A great quarterback and a dirty defender prove too much for Dogs

Auburn's Nick Fairley with one of his hits on Aaron Murray that likely would have drawn a fine in the NFL. (Associated Press)

Auburn's Nick Fairley with one of his hits on Aaron Murray that likely would have drawn a fine in the NFL. (Associated Press)

I don’t think there are many people who would have predicted that after the first quarter of Saturday’s Georgia-Auburn game that Mark Richt’s 5-5 Bulldogs would be leading the No. 2 team in the country by two touchdowns.

While Auburn’s sensational Cam Newton led his team in a quick scoring drive to open the game, the Tigers generally played tight in the first quarter and made mistakes that Georgia capitalized on in answering with three scores.

Unfortunately, the Dogs, who had not been out in front of a good team all season, didn’t quite seem to know how to handle their early success, losing some of their spark offensively in the second quarter as the Auburn offense continued to pound away at a Georgia defense that clearly could not stop Newton consistently.

Still, thanks to stellar play by quarterback Aaron Murray and receiver A.J. Green, the Dogs managed to stay in the game for three quarters, even after Auburn stunned them with an audacious on-side kick to open the second half. But when the Dogs had to settle for a field goal in the back-and-forth scoring, the odds against them pulling off the upset grew long.

And while Georgia still could have gotten back into it when trailing by 11 points, their fate was sealed on the fourth-quarter series where on a third-and-four play Mike Bobo inexplicably again had Murray standing back there looking for the long ball in the face of an Auburn blitz instead of going with a quick slant, resulting in a sack. On fourth-and-13, Murray was hit again as he threw and the ball was incomplete. And that was pretty much that.

Except for the ugliness that characterized the final minutes, thanks to the SEC officiating crew looking the other way throughout the game as Auburn headhunter Nick Fairley continually hit Murray late and tried to hurt him with his now infamous body slams.

Georgia’s players had good reason to be irate after Fairley took Murray out of the game by driving his helmet into the quarterback’s legs long after he’d let go of the ball. There’s a reason the NFL fines dirty players for that sort of thing. Despite CBS’ Gary Danielson trying to make a case that Fairley was partially blocked into Murray, the replays clearly showed that wasn’t true. And it was only one of a number of such plays by Fairley.

In the ensuing scuffles that saw the officials lose control of the game, two Auburn players were ejected for throwing punches while their classless coach, Gene Chizik, continued to try to ramp up his players’ emotions on the sideline and Fairley strutted around like some sort of playground bully. He should have been the one kicked out of the game.

So Georgia looks to the Georgia Tech game to become bowl-eligible while Auburn still has Alabama and then the SEC championship game and possibly the BCS championship game.

Chizik and company have rolled the dice by playing Newton despite the questions about his eligibility and so far it has paid off. Maybe it will continue to pay off for them; there’s a good chance that in the long run it won’t. And if it doesn’t, I can’t say I’ll feel much sympathy for them.

I’ll be back Sunday afternoon with more thoughts on the game. Until then, I’ll leave you with two last words:

Roll Tide!

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1,023 comments Add your comment

Safety Sam

November 13th, 2010
8:50 pm

Let’s get ready for Georgia Tech! I hope that Mark Richt can come up with something in the next 2 weeks.

Let’s get bowl eligible! One more win. Beat Tech at home!

Bham Dawg

November 13th, 2010
8:57 pm

I live in Birmingham, used to like Auburn (far behind UGA, of course) but Roll Tide Roll!!!

Ralph

November 13th, 2010
8:59 pm

The thUGA and media frenzy trying to equate A.J. Green’s admission of guilt to Cameron Newton’s denial didn’t work. Green was suspended, Newton wasn’t. Accusations by shady characters without any shred of proof still carries the day, except in the media, with thUGA fans, and maybe Heisman voters. Newton trumped both Murry and Green – not many other players made a difference. Auburn more than doubled the predicted spread winning easily going away in the second half.

Fitten

November 13th, 2010
8:59 pm

Every time Auburn touched the ball in the 2nd Quarter, they scored a touchdown.

Every time Auburn touched the ball in the 2nd Half, they scored a touchdown.

No adjustments were ever made by the Georgia defense.

Despite witnessing this, the Georgia offense never playe with a sense of urgency. We never went no-huddle.  Never quit running. Couldn’t block #90 when we were in the shotgun.

Outcoached.  Again.
 Fire Richt

Saint Simons

November 13th, 2010
9:00 pm

(((( 49 – 31 ))))

HAHAHAHAHAHA

True Tech

November 13th, 2010
9:00 pm

Guys, it won’t even be a contest. Y’all will kill us. We have no Defense. Hope you keep Richt, he’s a class act and Murray will be a good one. See ya in 2 weeks.

