A.J. Green says Georgia ready to ’shock people’ in Auburn

A.J. Green catches his first of two touchdowns. Later, he had a message for Auburn.

A.J. Green had two touchdowns. Later, he had a message for Auburn. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS – On the same day Georgia commemorated the 30th anniversary of the 1980 national championship team, the current incarnation of the Bulldogs had to embrace something significantly south of that: bowl life.

When a team starts 1-4, even Birmingham starts to look like the promised land.

But forget Birmingham or Nashville or Memphis. There’s an opportunity for the Dogs to celebrate something far more significant a third-tier bowl game — and certainly more tantalizing than Saturday’s 55-7 win over a Division I-AA punching bag, Idaho State.

Hello, Auburn.

“I know we’ve got a chance to win,” A.J. Green said Saturday. “I feel like they haven’t faced anybody else like me and [quarterback] Aaron [Murray] with our offense. We’re really going to show them. We’re going to shock a lot of people.”

This might be the first time in recorded history a player on a 5-5 team has thrown down the gauntlet against potentially the best team in country. But you’ve got to admire the spunk.

Georgia’s quest this season has long since been reduced to that of a spoiler. Embracing that is the Dogs’ best chance for mental and physical survival.

Last week’s overtime loss to Florida hit this team hard emotionally.

Green: “I still carry it with me.”

It was a foregone conclusion they would beat Idaho State. The Bengals are bad even by I-AA standards, having now lost eight straight and 33 of their past 36. Put it this way: Idaho State (No. 206 in Jeff Sagarin’s computer rankings) entered the week ranked lower than even Georgia State’s opponent (Lamar at 204), and lower than the first-year Panthers (185).

Idaho State accepted a $525,000 payment in exchange for the likelihood of getting pounded. That’s precisely what happened.

Upsetting Auburn (10-0) wouldn’t nearly make up for losses in Starkville and Boulder and every other headache associated with this season. But it would ease the pain of the big picture. Imagine being jobless and then hitting a $10,000 scratch-off lottery ticket..

Green again: “A lot of people are probably going to favor them. But that’s just talk.”

“They’re going to be ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation, and we haven’t beaten a ranked team all year,” Murray said. “Our last two games [against Auburn and Georgia Tech] are against teams with winning records. We can still salvage a lot.”

Murray threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Green caught two of those scores and finished with six receptions for over 100 yards. Each played only one possession in the second half.

The Dogs, however, were not without some early hiccups. They started this game like their heads were somewhere else. Jacksonville, probably.

Georgia’s first three offensive possessions produced only two field goals and a punt. Some fans booed, particularly when coach Mark Richt chose to go for three points on fourth-and-2 from the Idaho State 20 on the opening possession.

The score was only 6-0 after the first quarter. I’m not sure, but I think I saw Todd Grantham give Mike Bobo a choke sign.

But any sense of drama left the building in a 35-point second quarter. A partially blocked punt set up the Dogs at the Idaho State 43. Six plays later, Caleb King ran in from 3 yards out. Bacarri Rambo had an interception and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown soon after. Then came another interception, this by Brandon Boykin, and one play later Murray threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Green. Georgia scored 21 points in 2:15. The rout was on.

Here’s the big picture in the SEC: Seven teams are bowl eligible. Georgia isn’t one of them. An upset of Auburn would change that. It also would give the Dogs something significant this season: a highlight.

It’s an obvious long shot. But a team clings to what it can.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

1,074 comments Add your comment

GOdawgs

November 6th, 2010
6:28 pm

What have you been smoking AJ??? You just gave AU some more bulletin board material… as if they need any. AU put up 65 on Arkansas, I cringe to think what they will do to us…. oh well, GO DAWGS

GOdawgs

November 6th, 2010
6:29 pm

FIRST BY THE WAY

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

cattle dawg

November 6th, 2010
6:32 pm

When did Kenny Rogers become a sports agent?

Shawn

November 6th, 2010
6:32 pm

I don’t know what the line is but I’d take UGA and the points. Auburn’s defense is miserable. They can’t outscore everyone. This is the week they show that they are overrated. Not saying UGA is great but saying Auburn is not so much!

BDAAMWAG

November 6th, 2010
6:35 pm

2nd

If anybody was alive in 2006, you have to think we have a shot. What was Auburn that year; ranked 5th? Pretty sure we were coming off a horrific loss to UK. With that said: Let’s all get behind this team, show up, and support these boys! Shock the barners!!!!!!

Toole

November 6th, 2010
6:37 pm

AJ should know he just reminded Auburn they have to play us Saturday. All they have been thinking and hearing since LSU game is Alabama (10-1) and Auburn (11-0). We had a chance to shock the world by not being noticed.

cattle dawg

November 6th, 2010
6:39 pm

Think how much AJ could sell the Auburn game jersey for if the dawgs win. Is the mad hatter about to beat the nicktater?

