Georgia-Auburn: No longer a ‘friendly’ rivalry?

John Jenkins and the Georgia defense need to keep Auburn's running game in check. (University of Georgia)

John Jenkins and the Georgia defense need to keep Auburn's running game in check. (University of Georgia)

Vince Dooley, an Auburn grad who made UGA his home, likes to refer to the Georgia-Auburn rivalry as “feuding cousins,” but there’s always been a sizable contingent in the Bulldog Nation that thinks more like freshman running back Isaiah Crowell, who said this week, “I never liked Auburn. Point blank, I never liked them.”

After last year’s contentious game — what with Nick Fairley’s unpunished dirty play, Gene Chizik stirring it up on the sideline during the fracas at the end of the game and assistant coach Trooper Taylor and rent-a-quarterback Cam Newton strutting around like playground bullies — a lot of UGA fans no longer view it as a “friendly” rivalry.

Has Georgia-Auburn gotten uglier? Is it still feuding cousins or pure hate now? I put that question to fans following the Junkyard Blawg’s Facebook page and Twitter feed this week.

Darrell Huckaby said the rivalry “changed forever last year because of the dirty play of Nick Fairley and the thuggish sideline demeanor of Trooper Taylor. No longer a friendly rivalry between conference cousins.”

Dawn Garland dates the change further back than last year. “I can’t forget when Reggie Brown was knocked unconscious in a deliberate helmet to helmet collision in Auburn in 2004. There was no penalty flag thrown and that set the tone for the 2 teams for the last several years.”

Cory Organ rates it “pure hate” now and Jesse Murrah agrees, while Chip Kash says, “Most of us are just tired of Auburn being treated by the NCAA as if they are teflon coated.”

Kevin McCann worries that, “after the dirty plays last year, this one could get ugly.”

Let’s hope not. The only really “chippy” game so far for Georgia was Vandy, and the Dogs didn’t handle that well. Better to take the business-like approach that worked this year in Jacksonville than to get too amped up over how things went last year.

The Georgia fans who have the closest view of the rivalry are those who live over the border and must put up with the Barners and Bammers on a daily basis. One of them is my longtime friend John Sosebee, who lives in Anniston with his wife Lisa, who is of the War Eagle persuasion. Or Turkey Buzzard, as John puts it. I asked him what folks over there were saying about this week’s game.

Auburn fans, John reported, “are still busy cackling about the LSU win and Bama’s drop to #4 and how their faithfuls have been momentarily silenced for the first time this season.” But, he said, some Tiger fans have admitted to him that “Auburn’s fickle defense and lack of a leader at QB is gonna make them a much different opponent than they were last year with Cambo leading them on the field, blowing kisses at everybody.”

As for John, he’s “getting psyched up for this Saturday’s feast of Turkey Buzzard stew.”

When asked this week what I expect out of this game, I’ve said I think the double-digit spread favoring the Dogs is kind of ridiculous for a conference game between two ranked teams, but if Georgia doesn’t cough it up or commit a bunch of special teams gaffes, I think they should be able to handle Auburn.

Under Gus Malzahn, the highest-paid assistant in college athletics, the uptempo Auburn offense is always dangerous, and it will be important for the Dogs’ defense to contain power back Michael Dyer up the middle and speedster Onterio McCalebb on the outside in the running game, while keeping tight coverage on wide receiver Emory Blake and big tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (who killed us last year). Sophomore Clint Moseley only has a couple of games under his belt as the starter at quarterback, so it behooves Jarvis Jones and company to get in his face constantly from the start.

A good day for Aaron Murray probably means a win for Georgia. (Associated Press)

A good day for Aaron Murray probably means a win for Georgia. (Associated Press)

Offensively, the Dogs should be able to move the ball on an Auburn defense that ranks near the bottom of the conference in most categories. Getting Crowell and Malcolm Mitchell back is big, but I think how Georgia fares will come down to how Aaron Murray plays. If it’s a tight game, he should be the difference.

