Observations: Georgia 42, Auburn 10
It was same song, another verse for Auburn football against powerhouse rival Georgia in Athens on Saturday afternoon — in more ways than one.
DB Keionte Scott (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
When Jarquez Hunter broke a tackle on a swing pass from Robby Ashford and raced down the sideline for a 62-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter on Georgia, it snapped some recent bad historical streaks for Auburn.
But it was ultimately a consolation prize.
Hunter’s touchdown gave Auburn double-digit points in the second half for the first time since a 38-23 win at Arkansas 51 weeks ago. Ashford became the first Auburn quarterback to throw a touchdown pass inside Sanford Stadium since Chris Todd 13 years ago. And it was Auburn’s first second-half touchdown in Athens in 15 years.
On Saturday, Auburn actually avoided a couple of major problem areas from the season so far. The Tigers actually outscored their opponents in the Middle Eight for the first time all year. They also didn’t lose the turnover battle, tying it 1-1 with the host Bulldogs.
Instead, this was a classic, old-fashioned blowout loss at Georgia, who has now won six straight in the series and eight straight in Athens. Georgia had 500 yards of offense — more than 200 on the ground and through the air — and scored 42 points. Auburn had 258 yards of offense and scored 10 points.
“We knew there was going to be ebbs and flows in this game,” Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin said. “We knew there was going to be momentum changes, and that we had to endure that while we were in this game. We talked about those things. It was just too much throughout the game. Some of the big plays they made in the second half, the score got out of hand at that point.”
Ashford completed just 34.2% of his passes, the lowest for an Auburn in a single game since a 49-0 loss to Alabama in a 2012 season that finished with a 3-9 record. Georgia rushed for 7.5 yards per carry, the most since Leonard Fournette and LSU torched the Tigers on the ground in 2015.
And Tank Bigsby had just 19 yards on 10 carries — his fewest yards in a game since his college debut in 2020, and the lowest yards per carry mark of his career.
Auburn had its positive moments on defense. It held Georgia scoreless in the first quarter, only allowed two scoring drives in the first half on short fields, and got a turnover that put the Auburn offense in the red zone early in the second half.
But the dam broke in the second half, as it usually does in games in which Auburn’s offense can’t put up much of a fight on offense. Georgia cruised to a comfortable 32-point win and continued its dominance of a historic series that Auburn actually led a decade ago.
Here are four big Observations, along with some Nerd Stats and the Quote of the Night, from Auburn’s latest lopsided loss to a championship-contending rival.
(Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
Auburn (literally) got beaten up at the line of scrimmage
Georgia’s defense only had zero sacks and two tackles for loss against Auburn on Saturday. But everyone who watched the game Saturday afternoon could easily say that the Bulldogs were big winners along the line of scrimmage.
Ashford had his fair share of misfired passes, yet it felt like he was under pressure on nearly every dropback. Auburn’s offensive line allowed free rushers time and time again, forcing Ashford to bail out and throw the ball away — even in gettable third-down situations.
On the ground, Bigsby was almost a complete non-factor for yet another game against a quality opponent. Hunter didn’t offer much more in the running department, going for 20 yards on five carries. The majority of Ashford’s rushing attempts were scrambles. According to Game On Paper, 44% of Auburn’s runs against Georgia were stopped for two yards or less.
To make things worse, Auburn had to shuffle its already banged-up offensive line twice. Right tackle Austin Troxell had to be replaced by Brenden Coffey, who had some major issues in pass protection. Right guard Alec Jackson — who also came under fire on several plays early — left the game and was replaced by Jalil Irvin. In the second half, Auburn averaged just 1.8 yards per carry.