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Associated Press
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn called UGA the SEC's most talented team this week.

Gus Malzahn was right about UGA, and that’s why Auburn will lose

Brandon Adams

Georgia football fans can “get to know” the Bulldogs’ upcoming SEC opponent, and get a preview of UGA’s keys to victory each with with Get To Know — presented by The Piedmont Bank. Host Brandon Adams examines the key storylines involving Coach Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs as they attempt to navigate an unprecedented schedule in pursuit of an SEC championship and a berth into the College Football Playoff. This week’s edition of Get To Know focuses on some recent comments from Auburn coach Gus Malzahn about UGA’s talent level, and how that talent could impact the outcome of Saturday’s game.

Gus Malzahn was right about UGA, and that’s why Auburn will lose

One of the hottest storylines leading into this Saturday’s renewal of what is known as “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” is the brief back and forth between Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Georgia coach Kirby Smart regarding whether the Bulldogs might be the most talented team in the SEC.

I’ll explain on this edition of Get To Know why Malzahn’s characterization of UGA is arguably correct, and why it’s likely the strongest reason why the Bulldogs will win for the 13th time in the last 16 years against the Tigers.

UGA has finished with the No. 1 recruiting class twice in the 247Sports Composite Team Ranking since Smart became coach in 2016 — including the 2020 cycle. Furthermore, UGA has finished no lower than sixth in recruiting under Smart, and no lower than third over the last four years.

By comparison, Auburn has only finished higher than ninth in recruiting once in the last five years.

That’s a clear talent edge for the Bulldogs, but how Smart utilizes that talent will obviously influence the outcome against the Tigers.

For instance, the large collection of former four and five-star recruits UGA has on offense hasn’t made it immune to struggles, as was evidenced last week at Arkansas. Yet the overwhelming number of capable players the Bulldogs deploy on defense could be too much for Auburn to overcome.

Former UGA great — turned ESPN analyst — David Pollack seems to agree.

“I think Georgia’s defense is really good,” Pollack said this week on the ESPN CFB Podcast. “Georgia has 12-15 guys that play thirty something snaps a game. They just rotate. And by the way, there’s not a drop off.”

Given the Bulldogs’ current offensive struggles, that defensive depth should certainly come in handy on Saturday night, and when the game is over, Malzahn may be left to wish his evaluation of UGA’s talent level wasn’t so correct.

For more on UGA vs. Auburn, check out the latest edition of Get To Know, linked above.

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