For the second year in a row, the Georgia Bulldogs will represent the SEC East in the SEC Championship game in December. The Dawgs clinched the division title after beating Kentucky 34-17 on the road over the weekend. And while Georgia’s spot in the SEC Championship is secured, the team’s deeper postseason fate is still very much in question.
Georgia can’t afford to lose another regular season game before the SEC Championship. This weekend, Auburn will look to derail Georgia’s season with an upset victory. The Dawgs cannot afford to overlook Auburn and drop a game that they should easily win.
To be fair, Auburn has massively underachieved this season. Many expected the Tigers to fiercely compete with Alabama for the SEC West division crown. Things have not gone according to plan for Gus Malzahn’s team. Auburn is 6-3 on the season with games still to be played against Georgia and Alabama.
Even though Auburn won’t be playing in any high-profile postseason games, you can bet the Tigers would love nothing more than to ruin Georgia’s chances at making another run in the College Football Playoff by upsetting the Dawgs on Saturday. For Kirby Smart, he’s tasked with keeping his young (the youngest in the SEC, actually) team focused on the Tigers and preventing the team from looking ahead to the December game against Alabama.
Auburn may be 6-3 this season, but the team still has quarterback Jarett Stidham and several speedy playmakers on offense. The Tigers’ defense also still boasts a formidable front seven that could give Georgia problems in the running game if the Dawgs don’t have an effective gameplan in place to attack it.
This has all the makings of a classic trap game. It wouldn’t surprise me if some pundits out there put the Dawgs on upset alert this week. This game makes me nervous. That may be the Mark Richt-era Georgia fan in me that is causing me to be concerned. But I have confidence that Kirby Smart will have this team ready to make a statement in Athens on Saturday. Even though Georgia has already won the SEC East, the game against Auburn is a must-win situation.
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