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11.14.2009

Your Official HABOTN Breakdown

Hey everyone. Greetings from north Georgia, where the sun in shining and I'm now sufficiently rested.

I arrived at Le Hotel de Georgia around 4 a.m. after driving over from Auburn High's win against Wetumpka last night. Getting into Athens often is difficult. It wasn't difficult this morning.

I saw where all three ESPN Gameday analysts -- Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard -- picked Auburn to win today. I'm a little surprised with that.

I feel the same way.


AUBURN at GEORGIA
When: 6 p.m. CST today
Where: Samford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
Line: Georgia by 4
On the air: TV – ESPN2. Radio — WLWI-FM 92.3, WMSP-AM 740


FOUR-DOWN TERRITORY

1. Auburn's offense was good against Ole Miss and seemed as sharp as possible in the easy win against Furman last week. It's still reasonable to have doubts about the consistency of Gus Malzahn's offense, which essentially blacked out in games against Kentucky and LSU. Things again seem swell and there are no statistical trends foreshadowing problems, but can Auburn keep it going in Athens? Georgia's defense has been well short of awesome this season, so the Tigers seem to be heading into a favorable situation this weekend. Still, memories of Baton Rouge don't die easily.


2. The defensive depth chart still looks like the Bonneville Salt Flats beyond the first team. Ted Roof played the second- and third-team guys against Furman last weekend and they were abused repeatedly. Does that matter? Maybe not. The season-ending injury to Zac Etheridge aside, Auburn has been pretty lucky with defensive injuries this season. Most of those defensive starters received something of a day off against Furman. Extra rest could make the Tigers more effective than usual today. Remember, though, that any additional injury at defensive back or linebacker will be a terminal development.

3. Georgia wideout A.J. Green missed Georgia's win against Tennessee Tech last weekend with a bruised lung. His prognosis is unclear. He'll play tonight, but will he be A.J. Green? His availability makes a world of difference for the Bulldogs, who rely on him to force the defense away from a run-stopping mentality. Without that threat, Georgia is an ordinary offense with an ordinary rushing attack. Auburn's defenders would feel good about defending a Green-less enterprise. If the star wideout is in the game, though, things could change in a hurry.

4. It's no secret that Auburn-Georgia games are emotional, but this one seems to have more subplots than usual. The Bulldogs, currently 5-4, appear on the verge of implosion. Fans are restless. Auburn, meanwhile, is on the verge of regaining its national relevance. The team appears to have settled after 10 months of major changes and seems fully rehabilitated after a disappointing 2008 season. If the Tigers want to take that next step, they need to win tonight. That would ensure their invitation into in a high-profile bowl and provide concrete evidence that coach Gene Chizik is making substantial progress.


KEY MATCHUP

Georgia WR A.J. Green vs. Auburn S Demond Washington

Washington may not escape this section until next season. Why would he? The junior is a classically trained cornerback with cornerback skills and, at 5-foot-8, cornerback size. An injury to Zac Etheridge has forced Auburn to move Washington to safety, where he is hoping to simply survive. He was good against Furman last weekend, exhibiting plenty of closing speed. Will he be able to enforce similarly against an SEC franchise player like A.J. Green? You'd better believe Georgia considers Washington a weakness -- and those coaches have developed plays to exploit him this weekend. Will he be up to the challenge?

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Darvin Adams
WR, 6-3, 185, Soph.
Adams has been the biggest surprise of the season for Auburn, which hasn't exactly been a clearinghouse for receiver talent of late. Adams is sly. He thinks along with the defense and his quarterback, which gives him a significant intellectual advantage on the field. Adams also has unusual jumping ability -- he is able to challenge even the tallest defensive backs for high passes. The sophomore is a perfect fit for Gus Malzahn's offense and that won't be changing.


BY THE NUMBERS

9 -- Touchdown catches for Darvin Adams, which leads the Southeastern Conference.

12.5 -- Tackles for loss registered this season by Antonio Coleman, which leads the SEC.

24 -- Number of Auburn touchdown drives that have required less than two minutes of work.

