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.

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Join us and “like” the Junkyard Blawg on Facebook.

And you can follow the Blawg on Twitter.

847 comments Add your comment

red hill

November 11th, 2011
4:25 pm

@Red Hill must. No mirror but I see you.

red hill

November 11th, 2011
4:27 pm

By the way, Bill, if you had any question as to whether this is a friendly rivalry it should have been answered by the responses. To all you Barners in Georgia, last I heard, none of the roads leading west were blocked. Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
4:27 pm

Our biggest advantage over Auburn in my opinion is the passing game. Murray is good and while he’s not great, he is more than capable of burning Auburn’s secondary, just as he did in last year’s game. Auburn’s best chance at winning is if they can get production off play-action passes. If Moseley has a good game, they very well may win. But I don’t think he’s good enough to have much success on Georgia’s solid secondary.

Athens Tattler

November 11th, 2011
4:27 pm

AJC Headline: Cops: UGA student from Atlanta busted for selling pot in dorm room

That explains…

1. Another reason why UGA was awarded the title “#1 Party School in the U.S.”

2. Where Crowell and the other athletes get their dope.

3. Why UGA is infamous as The Cesspool of the South.

Auburn

November 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

Roll Tide:

Hope you get a second chance at LSU, I will enjoy watching them shut you guys down twice in the same year and not only cost you the SEC championship but then beat you in the NC also.

Tiger Dad

November 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

ughmm, woof, woof….Now GET EM’ TIGERS

ARdawg

November 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

I did not see the AU/SC game. But I did see AU/Clemson, FL and I believe Missy St. There wasn’t much I saw that you AU fans could hang your hat on other than your running game. Dyer was impressive, McCaleb is not bad either. A decent OL but your defense appears mighty porous. Murray should have a good day passing.

Loxley Leilani

November 11th, 2011
4:29 pm

Auburn 27, UGA 24

A fine day for the War Eagle!

PurEvil

November 11th, 2011
4:31 pm

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
4:31 pm

Auburn, you guys didn’t even play that great against Georgia last season.Georgia was an average team last season and even at your precious Jordan-Hare, the game was close until the TD with 2 minutes left. It’s not like you dominated them. As for the LSU comment, I hate to say it, but they are a great team and probably would beat us again, with our kicking game. They beat us by 3, how much did they beat your pathetic team by?

ole yeller

November 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

I been off the blog for a while. I left work to come over to Athens. One last shot, UGA win, “IC” rushes for 100 +, Murray passes for 300 +, “TG” “D” holds clinic. I am here for the a– kicking. I just wanted to sign off, before I went to get a bite to eat. Talk to all you guys later on the blog..

Auburn

November 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

I am trying to remember but didn’t Murray throw 3 interceptions against Missy State, so maybe we get 14 points off of turn overs.

Scam Newton

November 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

Tigers can’t win it without me!! Muwahh muwahh! Blowin kisses at everyone!! One year of pro then Hollywood here I come with my beautiful teeth!

Dawgs 2010

November 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

Auburn’s offensive line is pretty sorry, what will happen when they go up against Jarvis Jones and Washington? I wouldn’t want to be Clint Moseley in that game!

TampaDawg

November 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

Auburn

November 11th, 2011
4:12 pm

and come Sat one is going to lose and one is going to win, but I will not slit my wrists or belittle a bunch of 18-22 year olds just because they did not meet my expectations of victory as occurs here and on other blogs when the outcome of a game does not go the way we want. We need to keep a little perspective here.
—————————
Auburn, we don’t agree on a lot of things football related, but the meaning in this post is outstanding. Thanks for speaking it. After all, it’s just a game. There are bigger things in life and the fact is, even if UGA wins, I am pretty sure I didn’t even get to put the helmet on for the game to help them. If they lose, another day is still coming after that. I will wake up Sunday and head to church with my family and keep on living in the day. The Penn State fiasco should teach us, that none of these guys, not the 18-22 year olds or even the coaches should be put on a pedestal. They are just part of a game. That’s all.

