If you missed it, here’s a link to my column on Georgia’s SEC East-clinching win over Auburn Saturday night.
And here are my three “short takes” on the game.
1. Aaron Murray is just fine: Murray took a beating from some Georgia fans after horrible games against South Carolina and Florida but he has rebounded nicely. He completed his first 10 passes against Auburn (two for touchdowns) and threw for three scores and 208 yards in three quarters before being lifted. In the last nine quarters, going back to the fourth quarter of the Florida game, Murray is 44 for 60 for 675 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. Offensive coordinator Mime Bobo said Murray had been too “cautious,” adding: “I said, ‘Son, you know what’s going on. You’re one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Cut it loose. If you make a turnover being aggressive, that’s OK.’”
2. Defense gives Georgia a chance against Alabama. Auburn is one of the weakest offensive teams around, but there’s little question Georgia’s defense is finally playing up to the level that was expected before the season. The Bulldogs have allowed just one touchdown (along with four field goals) in the last three games. The missed tackles and missed assignments, partly the result of injuries and early season suspensions, aren’t an issue right now. Add to that the Alabama offense has not been overpowering in the last two games against LSU and Texas A&M. If Georgia’s defense can play at the same level against Alabama in the SEC title game as it has against Florida, Ole Miss and Auburn, it has a very good chance to pull an upset.
3. Auburn fans are so done with this season. In 23 years of living in Atlanta, I’ve never seen a home crowd for a major college football team — let alone a team that won a national championship just two years ago — bolt from a game so quickly. Jordan-Hare Stadium was full for kickoff, certainly a positive for a winless SEC team. But boos started to rain down in the second quarter when Georgia built its lead to 21-0, then 28-0. When Keith Marshall ran 62 yards for a score to make it 38-0 in the third quiarter, it was like somebody yelled, “Fire,” in the stadium and thousands of fans streamed out. Georgia had more fans in the stadium than Auburn in the fourth quarter. That might be the worst sign of all for coach Gene Chizik.
– By Jeff Schultz
It’s Sunday — time to catch up on your reading