The Dawgs have played "must win" games since Week 3. Now that we are in the driver's seat in the SEC East, without question this now becomes the biggest "must win" game of the season. While South Carolina very well may lose to Florida before our game kicks off, a Dawgs victory virtually assures us the SEC East. We will deal with Kentucky next week. K? A Carolina loss and UGA win clinches it.
Many have expressed surprise that the Dawgs are a 13 point favorite over Auburn. That does seem high, but I like our match ups in this game. Grantham's Dawgs are gearing up to stop Auburn's running attack led by super sophomore Michael Dyer and will probably dare them to throw it on us with Sophomore QB Clint Moseley who has 44 career pass attempts. Dyer is dangerous but if our defense plays the run as it has all season, we won't let him beat us. Moseley may be an accurate passer, but he is green and he is no threat to run. Jarvis Jones likes the sound of that.
When our offense takes the field, we will face the nations 85th ranked rushing defense and the 50th ranked passing defense. Our offense ranks 43rd and 39th in those corresponding categories. It appears to me that our passing offense is finally hitting its stride with the emergence of clutch receivers like Chris Conley and Michael Bennett and with the return of Malcolm Mitchell these three guys will help take some of the attention away from veterans Orson Charles and Tavarres King. As long as our O-line gives Murray time tomorrow, he is going to have a big day. Isaiah Crowell and company will need to be sharp in pass protection and keep Murray safe from big hits.
While Auburn's run defense appears to be their bigger weakness, I don't see this as a game where we try to pound the ball. I think we will use the run to set up the pass. Balance is probably what we will see. I just hope it is not balance for the sake of balance. Hopefully Crowell will be healthy throughout and will get 20 touches. If that happens, go ahead and buy your ticket to the Dome.
Two things I want to note:
(1) We haven't scored a defensive TD or special teams TD all season. That will change tomorrow.
(2) Blair Walsh will not miss another FG attempt inside of 50 yards this season.
I am leaving in a few minutes to make the 6 hour drive to Athens. See y'all there.
Go Dawgs! GATA!