All that being said …

Go Dawgs

UGA wins 31-17

123mae-bea

November 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

Dawgs 2010

November 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

Murray played terrible against Miss State, but hasn’t had a game like that since.

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
4:37 pm

Auburn will get their fourth loss tomorrow and number five in the Bama game! RTR!

Auburn

November 11th, 2011
4:37 pm

well they beat you worse than they beat us said one loser to the other. I think I also remember an Ala game against Ga 31-0 at half and then you had to hold on for the victory and how bout that choke job ya’ll had against us last year. It happens to all teams. Ga up 28-12 against tech and lost 45-42.

Old Dawg

November 11th, 2011
4:37 pm

Auburn and Oklahoma have the most major probations of any D-1 teams, something none of their fans should be proud of.

As for tomorrow’s game, UGA should win. If they don’t make any mistakes, it should be off to the races!

Go Dawgs!

TampaDawg

November 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

Roll Tide, I am not going to lie, as good as Bama is, that had to be a painful way to lose the LSU game. Close games like that with two great teams have a tendency to come down to the kickers. I felt for the kid on the Bama side because you know he is hurtin. We have to keep in mind, he is still just a kid but it’s tough in these situations where that one game could be the difference between an at large bowl bid and the BCS title game.

Baddawg

November 11th, 2011
4:39 pm

I wish Murray would come out on the first play and smile then blow kisses to everyone!! Then John jenkins and Geathers will power drive Mosley multiple times into the Athens turf and rub their facemask in his chin!

ARdawg

November 11th, 2011
4:41 pm

TampaDawg

I don’t think Bama is going to make it unless, Arkansas or the East winner knocks LSU off in the interim. It was a good game and I’d love to see another one, just not for the NC

atlautiger

November 11th, 2011
4:42 pm

Maybe the problem is your still playing in the sandbox. Rent-a-quarterback and playground bullies…surely you can do better.

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
4:42 pm

Who cares about the Tech game from ‘08? That was our worst defense in decades and Tech has lost the last 2.

Tiger Dad

November 11th, 2011
4:43 pm

ya, dogs get scratched up by the Tigers!

DB

November 11th, 2011
4:44 pm

The definition of THUG is playing a rap song over the PA and the whole sidelines acting like dancing and acting like idiots…remember Soldja Boy? Classless and pathetic…that’s when the rivalry changed

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
4:44 pm

Yes, we lost, but your team wasn’t even competitive and got three points on LSU’s starting defense. We might have won had we had a good kicker, but they beat us and I’ve accepted that. At least we weren’t completely embarassed. Auburn’s defense sucks!

TampaDawg

November 11th, 2011
4:45 pm

If UGA can’t be in the title game, then I am pulling for whoever from the SEC makes it there (there better be someone from the SEC there), even if it’s ole Auburn or Florida. So if it came down to a game between Bama versus LSU for the title, I could go to bed knowing that the SEC will rule the roost once again and not care who wins.

Auburn

November 11th, 2011
4:46 pm

was not referring to the Tech game as a negative against GA per se, just using it as example in response to roll tide’s post.

TampaDawg

November 11th, 2011
4:46 pm

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
4:44 pm

Yes, we lost, but your team wasn’t even competitive and got three points on LSU’s starting defense. We might have won had we had a good kicker, but they beat us and I’ve accepted that. At least we weren’t completely embarassed. Auburn’s defense sucks!
———–
OUCH!!!!! On that note, Happy Vets Day to all the fellow vets out there.

LakeDawg

November 11th, 2011
4:46 pm

No need to get chippy. Its just a distraction. The best revenge is a win.

Auburn

November 11th, 2011
4:48 pm

3 points verses Ala 6, wow ya’lls offensive prowess was certainly on display. Now defense well that is a different story.

