Dec. 01, 2017
SEC Championship Preview.
#2 Auburn (10-2) vs #6 Georgia (11-1)
Saturday; 4:00 / CBS
This year's SEC title game will be another elimination game. The winner will get one of the four playoff spots for their first time. It's an opportunity for revenge for Georgia, as they were ran out of Jordan Hare Stadium; 40-17, on November 11. Since then, Georgia has blown out their two opponents, including a 38-7 win over Georgia Tech. Last week, Auburn took down the immovable object; Alabama, 26-14. They have been red hot since their second half struggle against LSU back on October 14.
Auburn could be the first two loss playoff participant with a win. The reasons for the Auburn bounce back this year is a strong running game, a strong defense and Baylor transfer quarterback, Jarrett Stidham. He has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes with just a few interceptions. Running back; Kerryon Johnson, at times had fans whispering Heisman. He racked up 167 rushing yards in the previous meeting with Georgia. However, he is fighting through a shoulder injury suffered in the Alabama game; and the backup running backs are fighting injury.
Alabama was the first team to average over five yards a carry and rushed for over 200 yards against this stingy Auburn defense. Georgia only managed 46 rushing yards in their Veterans Day loss. Watch for Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown up front, with Dontavious Russell to continue to plug up the Georgia running game and force freshman quarterback, Jake Fromm to beat them in his first championship game.
Georgia is a team that is very similar to Auburn. A good defense is one of them and they will be called on to create pressure on Stidham; something that this defense hasn't done enough of. They have been great at shutting teams down without much pressure, limiting six opponents to ten points or less.
Running backs Sony Michel, Nick Chubb and DeAndre Swift will have to get it rolling. They will need to make much more of an impact than the previous meeting. If the Bulldogs can generate over 200 yards rushing, they win comfortably. If not, they may as well stay in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl.
I think the great equalizer is the neutral venue. Both of Auburn's big wins over a #1 team came at the friendly confines of Jordan Hare. Auburn has had a great comeback season but Georgia seems destined to break the SEC West stranglehold on this game and into the playoffs. Georgia never participated in the SEC dominance in the BCS era other than getting beat up a few times in the title game. Georgia breaks through and gets a measure of revenge.