What’s your view of this year’s installment in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry?

BULLDOG BITES

Coach Dooley will be meeting fans, posing for pictures and autographing copies of his books from 3 to 4:30 Friday at the Red Zone, 155 E. Clayton St. in Athens. … Jake Scott, one of the most exciting Bulldogs players ever, will be honored on the field during Saturday’s game for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Scott becomes the 12th Georgia player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. … Athens’ Hotel Indigo is holding a 1980s era “Bulldog Legends” event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. before the game and for two hours right after the game Saturday in connection with the “1980 Dawgs” DVD set. Scott Woerner, who was at the Red Zone last week, will be on hand and organizers say some other 1980 players also might show up. There’s no admission charge and a cash bar will be open in the lobby area of the hotel. In addition, an exhibit of Georgia football photos by Wingate Downs is being held in the Indigo’s art gallery and runs through late December. … McFarlane Toys has announced its fourth series of college football action figures is due out in late June, and UGA’s Champ Bailey is in the lineup, along with Ricky Williams of Texas, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, Tim Tebow of Florida, Cam Newton of Auburn, Marcus Allen of USC and Peyton Manning of Tennessee. McFarlane released a cool Hines Ward figure a couple of years ago.

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847 comments Add your comment

ARdawg

November 11th, 2011
1:16 pm

N.o.v.a

Nice strawman. Please stay on topic and forget the Florida game. In case you didn’t hear the final score there Georgia won that game. Are you wearing a tinfoil hat now or what?

DawginLex

November 11th, 2011
1:16 pm

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
1:16 pm

Consider, no one cares what you think. Were you the team manager or something?

george

November 11th, 2011
1:16 pm

ardawg we have 5 wins over you too so what the hell is your point? can you really be that dumb

Got some firewood at Toomers!

November 11th, 2011
1:16 pm

Nova roars, how many games has GA given away against FL?
Don’t make an excuse for your loss as we won’t for past ones

T.

November 11th, 2011
1:17 pm

Gators gave that game to the delusional dawgs. Fumbling twice inside their own 20 was a Christmas gift of 14 UN-earned points by the Dawgs. Florida is a WAAAY better team than Georgia

Excuses,Excuses.Boo hoo hoo our little qb had a hurt ankle.

ARdawg

November 11th, 2011
1:17 pm

Hollywould

You have to win occasionally for it to be considered a rivalry, Nerd

Consider this...

November 11th, 2011
1:18 pm

You’re an idiot Nova. Teams can make mistakes on the football field, but the other team has to capitalize for the mistakes to matter. UGA earned the win over Florida because they did, in fact, cash in the mistakes for TDs. There’s a reason you always hear the phrase, “The team that makes the least mistakes will win.” Give me a break.

Yeah, Florida is the WAYYY better team. Look at the score and look at the win-loss records. Argue all you want about the scheduling, etc. The fact is that UGA beat Florida in the one opportunity both teams had THIS year of proving who was better. The fact that the Dawgs put the final nail in the coffin on Florida’s season just made it that much sweeter.

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
1:18 pm

lex, you are blogging too much fat _ _ _. Get out of the chair sometime. Eat a salad will ya?

Nova Roars

November 11th, 2011
1:19 pm

Firewood..Georgia hasn’t given ANY games away to Florida because they beat your AZZes every year. Does that answer your question?

It's not a Toomer!

November 11th, 2011
1:19 pm

Toomers Drugs is An Auburn meth lab…no wonder they gather there

george

November 11th, 2011
1:19 pm

joey get your facts straight. and by the way how many does uga have?

ARdawg

November 11th, 2011
1:19 pm

george

Are you really THAT dense? Really?

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
1:19 pm

Ardawg/ check the alltime record doofus

Consider this...

November 11th, 2011
1:21 pm

Hollywould, is this your 5th favorite screen name to use? Go back to your own articles/blogs. This part of the AJC sports site is for UGA fans. That is why I am on here. I think the more accurate statement would be that noone cares what you think.