ARdawg

November 11th, 2011
4:49 pm

I don’t think anyone can beat LSU or Bama besides each other. Nothing great about the offenses except solid running games. Both defenses are the best I’ve ever seen in my 50 years. Both teams have the same depth, 3rd team players are as good as the 1st team. Hard to beat a team like that

laron

November 11th, 2011
4:49 pm

I appreciate Auburn. It is a safety school for Georgians who can’t get into UGA

Auburn

November 11th, 2011
4:53 pm

well got to go, my better half wants some attention. After thirty years of marriage I have learned one thing, if momma ain’t happy, no body is happy.

Here is to a good game, and no injuries.

Good luck to the dogs, but Auburn 30-Ga 27

Dawg Tired

November 11th, 2011
4:56 pm

Things must be mighty slow in gatorland.

ARdawg

November 11th, 2011
4:57 pm

Wishful thinking Auburn but, good luck to you and your team.

red hill

November 11th, 2011
5:07 pm

@Auburn- up yours tigger.

Thuga

November 11th, 2011
5:08 pm

An article out early this week looked at the most heated rivalries and personal fouls committed in these games. AU/Thuga was number one with thuga committing 59% of the personal fouls. Tired of hearing of thuga player arrests, arrest of thuga AD etc… Embarrasment of the SEC!

Vance

November 11th, 2011
5:08 pm

I cannot imagine how horrible it would be to live in Alabama…my sympathies to all UGA alumni who live there. It was a dirty game last year…it was an ugly ending. I would prefer we just play our game and win with execution.

as opposed

November 11th, 2011
5:12 pm

to the cesspool of the south

Thuga

November 11th, 2011
5:13 pm

Scooter, my cousin graduated from thuga and was not accepted at AU. Thuga is just another large state school with an inflated rating due to the hope scholarship. Certainly not on the level of GT. accept it.

Dormant since 1980

November 11th, 2011
5:18 pm

It’s no longer a friendly rivalry b/c of uga’s jerk fan base. They are well represented by the clown who wrote this article. I would hate to thin how the uga fans would be if their team actually won something.

PMC

November 11th, 2011
5:19 pm

Meh, every one of us would have wanted Nick Fairly on our team if it were reversed.

About 80% of the blame for last years game goes to the inability of the UGA offensive line to protect Aaron Murray. I blame the fool that’s out in Texas now. Searles may be the most hyped and least performing position coach in the history of the University System of Georgia

ARdawg

November 11th, 2011
5:19 pm

We like Auburn. Most of those players are from Georgia. It is unfortunate they didn’t get recruited to play for Georiga. Either wasn’t good enough, couldn’t make the grades or they got caught up in the Scam euphoria but, it is just as well. The world still needs Game Wardens and Hog farmers. Everybody can’t be business leaders, millionaires and sterling citizens. There is a reason why Alabama thinks you are all white trash and most of them valid :)

PMC

November 11th, 2011
5:21 pm

It’s classless to play a rap song over the PA? What are you racist? Where’s the old hanging tree?

Losers= Nova/SSI

November 11th, 2011
5:21 pm

Intersting to see Gator fans on this blog talking smack……hey boys, pull your jorts out of your crack and comb your mullett…the worm has turned and you boys know it..

As for Allbarn… it’s still friendly enough… the way to keep it friendly is for the Dawgs to win… we got plenty to play for, we are at home, everyone is healthy… no excuses… don’t bet against the Vegas guys

thug u! the crips of alabama.

November 11th, 2011
5:28 pm

fairley is going come kick that dog up and down the field then we will set the bushes on fire. win or lose. my fav moment in auburn history was when we hit that dude in the head back in 04? how about that 4 class???

oakwood dawg

November 11th, 2011
5:29 pm

don’t look for jake scott at the game tomorrow. as long as vince dooley is around jake won’t be there. jake hates dooley because vince promised the team(1968) the orange bowl, which the team wanted, and later backed out in favor of the sugar bowl. and thats probably the reason we lost the sugar bowl game. at any rate, lets GATA tomorrow.