(9) Auburn Tigers at (15) Georgia Bulldogs (-2.5, 69.5 o/u)
With two losses each, the No. 9 Auburn Tigers and No. 15 Georgia Bulldogs are likely both out of playoff contention. Yet, Georgia still has a shot at the conference title – playing in the weaker Eastern Division of the SEC – and Auburn will be motivated to salvage the season after a terrible home loss to Texas A&M. The Bulldogs and Tigers meet at Sanford Stadium in Athens, this Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Eastern.
Heading into last weekend, Auburn was sitting in a playoff spot. But they lost 41-38 at home to Texas A&M – a game they entered as huge favorites due to the absence of Aggies star QB Kenny Hill – and were promptly dropped to ninth in the CPF rankings. After a rough start to that game, it looked as though the Tigers were going to pull off an epic comeback, but two critical fumbles in the last two possessions ended both their comeback and playoff hopes.
Making matters worse for the Tigers, leading receiver D’haquille Williams injured his hand in the game and is listed as week-to-week. With Sammie Coates, Quan Bray, and Ricardo Louis all healthy, head coach Gus Malzahn is confident the Tigers can push on without Williams.
“All the receivers are back from last year, and they led us to the national championship game. We have a lot of confidence in that group. We just have to put the guys in the right position,” said Malzahn.
Georgia’s two losses this year came in week 2 at South Carolina, and in week 10 at home to Florida. Last weekend, the Bulldogs rebounded from the loss to the Gators with a huge 63-31 win over Kentucky. Unlike Auburn, Georgia will be close to full-strength this weekend for the first time in four games, as star running back Todd Gurley is set to return. Gurley was having a Heisman-caliber season before being suspended for taking money for autographs; in just five games, he racked up 773 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging over eight yards per carry. While freshman Nick Chubb filled in admirably during Gurley’s suspension, the Bulldogs are excited to have their star back on the field.
“There’s no doubt that he’s an electric player and the best at what he does,” center David Andrews said. “I can’t wait to look up and see that No. 3 running down the field. I’m ready to go out there and play with him.”
Playing at home, the Bulldogs are 2.5-point favorites, and the over/under is at 69.5 points. Trend-wise, Georgia is an impressive 6-2 SU in its last eight games against Auburn.
(Photo credit: Brian Ussery, public domain.)