Harley Race

November 6th, 2010
6:40 pm

I took LSU +6.5pts…so I’m happy…..I love the dawgs next week I think we play a great game for 4 qtrs…..and we beat Auburn…the dawgs are due….

gatorhater

November 6th, 2010
6:40 pm

Hey AJ you better hope Aaron Murray throws it better than he did today. Two weeks in a row he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn in the first half.

dawgfan1222

November 6th, 2010
6:42 pm

I have been saying this all year we are going to upset Auburn. We own them have for the last several years and if you look at this season we are really about 8-10 plays from being 7-2 or 8-1. Just sayin’ they probably are not taking us seriously either.

Harley Race

November 6th, 2010
6:44 pm

I’m happy I won my bet but I’m also sad…I was hoping Bama would beat LSU by 3pts…the SEC is out of NC race…no way Auburn beats the dawgs and Bama….

JSS

November 6th, 2010
6:45 pm

This is going to be good… I hate D-1 college football; but I have to admit that this has the all the makings of a reality check not seen in these parts since September 27, 2008!

Dr. Sigmond Frued

November 6th, 2010
6:48 pm

@ JSS why you do hate D-1 football? let’s talk…have you had nightmares…do you feel inadequate..??

Toole

November 6th, 2010
6:52 pm

Damn! I can’t believe AJ said that. Like the fire, but how can you “shock the world”; when they know you are coming. Might as well wear those uniforms Grambling wouldn’t wear.( GA-FLA 2009) Better yet bring Russ back. Get Dooley to say Auburn isn’t man enough. AJ just mad he only got $1K and Cam got 200K.

Hit A Single

November 6th, 2010
6:52 pm

UGA has always played well at Auburn and Auburn has always played well in Athens. I smell an upset like I did when UGA tied Auburn 20 to 20 in the Coach Goff days to end the winning streak.

JSS

November 6th, 2010
6:54 pm

Freud is dead, and his philosophy on psychoanalysis were discredited… Nice try, go buy a Black jersey and pray!

THE TRUTH

November 6th, 2010
6:54 pm

“I feel like they havent faced anyone like me and Aaron Murray”
Really AJ??? You mean like Ryan Mallett and Greg Childs? Or Stephen Garcia and Alshon Jeffrey? And for all you dumbasses bashing Auburn’s defense, you obviously havent watched them play. AU’s offense is so fast paced, their average scoring drive is 1:40, thus leaving their defense on the field for 70-80 snaps a game. Plus, AU is usually so far ahead, teams score garbage touchdowns in the 4th quarter that don’t even matter…

jellybeandawg

November 6th, 2010
6:54 pm

AJ is right. People will be shocked when Auburn beats the dawgs by 40+ points.

RomeDawg

November 6th, 2010
6:55 pm

Man, I sure wish he would have kept his mouth shut and let his play on the field do the talking. Just be ready to back it up. For what it’s worth…..I do think we beat Auburn. Go Dawgs!

cattle dawg

November 6th, 2010
6:57 pm

Where is Sonny Clusters?

Vance Dueley

November 6th, 2010
6:57 pm

Hmmmmm…. I thought it was the Georgia way to downplay our chances, brag on the opposing team’s punter, and then go kick their collective butts. But, considering how we’ve played against any non-Division 2 team this year, I don’t think AJ’s words will strike much fear into the Plainsmen/Tigers/War Eagle(s)………… Maybe Coach Bobo will find a better game plan in a box of Cracker Jacks than he is likely to design on his own………….. If we can score 50, we have a chance!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Conner Huffman, Demishia Wright , Brett Mixon, Mike Gerry, Jeff Schultz and others. Jeff Schultz said: Green says Georgia ready to ’shock people’ in Auburn http://bit.ly/9FJwF9 [...]

Dr. Sigmond Frued

November 6th, 2010
6:59 pm

@ JSS…I’m his grandson…and my gradfather had notes on “blog bullies”…(he was a psychological pioneer he was WAY before his time) Frued’s theories are alive and well…try again…

tell me this does South Carolina cover 4.5pts…now THAT would be go info to know JSS

The Natue Boy...@Hit a Single

November 6th, 2010
7:05 pm

Was that Ray Goff’s….”signature tie”…??? whatever happened to Terry Bowden..?? I’m thinking he’s 300lbs and eating steaks w/ Bobby Lowder..?? good post….the was a SWEET tie…Auburn was undefeated that yr…

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:08 pm

HAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!!!!!!

BAMA LOSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JSS

November 6th, 2010
7:10 pm

Who is that fool? Enjoy the show in your own mind!

GTMustang

November 6th, 2010
7:10 pm

Colorado just lost to Kansas giving up 35 points in the 4th quarter.

That’s how bad you know UGA sucks. UGA worst loss > GT’s worst loss.

UGA must really suck.

Oh yeah, AJ, STFU. Offense like UGA’s? The defense scored more points for UGA than the offense almost so yeah….you’re an idiot.

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:11 pm

LSU said they’d beat Auburn.

Arkansas said they’d beat Auburn.

Kentucky said they’d beat Auburn.

Miss State said they’d beat Auburn.

South Carolina said they’d beat Auburn.

NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!

nodawg

November 6th, 2010
7:13 pm

I looked up spunk in my Georgia dictionary. It said spunk=dumbass.