Lindsey

November 13th, 2010
9:01 pm

I was discussed by Auburn tonight. No class at all. Proud of the way the GA players reacted by getting off the benches. GO DAWGS!!

Safety Sam

November 13th, 2010
9:03 pm

Fitten, excellent points.

In addition, why do we kick a field goal in the 2nd half? We must have known that we couldn’t stop Auburn from scoring a touchdown. Even with the field goal (and Auburn’s eventual touchdown) we would be down by 2 scores.

Sanford Drive

November 13th, 2010
9:03 pm

November 26th will be the ONLY time in my life i will enthusiastically cheer for Bama.

kydawg

November 13th, 2010
9:03 pm

Fairly is dirty!!! CMR should send tape of that game to the SEC…oh wait…they said Auburn could police themselves…what a joke!

GATA

November 13th, 2010
9:04 pm

Nice to see auburn getting a good return on their investment.

JaxDawg

November 13th, 2010
9:04 pm

Again, go to h$ll you cheating bunch of tiger humpin’ sacks of crap!

Karma’s a bit&h!!!

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UGA4Life

November 13th, 2010
9:05 pm

Why are we still in the SEC? It is obvious the league hates us. If Newton played for Georgia, the SEC would have nailed him to a cross. But because he plays for Auburn, just down the road from the SEC offices, he gets a pass.

And don’t even get me started on the refs. Each time we sneezed, we got a flag. Auburn got almost no flags until the very end. And we shouldn’t have gotten a flag at the end because Farley deserved to be punished for the missed call by the ref. If it really was a missed call and not a pay off by Cam’s daddy.

We should have won that game. We’re the better team but the SEC, as it has year after year, is out to get us. We should start our own conference of all current NCAA Georgia and Florida schools but exclude SEC members since they all hate us and we don’t want Tech since they’d drag down the True South Conference.

army dawg

November 13th, 2010
9:06 pm

chizik and his war chickens are a “one trick pony” this year..if AU does not get hit hard with ncaa sanctions then scam newton bolts for nfl….either way they come to athens next year!! Go Dawgs and CMR is one he!! of a great coach! God Bless the Dawgs and all our great veterans! Now beat the jackets!

Truth

November 13th, 2010
9:06 pm

Stop being a homer gopher. Fairly was CLEARLY blocked into him. It was not dirty hit AT ALL, and Danielson’s reaction reflected that.

CHDawg

November 13th, 2010
9:06 pm

Bill, you hit this one on the head. Great Auburn team; great QB; all ruined by cheap shot after cheap shot by number 90! When he was strutting around boasting that he had finally achieved his goal and gotten away with hurting Murray, I was sick at my stomach. This isn’t the only game he has done this–the announcers said a number of coaches are complaining about this dangerous player.

THUGA

November 13th, 2010
9:06 pm

Yeah AU played dirty. What verse of the Bible did Richt learn to order a chop block to try an end a players season and then follow it with ordering a hit on him because he saw something differently from the official who was standing 10 feet away. Pretty funny seeing the dawgs crying foul since they are know as Personal Foul U

Dirty?

November 13th, 2010
9:07 pm

Was that chop block on AU or GA? Cant remember. Classless? You are exactly right. That’s the first thing people think when they hear Chizik. Ga/Tech game should be a thriller.

Tommy Tiger

November 13th, 2010
9:07 pm

Call it dirty but we didn’t go after anyone after a play. UGA is a bunch of sore losers. You need a new coach. Now go shut up and beat the bees. War Eagle!

heyberto

November 13th, 2010
9:08 pm

Chizik clearly has no control over his team, but the refs seem to think that’s ok, the NCAA isn’t forcing his hand.. break out the popcorn, this is going to be fun.

DAWG with bag over head again

November 13th, 2010
9:08 pm

Our blind homer friends think that everything is just fine, yet here we are again rationalizing about a loss. If we accept what we’re getting, that’s what we’ll get. It’s time to make a change. It was apparent 3 years ago, and after three progressively worse seasons, it is apparent that a change at the top is what it will take to turn things around. We’ve remained stale while the rest of the league has long past us by.

see it differently

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

Some of you Dawg fans saw a different game than I did. Fairley was penalized for a late hit in the 2nd half, as he should have been. The writer’s characterization of the Fairley’s “hit” on the UGA quarterback is downright wrong. Fairley dove toward the quarterback before the ball was released. If you look at the replay you will see that he was blocked. While it is true that his helmet did hit the UGA quarterback’s shin/knee area, he didn’t drive into the quarterback maliciously. He wasn’t penalized. He shouldn’t have been.

