The 4-0 Georgia Bulldogs have won two straight games on the road at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Dawgs are looking to make it a third straight road win at Auburn on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Georgia faces a 3-1 Auburn team that is coming off a loss to Texas A&M.
Auburn is still looking to build its identity in the Hugh Freeze era. The Tigers are +14.5 point underdogs at home against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Taylor Jones of Auburn Wire helps us analyze the latest edition of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Georgia and Auburn are two programs that will always be tied together. It is hard for Georgia to have a good season without beating Auburn and vice versa.
Let’s take a look at this week’s edition of Behind Enemy Lines with Taylor Jones of Auburn Wire:
Tigers looking to bounce back from SEC road loss
Auburn is coming off a 27-10 defeat on the road at Texas A&M. What are your top takeaways from the loss?
The quarterback situation is a little more murkier than we thought. The week prior, Payton Thorne passed for 282 yards and rushed for 123 more. Although against Samford, I felt that he had finally found his groove as a quarterback in this system, but that appeared to not be the case. The defense looked strong at times, but there are holes there as well. The team is in clear rebuild mode, and patience from the Auburn fan base is a must for the rest of the season.
How do Auburn feels after UGA won two straight titles
What do Auburn fans think about Georgia winning back-to-back national championships and potentially replacing Alabama as the team to beat in the SEC?
It’s honestly brutal. We find ourselves asking “why not us?” more times than we care to admit. Hugh Freeze’s recruiting track record so far is promising, so we know that Auburn will eventually be an SEC contender once again. Patience among the fanbase is needed, of course, as we wish to speed up the process, but it needs to play itself out.
It makes sense for Auburn media to be preaching patience after as the Tigers are already on their second head coach following the Gus Malzahn era.
Early thoughts on Hugh Freeze
We are four games into the Hugh Freeze era. How do Auburn fans view Freeze and the future of the program?
Things are a little shaky following the loss to Texas A&M, but that is to be expected. However, it is refreshing to see accountability from the head coach. If things are going well, he tells you. If things aren’t going well, he will tell you. There’s no guesswork from Hugh Freeze as far as his general opinion of the program, which is something that Auburn fans have not had the luxury of experiencing in several tenures.
Looking on the positive side
What are the top reasons to have optimism for this Auburn team?
There are plenty of solid players on the defensive side of the football. We have watched Jaylin Simpson’s NFL stock rise overnight, and Eugene Asante has had a breakout season to this point. Offensively, Auburn has plenty to figure out. But there’s a myriad of reasons to be excited about Auburn’s defense.
Auburn’s passing struggles
Auburn has not had a 100-yard passer against an SEC opponent since the Oct. 29, 2022 game against Arkansas. What is going on with the Tigers’ struggling passing game?
An injury to TJ Finley forced Auburn to go with Robby Ashford to complete the season after week three. Ashford is known more for his wheels than his arm, which sparked interest in bringing in Payton Thorne. Thorne hasn’t found his groove yet, either. Hugh Freeze has said that third-stringer Holden Geriner has the quickest release, but lacks experience. It’s truly about putting the right guy in the right spot… but the plan is still in experiment mode.
Future of the rivalry
What are your thoughts on the future of the Auburn-Georgia rivalry with SEC expansion? The rivals are scheduled to play each other in 2024 but are no longer permanent opponents under the new schedule format.
I like doing away with divisions, as long as the SEC does it right. I like the idea of Auburn getting more games with Florida and Tennessee, but I would like to have Georgia appear on the schedule as much as possible.
What is your prediction for the Georgia-Auburn game?
Auburn’s offense is still looking for an identity, so I don’t expect them to compete for long. There’s always a change for Jordan-Hare magic, but I’m not sure how much it’ll help.
Georgia wins 38-10.
What did UGA Wire have to say about the Georgia-Auburn game?
James Morgan of UGA Wire went into depth on how the Bulldogs are looking ahead of the Auburn game in another version of Behind Enemy Lines that published on Auburn Wire.
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