No. 4 Georgia and No. 7 Auburn have been already going to be shifting up The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry within the schedule earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic compelled alterations to the SEC slate. However, no person anticipated the Tigers and the Bulldogs to satisfy this early within the season, although. Auburn and Georgia will sq. off in Athens, Georgia, within the second week of the season in a recreation that can set the tone for the races in each the SEC East and West.
Auburn is coming off of a 29-13 win over Kentucky in its opener. Sophomore quarterback Bo Nix settled right into a rhythm within the second half, and completed the day with 233 passing yards and three second-half touchdowns. The protection bent, however did not break. Kentucky was 12 of 19 on third downs and held the ball for 36:29, however discovered the top zone solely twice.
Georgia’s opener vs. Arkansas was disjointed to say the least. The offense could not get something going within the first half, beginning quarterback D’Wan Mathis was pulled in favor of former walk-on Stetson Bennett IV and the Bulldogs wanted massive performs on protection and particular groups to tug away from the Razorbacks.
What is going to go down on Saturday evening’s massive recreation within the Traditional Metropolis? Let’s break down the matchup and make picks straight up and towards the unfold.
Auburn: The Tigers have a flat-out stud at extensive receiver in Seth Williams, who’s a matchup nightmare for any protection within the nation. The connection between Williams and Nix was obvious within the second half when the 2 not solely bought collectively for 2 touchdowns, however on landing passes that have been completely positioned by Nix the place solely Williams might haul them in. Now the offense should progress. There are many weapons for coordinator Chad Morris to weave into the plan together with hint star Anthony Schwartz, veteran Eli Stove and a operating again group that runs four-deep.
The opposite aspect of the ball shall be fascinating on this matchup. Auburn’s linebackers, led by Ok.J. Britt, are monsters, and it is unlikely that coordinator Kevin Steele will really feel threatened by both quarterback Stetson Bennett IV or JT Daniels. Due to that, count on Steele to dial up blitzes from in every single place to attempt to confuse the Georgia signal-callers and pressure them into errors.
Georgia: Daniels was medically cleared to return, however coach Kirby Sensible has not revealed if he’ll begin over Bennett. Both manner, the Bulldogs should discover a operating recreation. Neither Zamir White nor James Cook bought cranked up towards the Hogs. If extensive receiver George Pickens and the remainder of his unit are going to get free deep, Sensible has to discover a solution to get issues going within the backfield.
The protection for Georgia is simply nasty. That group held Arkansas to only 4.2 yards per play and three of 14 on third downs final weekend, which allowed the Bulldogs loads of time to determine the way to repair its disjointed offense. Linebackers Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker, Nolan Smith and Monty Rice have been in every single place, and should keep eye self-discipline towards a Tigers offense that ought to incorporate much more eye sweet into the plan in Week 2.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 3 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sanford Stadium — Athens, Georgia
TV: ESPN | Dwell stream: fuboTV (Attempt free of charge)
Recreation prediction, picks
Georgia’s quarterback scenario is an absolute mess. Daniels bought medically cleared this week, however simply how wholesome is he? Is he able to taking part in on the stage he was at earlier than injuring his knee within the season-opener final season? These are legitimate questions — particularly contemplating it took so lengthy for him to get cleared by medical doctors. Whether or not it is Daniels or Bennett, Auburn’s protection will convey the warmth early and sometimes, and pressure a number of errors from the Georgia offense. Sure, Georgia’s protection is nice. Blayne the very best within the nation. However all Auburn has to do is discover a solution to get to twenty factors on this one to not solely cowl, however get the win outright. Choose: Auburn +6.5
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