Just prior to this incident, Auburn quarterback was hit after he was on the ground, not after he released the ball – after he was on the ground. UGA was not penalized. They should have been.

So, it works both ways. Then on the play where the first Auburn player was ejected, two (maybe three) UGA players had their way with Fairely while he was on the ground. They ruffed him up good. Don’t take my word, look at the film. The officials did nothing. This incident is what led to the punches.

I’m not condoning the punches. They were wrong and the players were ejected, but the truth is UGA is the team that go away with flagrant behavior.

By the way, the officials were terrible!!!!! They should have been ejected!!!!

GATA

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

Let’s see, #90 with his cheap shot act all night, 2 thug au playa’s getting ejected, all-barns fans booing an injured UGA player, oh and don’t forget Scam #2. Yeah, au is total class….

JOS

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

As everyone in the SEC knows, UGA players (and fans) are poor sports as well as losers. Fairly was blocked into Murray in the 4th quarter, yet UGA players jumped on him while he was on the ground. I guess you UGA people can bask in the “glory” of goading two Auburn players into taling a punch and being held out of the Ala. game – is that the best you can do?

Ralph

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

Those Auburn punches thrown just came out of the blue?

Did you miss the thUGA dirty play (and replay) that started the fight?

Strick

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

I just hope our Dawgs remember all the late hits and the way Auburn acted towards the end of this game when it comes time for them to come to Athens next year! This year hasn’t turned out great but I can’t wait until next year when we should tear the East up! Go Dawgs!!! Beat Tech!!

Dawgone

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

I’m glad you called what we all saw with Fairly. One of the dirtiest players I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how he got away with spearing Murray in the back well have the ball was out of his hand. Clearly he went after his knees and Chizik really is classless….

Roll Tide

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

Enter your comments here

Warshane

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

Bill, you’ve got to be kidding. Only red and black glasses could think that Nick Fairley, while rolling on the ground, intentionally hit Murray’s knee. He was clearly being blocked by the Georgia lineman and couldn’t even see Murray’s knee. However, I’m an Auburn fan and will admit that Fairley’s hit earlier in the game on Murray was stupid and was justly penalized. As far as Chizik being a classless coach, this is absurd on its face and I’m pretty sure it was the GA coaching staff that called for the hit and pile up on Fairley. Bill King=SORE LOSER.

THUGA

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

UGA4Life, such a typical dawg fan, in 45 years of watching SEC football I have never heard a dawg fan take a loss without blaming the refs, grow up and grow a pair.

Summit Dawg

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

Now that we’ve played and lost to The “Tigers”. or “War Eagles”…..time will tell that we played and lot to the greatest “Thug” Players we have ever faced…….#2 & #90…….and a coach who deserves to be right there coaching them………Go whoever plays against them…..and go Cecil….your son deserves the NFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UGA89

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

I agree Fitten with your assessment.

I also agree with Fairley being dirty. The last one he was being blocked, but he took the extra step and put his helmet right at Murray’s legs.
I’ve been watching College Football for the last 35 years and I have never seen a player deliberately try and hurt an opposing QB and the officials allow him to do it.

I am very disappointed with the UGA team allowing it to continue. Those things can be settled on the field and in the trenches especially. And then to see Fairley dance around and taunt the Dogs and his fans… is UGLY and classless. His day will come if he continues to do that. And so will Auburn’s.

matt whit

November 13th, 2010
9:09 pm

Ralph…thUGA??…did you even watch the game. Auburn is as dirty and classless as they come. give us a break and haul a$$ to the tech forum

billybada$$

November 13th, 2010
9:10 pm

was it dirty when Fairly was chop blocked?

king of mean

November 13th, 2010
9:10 pm

Bama looks flat tonight despite a couple of big plays. I think Miss St. defense is better than Auburns so we’ll see how the iron bowl turns out. There could be a whole lotta proof show up in another 13 days, so who knows???

I thought UGA did all they could with what they had. i was real excited for them in the first half. I know i was pulling for them as hard as i do for my Tide. I do think Fairley is dirty and i do think he’ll eat up Vlachos just like Nevis did. Maybe we can chop him and snap a ligament – i think that’d be worth 15 yards…

roll tide.

Roll Tide

November 13th, 2010
9:10 pm

I got your $200,000 right here cam!

DawginOH

November 13th, 2010
9:10 pm

I’m usually a big fan of this rivalry, but this one will not go down in my book as a classic and it’s not just because the Dawgs lost it.