He Hate Gator

November 6th, 2010
7:16 pm

Not so wise remarks by AJ….AJ, just who has Ga beat this year? Auburn has beaten 3 teams that beat Georgia…

J Clay

November 6th, 2010
7:18 pm

GTMustang – The Dawgs have not been good true – but why are you on here? Recall Tech is not good either – come on back in 3 weeks when you get that a$# whipped and talk some more

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 6th, 2010
7:21 pm

To all bama nation taking shots at AU and Cam this week…

WAR!!!!! DAMN!!!!! EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To AJ Green…5-5..’nuff said

Looks like AU is going to be meeting either the ole ball coach or the Gators in the DOME..

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:22 pm

TrishaDishaWarEagle

Talked to some Auburn insiders who say this whole “scandal” is nothing but a bunch of BS.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!!!!!

KimZ'spackage

November 6th, 2010
7:22 pm

Well, AJ it will be the biggest game of your UGA career. I hope you didn’t just screw yourself.
You sure do think a lot of yourself that is for sure.

MIke S

November 6th, 2010
7:23 pm

The LSU – Alabama game was the absolute worst outcome possible for Auburn. They already knew the Bama game was going to be a dogfight, they were at least hoping with the SEC on the line Bama would come in tight.

Now Alabama will have absolutely nothing to lose in the Iron Bowl. They will come into that game loose and completel;y wide open with no goal other than destroying Auburn’s season.

That is all predicated on Auburn scoring more than Georgia next week though. With Auburn’s almost SEC worst defense, UGA should easily put 30+ on the board — the question is, can UGA keep AU under 50?

As much as I love Grantham and his fire, unless they knock Newton silly early and make him skittish, I see know way they stop Auburn.

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:24 pm

“The LSU – Alabama game was the absolute worst outcome possible for Auburn.”

HUH???????? If Auburn wins out, they go to the BCS Championship.

Remember When

November 6th, 2010
7:24 pm

Does anyone remember the water cannon game? We have shocked them before we can do it again.
Go Dawgs!

He Hate Gator

November 6th, 2010
7:25 pm

War Eagles, I think you still have a game against some fellas in Tuscaloosa…you’d be best to start worrying about that one…

South Ga Dawg

November 6th, 2010
7:25 pm

Offensive line will have to hold tough against a tough front four from Auburn. If they can hold up and blow some holes open we can play clock control and keep Newton off of the field. Go DAWGS!!!

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:25 pm

“UGA should easily put 30+ on the board ”

The second best offense, Arkansas, put 43 on the board against Auburn.

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:26 pm

“I think you still have a game against some fellas in Tuscaloosa…you’d be best to start worrying about that one”

Why?

MIke S

November 6th, 2010
7:27 pm

Cam Newton Rocks — Reading is comprehension, read what I wrote. It has nothing to do with records. Auburn will still be SEC champions — BUT now Alabama has nothing to play for except ruining Auburn’s shot at the BCS. Alabama will come in wide open and loose and not worry about anything except hammering Newton every chance possible.

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:27 pm

“If they can hold up and blow some holes open we can play clock control and keep Newton off of the field.”

Newton ran over 200+ yards against the best defense in the SEC.

NEXT!!!!!

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:28 pm

MIke S

Not that I care what you think, but I do understand what you were saying. Auburn knows full well what to expect from Alabama and Georgia.

NEXT!!!!!

Cam Newton Rocks

November 6th, 2010
7:30 pm

MIke S

One more thing. Auburn folk don’t care about the national championship. All we are doing is having fun watching the best player in college football manhandle every team he plays against. We have nothing to lose because we never expected to have a great season.

When you have nothing to lose, it makes it easier to have fun.

Chris Phillips

November 6th, 2010
7:31 pm

Good article. But highly unlikely that this Georgia team will win.

Delbert D.

November 6th, 2010
7:31 pm

Ebb Tide….

Glory Glory

November 6th, 2010
7:32 pm

Great day in Athens if you ask me. I’m not going to look too deep into a game where we rested ALL starters fir an entire half, and obviously were not at all I retested in digging deeper than page 3 of the playbook.

But everybody around me was in a good mood, enjoyed the company and fellowship that comes along with gameday in Athens.

For all you haters thinking nobody would show up today, the crowd was GREAT. There were bare patches up high in the student section, which would be expected on a game like this no matter what our record was. We were easily 85K+ strong today.

bigcalidawg

November 6th, 2010
7:32 pm

This past offseason was particularly quarrelsome between DAWGS and Nerds, but I figured everyone would chill once both teams lost a game, or two.

Here we are, near the end of the season and we’re fighting like 2 midget jockeys. Seriously, we are insignificant as far as Division-1 football goes, yet bombs continue to be dropped. Pointless.

I have no freakin’ idea which team will show to play AUB this week, but I sure as heck hope the banter is at a minimum, because I have a tremendous amount of respect for their program and their alumni. I think I’m still pullin the fiberglass from my hamstrings from watchin’ spring ball in Jordan Hare before they ever played their 1st game there.

Yes, I saw Bo play Spring Ball.

This game might be 60-40, or somethin’ ridiculous. Here’s to a great game and no injuries.