49
-- Aggregate point differential of the 112 games Auburn and Georgia have played. The Bulldogs are ahead.

93.9 -- Auburn's offensive red-zone percentage, which ranks 13th in the NCAA.

450.3 -- Average number of yards gained by the Tigers this season.


PREDICTION

I can't believe I'm making this pick. Georgia is deceptive in the sense that three of its four losses were to top-10 teams. That 5-4 record is unsightly to say the least. Auburn has a chance to exploit the Bulldogs today because the home team's defense lacks the show-stopping talent of yesteryear. The difference is obvious: Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee each scored at least 41 points on Georgia earlier this season. Auburn's offense, on a good day, is outstanding. The Tigers will score points. If star wideout A.J. Green isn't himself today, Auburn's defense could gain the upper hand. Without a healthy Green, Georgia's attack appears ordinary and provides an inoffensive matchup for the Tigers.

Auburn 35, Georgia 24

74 Comments:

Blogger cincytiger said...

I love it!

11:17 AM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Ok, I've read the whole post and still no one is here? Where is everyone?

11:23 AM  
Blogger Dear Leader said...

slowwww subustance

11:25 AM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

I'm here for you, Jay.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

We're in the in-between time ... everyone's awake, everyone's doing what they've gotta do before kickoff.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I have an Applebee's right outside the hotel here, but I'm not sure I want to eat there.

SCOTTIE needs to bring me Varsity fewd.

11:29 AM  
Blogger D. Miller said...

I would love for AU to erase that 49 point aggregate deficit tonight. Take it out in one fell swoop!

I don't know what Vegas says is the line, or the O/U... and I'm too lazy to look it up.

I'll set my line at AU -4... and set my O/U at 64.

For the record, I will take AU to cover and a push on the O/U.

What say ye?

11:31 AM  
Blogger auforme said...

Lovin' it! War Eagle!

11:32 AM  
Blogger auforme said...

I think AU will win tonight. Trust me, I've been wrong before when it comes to Auburn. My hubbie is a UGA grad. It's a long day around here on this game day.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Jay do you know if SEC Network will post the Auburn BB game from Last night, I would love to see the last 2 min.
Or if you know of any video online Highlight/or game.

thanks

11:36 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I don't think that Niagara game will be televised anywhere.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

It wasn't televised last night, so there wouldn't be a tape to show ... aside from coaches' tape.

11:37 AM  
Blogger AU1N04 said...

Ok, I am ready today. Just came back from eating an awesome Maryland Crabcake, and just saw McCluster score against UT, again.

11:50 AM  
Blogger AU1N04 said...

Ooops. Now I am ready. Forgot to flip the pic.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Dear Leader said...

Jay... we seem to be doing well getting O talent to commit... any rumors on some large D linemen???

11:53 AM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

I like it Jay G. I hope you are right.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Frame said...

another saturday in the library.

prediction: 36-33 good guys.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Frame said...

Jay, there are too many good restaurants in Athens to eat at Applebee's. Go in town and get a burger at Clocked.

12:19 PM  
Blogger D. Miller said...

DL... tonight's game will go a long way towards a couple of big uglies!

Jeff Whitaker is a very good possibility... 6'3" 295# 4* out of Warner Robbins, GA. He is a US Army All-American
Another big guy high on AU is Mike Thornton... 6'2" 280# 4* out of Stone Mtn, GA

12:26 PM  
Blogger Jet Says Burn Bulldogs! said...

Go kick the Dogs!

12:50 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

Auburn dominates Georgia and the dawg kennel cries for Richt's head. With a loss to Auburn and then Georgia Tech, things could get very interesting.

12:54 PM  
Blogger D. Miller said...

I wonder if that happens and Richt is ousted... would any of their current commits defect? I'd love to see us go hard after DB's Alec Ogletree, Jakar Hamilton and DL Garrison Smith, WR Da'Rick Rogers would be nice too...

1:01 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

I don't consider it likely Richt would be out, but the talk could get very loud. Another season like this one would probably mean he is going, but one bad season shouldn't cost a coach like him to get canned.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Frame said...

