five-yard pass from quarterback Greyson Lambert to wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell on fourth-and-4 converted a first down. Then fullback Christian Payne caught a pass from Lambert in the left flat and gained 20 yards to the Auburn 11-yard line. (See second quarter for what happened from there.)
The takeaway: Despite both teams’ disappointing seasons, Jordan-Hare Stadium was full.
Score: Auburn 7, Georgia 0
Big play: A big stop on the goal line by Auburn’s defense started the quarter. After a 9-yard run by tailback Sony Michel gave Georgia a 2nd-and-1 from the Auburn 2-yard line, Auburn stopped Michel for no gain on the next two plays, with Michel recovering his own fumble on the first of those carries. On fourth down, Lambert threw an incomplete slant pass behind a closely covered Mitchell.
Turning point: A diving interception by Georgia cornerback Malkom Parrish of a pass by Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson gave the Bulldogs possession at their own 40-yard line. They moved the ball to the Auburn 12, but had to settle for a Marshall Morgan field goal after Lambert took an 11-yard loss on a sack on 3rd-and-1. (Auburn answered that field goal with one by Daniel Carlson in the waning seconds of the half.)
The takeaway: Auburn had 161 yards rushing in the first half, averaging 8.5 yards per carry.
Score: Auburn 10, Georgia 3
Big play: Georgia scored its first touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run around left end by Isaiah McKenzie with 1:20 left in the quarter. That completed a nine-play, 67-yard drive, facilitated by a 15-yard Lambert-to-Mitchell pass, a 13-yard Lambert scramble and a key face-mask penalty against Auburn.
Turning point: Georgia’s defense kept the momentum of the game-tying score alive by forcing a quick three-and-out punt on Auburn’s subsequent possession.
The takeaway: The quarter produced five punts, three by Auburn and two by Georgia.
Score: Auburn 10, Georgia 10
Big play: McKenzie returned an Auburn punt 53 yards for a touchdown to give Georgia its first lead of the game with 9:28 to play. It was the sophomore’s fourth career punt-return touchdown. He also has one kickoff-return TD in his career.
Turning point: On the second play of Auburn’s next possession after Georgia took the lead, UGA linebacker Jordan Jenkins forced a fumble as he sacked Tigers quarterback Sean White. Georgia’s Aaron Davis recovered the fumble at the Auburn 17-yard line, setting up a Morgan field goal that gave the Bulldogs a 20-10 lead and made it a two-possession game with 6:49 to play. (Davis subsequently recovered another Auburn fumble, this one forced by Lorenzo Carter at the UGA 1-yard line, with 3:22 remaining.)
The takeaway: A much-needed victory for Georgia.
Score: Georgia 20, Auburn 13