T.

November 11th, 2011
1:21 pm

Are you wearing a tinfoil hat now or what?

Don’t give N.o.v.a. a hard time, he couldn’t hardly hear
his radio for all the burgers he was flippin while working at McDonalds while the game was on.

Wake up

November 11th, 2011
1:21 pm

Lets’ see Nova, an OT game 2 years ago….how many other close calls with a misplay here or there do you want to go over? not many azz beatings, juvenile

Nova Roars

November 11th, 2011
1:22 pm

Idiot. Oh my poor feelings. Tell me again about those ranked teams you’ve beaten? Boise, LSU, Bama, OK St, Stanford, etc, etc. And no. You did not earn those 14 points. A christmas present by any other name is still a christmas present. Poor Georgia. Can’t march down the field and do it the old-fashioned way. They had to get a little help from their opponent.

News | MrSEC.com

November 11th, 2011
1:22 pm

[...] The focus will be on the guards when the Gators open the hoops season tonight.4.  A lot of Georgia fans view Auburn with “pure hate” after some dirty hits and “thuggish” behavior in last year’s game.5.  UGA [...]

Consider this...

November 11th, 2011
1:23 pm

Get out of here Hollywould. There is no room for saying crap like that toward Lex. Argue your points about sports or shut up.

LagDawg

November 11th, 2011
1:23 pm

DL needs to take care of the game first. If they get clean hits on the QB and the RB, pick’em up and slam into the ground. McCalebb is an outside runner and the S or the CB is going to have to step up. The key is to play defense in Auburn’s backfield. OL must be a big factor. Murray needs time to throw and Crowell needs room to run. With a lot of crossing patterns to confuse that Auburn secondary will leave some WRs wide open. Murray must be accurate and stop overthrowing the receivers.

D Fence

November 11th, 2011
1:23 pm

Nova Roberts: And their are PLENTY of SEC fans who dislike you Aubs more than anyone else. I think its always been the inferiority complex you guys have with us and Bama. Second rate in your state and you arent UGA.

I would be worrying about your QB or lack thereof tomorrow once we start hitting him.

Smokewagon

November 11th, 2011
1:24 pm

Holly – Do you remember Auburn backing out of a game with FSU??? Remember that stunt??? Was supposed to be Bowden against Bowden but Tommy left and since FSU was so good at that time Auburn backed out. Yes, BACKED OUT of the game. Total embarassment to the entire SEC. I have absolutely no respect for them.

ole yeller

November 11th, 2011
1:24 pm

Call it what you will. It is what it is. There is no love for the Thugs from the plains. I know in my heart that there is a number of Auburn player that doesn’t reflect the actions of Cash Newton, and Dirty little Nick, and certain members of the coaching staff. My comments are not reflected at them.The rest of the thugs that follow the lead of some of the coaching staff to play dirty and hide behined the term ” great effort “. I was borned at nite but not last nite. I know the difference between “great effort” ‘ and a cheap, deliberate, dirty shot at a defenceless player. Say what you will, that is a reflection on your University, Program, Coaching Staff, and Players. The Head Coach at Auburn “GC” pull out all the stop last year to win a “NC”. I hope all this crap was worth it. It appears anything is fair in love and Auburn Football. I have taken grreat pleasure in watching the University of Auburn football team take several licking this year, and There are more to come.

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
1:25 pm

Consider this… All of the haters are gonna be late to make the donuts, so they’re rapid firing

Consider this...

November 11th, 2011
1:26 pm

Uh, Nova, noone is saying poor Georgia here…7-2 and leading the East. A win is a win is a win…just like a loss is a loss is a loss. The ranked teams argument is so dense. You play your schedule…period. And in the SEC, a 5-1 conference record is not too shabby.

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
1:26 pm

Consider, read the headline will ya? Sure would be boring if you never had anyone disagreeing. Maybe that is why you never played. Couldn’t stand pressure could you?

