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No. 2 Georgia’s dominant defense takes on Nix, No. 18 Auburn

October 7, 2021 GMT
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) tries to run past Arkansas defensive backs Simeon Blair (15) and Joe Foucha (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) tries to run past Arkansas defensive backs Simeon Blair (15) and Joe Foucha (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) tries to run past Arkansas defensive backs Simeon Blair (15) and Joe Foucha (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

No. 2 Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC) at No. 18 Auburn (4-1, 1-0), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT (CBS).

Line: Georgia by 15 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Georgia leads 61-56-8 after winning 16 of the last 20 meetings.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Dominant so far, especially defensively, the Bulldogs want to stay on a clear path to the SEC championship game and College Football Playoffs. The Tigers are trying to build on a win at LSU and establish themselves as potential SEC West challengers under first-year coach Bryan Harsin.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn’s offensive line against Georgia’s stout defensive front led by Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt. The Tigers start four seniors on the line, including tackles Austin Troxell and Brodarious Hamm. The Bulldogs lead the nation in fewest yards and points allowed per game, giving up 4.6 points and 178.6 yards per game. The Tigers are 12th nationally in run offense, averaging 238.2 yards a game. But Georgia has the No. 4 run defense, giving up 68.6 yards per game on the ground.

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PLAYERS TO WATCH

Georgia: QB Stetson Bennett has filled in with JT Daniels out with a lat injury. Bennett, who is 6-2 as starter, made his first college start last year against Auburn. He went 17 of 28 for 240 yards with a touchdown.

Auburn: RBs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. The reigning SEC freshman of the year, Bigsby has run for 430 yards and four touchdowns. The freshman Hunter has 447 yards and three TDs, but is averaging a whopping 10.6 yards per carry. That duo will be key to taking pressure off QB Bo Nix.

FACTS & FIGURES

It’s only the second time since 1936 that Georgia and Auburn have met outside the month of November. Georgia won 27-6 in a Top 10 matchup last Oct. 3. ... The Bulldogs are allowing just 4.6 points per game, seven fewer than Iowa’s No. 2 scoring defense (11.6 ppg). Georgia’s defense has allowed just one touchdown, a South Carolina score in the fourth quarter of a 40-6 win. ... Auburn WR Demetris Robertson, a Georgia transfer, has 17 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. ... Georgia has a 17-12-2 edge in Auburn, while the Tigers are 18-16 in Athens. ... Auburn was set to unveil statues to former coaches Shug Jordan and Pat Dye and ex-player Dean Cliff Hare this weekend.

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