Auburn really showed their true colors in this one. First of all, Newton should have been benched from the get-go considering he’s soon to be proven ineligible. And that Fairley kid is TOTAL trash. I can’t believe he had the nerve to attack Murray’s knee, especially after he had already gotten away with murder a few times earlier. Not to mention, the game was already won… What on earth did he have to gain by pulling some thug stunt like that?

But the good news is that once Newton gets busted, all of this will come back and Auburn will be left with yet another meaningless undefeated season, which I think will make three since 1990. Let them enjoy this ride because the penalties they’ll face for the pay-for-play scandal will kill them for years to come. And I will be loving every second of it.

Go Dawgs! And, yes, Bill, ROLL TIDE!

Bellefay1

November 13th, 2010
9:10 pm

No comment about the classy chop block levied by UGA?

It was a badly played game between both teams and not characteristic for the rivalry. To disperse all blame for Georgia’s problems as Auburn’s fault is shallow at best.

BabsTolstoy

November 13th, 2010
9:10 pm

Hey dweeb (King), in spite of your anger over Fairley’s questional play, Georgia still got beat by the better team, hands down. Auburn scored everytime it wanted to, and this was well before the scuffle at the end. To call Chizik classless is something one of your bonehead fans would do. Objectivity is apparently not what the AJC pays you for, intelligence either for that matter. War Eagle dipsheet, see you next year when Chizik extends the streak in Athens.

Bob UGA 90

November 13th, 2010
9:11 pm

Bill – You are a moron. I certainly hope AJC does not pay you anything for your useless drivel. Go dawgs. Whenever GA loses, I can count on you to sit down and write a stupid piece as if you are irritated following the dawgs performance. He we go woth Bobo again. I am sure in the first quarter on 4 and 2 if Murray’s pass went over AJ’s head, you went you screaming for Bobo to be fired! Instead, you pick one play that did not work to write about.

browndog

November 13th, 2010
9:11 pm

Newton is a great player and maybe it all works out for Auburn because if there is a problem then they will pay a dear price. This has to date been a magical season for Auburn and congrats to them for waht they have accomplished. UGA was soundly beaten but played an excellent game for three quarters. Hopefully UGA gets it all together for the final against GT. Murray is the real deal! A few more players on the D and UGA will be competitive once again. I think this year proves that UGA has a way to go to get back to the top, but I am proud of the way the team competed each game.

Dawg Tell

November 13th, 2010
9:11 pm

I’m proud of my Dawgs today.I hope Bama beats the Sh#t out of dirty Auburn who are dirty both on and off the field.ROll TIDE ROLL!!!

Guido

November 13th, 2010
9:11 pm

Auburn is the ghetto of the SEC

JRW7

November 13th, 2010
9:11 pm

Fairley plays DIRTY! He was trying to hurt Aaron Murray, not tackle him. Fairley hit Murray several times late and no flag. AUBURN won the game, but they play dirty!

NCDawg

November 13th, 2010
9:11 pm

49-31 Auburn tonight; 1-0 UGA in the future, when (S)CAM is declared ineligible and the Tigers retroactively forfeit. Just hope that occurs before the end of the season. I don’t want the Tigers to enjoy even the fleeting happiness that would come with the fake title.

I do want to give kudos to Chizik for calling the onside kick. That won the game–at least for now.

In the end, I was disgusted by the play of the poorly named Fairley, who is one of the dirtiest players I have seen in years. For that reason, I will take pleasure, for once, in watching Nick Saban kick some Tiger butt. And I will take even more pleasure next year when the War Eagle flies to Athens, sans (S)CAM and the real genius behind AU–Gus Malzahn (so long as he is coaching outside the SEC!).

Oh, and lets pray that Murray is ok.

SEC West

November 13th, 2010
9:12 pm

Can’t wait for you Auburn Thugs to go from undefeated to winless in one decision….. priceless or $180K

Cam Newton

November 13th, 2010
9:12 pm

Dear Dawg Fans!! I’m sorry I scored that last touchdown. I didn’t consider it running up the score. Furthermore; Fairly was still upset at Rambo’s actions in the 1st quarter and took it out on anyone in his path. Lastly, We BEAT DAT AZZ!!! LOL!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

heyberto

November 13th, 2010
9:12 pm

Dirty? and Tommy Tiger, that’s a little hipocritical, don’t you think? You’re saying Fairley was playing clean? Please… You guys were clearly the better team, and I don’t see anyone above saying anything different. This mess could all have been avoided if the Refs were paying attention to Fairley, but they didn’t.

Roll Tide

November 13th, 2010
9:12 pm

Sad Auburn has to buy players to win. No worries you will still not play for a NC. You will vacate all wins after Sham is shown to be guilty.