T.

November 11th, 2011
1:26 pm

Ardawg/ check the alltime record
Ya’ll only two games ahead of us,probably several of those
wins cause ya’ll cheated.Like last year with ole Scam.

Cuz

November 11th, 2011
1:27 pm

I am with Coach Dooley.

Let’s leave last year behind and take care of business on the field. We are two behind right now and I want one of them back.

Don't Tread on Me

November 11th, 2011
1:28 pm

1986 – MAN THE FIRE HOSES – F Auburn and the cow-pokers!!

c’mon Bill King, dig up the photo form that day in 86 that you ran of Jon Stein tearing a hunk outta the Auburn turf!!

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
1:28 pm

Ole yeller, stop you are hurting my feelings. War Eagle!!!

DawginLex

November 11th, 2011
1:28 pm

hollywould

I run all the time. I’m sure I could out run you at age 53.

I officiate 100 high school basketball games a year.

Personal attacks is all you have?

figures

T.

November 11th, 2011
1:30 pm

FSU was so good at that time Auburn backed out. Yes, BACKED OUT of the game.

Your right smokewagon,I live in South GA 35 miles from Doak Campbell Stadium and thats exactly what happened.
FSU fans everywhere talked about it.

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
1:30 pm

Enjoy watching UGA play for the SEC championship haters….Your teams gonna be playing with themselves at home like youself

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
1:31 pm

Lex, I was speaking of your juvenile link. I forget sarcasm does not work on these blogs.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 11th, 2011
1:32 pm

Funny………The DAWGS are always the Best Sportsman on the field of play. Always. Just the Miss St player how sweet and nice Ben Jones can be.

george

November 11th, 2011
1:32 pm

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh. If you dont want your qb to get hit learn how to block. If you dont want the best college qb in our generation to go to auburn than recruit him as a qb not a tight end. Do us all a favor and go shed your tears over lake lanier so we can fill the lake back up.

Nova Roars

November 11th, 2011
1:32 pm

Oh now THAT is intellecutal. Flipping burgers. I’ll teach you how to cook burgers after you’re done cleaning those men’s toilets like I told you to.

T.

November 11th, 2011
1:32 pm

c’mon Bill King, dig up the photo form that day in 86 that you ran of Jon Stein tearing a hunk outta the Auburn turf!!

I wonder how many times Auburn players and fans have tore a hunk out of the hedges at Sanford Stadium?

DawginLex

November 11th, 2011
1:33 pm

hollywould

How would I know the difference coming from you and BCS Chump?

You know how to put voice inflection and body language on a blog post?

Sven Ottke

November 11th, 2011
1:33 pm

Why no mention of 3/4’s of UGa’s squad coming onto the field? Or the cheap shots that UGa’s OL delivered to Fairley?

59bulldawg

November 11th, 2011
1:34 pm

So is Jake actually going to be in Athens to accept the honor? If so that’s pretty amazing!

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
1:35 pm

Haters are turning green

DawginLex

November 11th, 2011
1:35 pm

I’m out

I gotta go eat a salad and run 20 miles and do my weigh in

RxDawg

November 11th, 2011
1:36 pm

Awburn sucks. That is all.

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
1:37 pm

lex, How’s this for voice inflection.. ” To Hell with Georgia”

T.

November 11th, 2011
1:38 pm

Oh now THAT is intellecutal
You don’t have to be to flip burgers.As far as them toliets are concerned you can get them when you get through with the septic tank and grease trap there barner.

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
1:39 pm

It’s tough to hear all those haters down there at the bottom of the SEC hill, while we’re at the top! Just wave bye to them as they go back to their closets.

Joey

November 11th, 2011
1:43 pm

Yeah right, Lex. More like 18 holes on fresh-cut bermuda, with bentgrass greens?

watch out

November 11th, 2011
1:46 pm

Beware of Nittany Lions looking for “fresh meat”!