There's no way Richt is out, even if they lose to Auburn and GT.

He's never had to fire assistants before. They'll give him that option first.

1:14 PM  
Blogger D. Miller said...

I would think so too... but if he refuses to change assistants?

1:16 PM  
Blogger AU1N04 said...

The D coordinator has got to go. I am sure of it.

1:21 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

I don't think Richt will refuse to fire Martinez this year.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

War eagle hottie nation!!!!! Great pre game stuff as always....everyone inclined to do so start getting your drink on and let's beat those dawgs!!!!!

1:25 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Richt may not be out this year but has anyone done less with so much talent over that period of time?

1:28 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

Fulmer gets my vote Kris, or possibly Orgeron. Of course both of them both are gone already.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Frame said...

They've won two SEC titles under Richt, and gone to the SEC championship game a couple more times. I'd say those are good results. The only reason why it seems like they underachieve is because the Georgia fans are always barking in your ears about how they're going to win national championships.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

DL: They have a pair of really good DLs, Carter and Delanie, committed. I think Thigpen will keep working on Mike Thornton from Stone Mountain.

1:38 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...

10 Slabs of Ribs

Potato Salad

BBQ Beans

Banana Pudding

Lotsa Bourbon

It's on Dawgs.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Richt is a good coach and great recruiter...I think his problem is that he is loyal to a fault. He has always played guys that waited their turn, even if they are not quite the best player on the roster at that position. Mike Bobo excelled as a o-coordinator with Mareno, Stafford and ilk on the field. Outside of AJ Green, they really don't have any playmakers (anyone besides me remember being crushed when Caleb King choose GA?). While losing that type of talent can be used as an excuse, one need only to point to Auburn's post- Cambell/Carnell/Brown team to shoot that down. After they left Auburn went on to enjoy a nine win season (should have been 10, but we gave away a win to LSU).

1:49 PM  
Blogger D. Miller said...

McCluster for Heisman!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

I think Mccluster can blame Nutt for not being in the Heisman conversation. He only touched the ball more than 10 times in two games in the first half of the season. And one of those he had 115 yards and 2 TD's. He has had 200 plus yards in the past 3 games now.

1:55 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Mmmmmm, FSJ, that sounds wonderful. Except can I have a glass of wine rather than the bourbon? No tailgate here - I had Froot Loops for lunch :)

2:03 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

Tennessee's kicker is still kicking them at waist level.

2:03 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

Fulmer certainly did less with more. Orgeron was on the verge of having the talent. Ole Miss wasn't patient enough, although I still don't think he was great as a head coach. Richt has done very well at Georgia, but with their talent there is no way they should be looking at a possible 500 season. With their talent, they needed to win some of those big games.

2:04 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

As for UT's kicker, I would have to move to plan B. I would tell our kicker that he is allowed to have one kick all season blocked by someone's stomach. One the second one, you are on the bench. There is no excuse for that.

2:06 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...

Wine is just fine cincy...

Whatever mojo UT had coming into this game is toast now.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

Just a random thought but, is there any head coach who is still successful after being very successful in the 90's? Spurrier, Bowden, Fulmer, Carr have all been largely unsuccessful this decade.
We say Bowden is too old and Spurrier just doesn't have the fire. But I think the game has just changed.

2:17 PM  
Blogger AU1N04 said...

Joe Paterno

2:28 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...

The only HC I can think of that is still successful now after being successful in the '90s, was also successful in the '80s. . .and the '70s.

And had a couple of undefeated seasons in the '60s, as well.

2:30 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...

In a vain attempt at sounding clever, AUN104 answered the question before I could, and in only 11 letters (and a space).

2:31 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...

That is, my answer was a vain attempt at being clever.

AU1N04 just cut to the chase.

2:32 PM  
Blogger AU1N04 said...

Being in sales has taught me to cut through the BS and just say it like it is.

But I am glad we are on the same page.

2:33 PM  
Blogger AU1N04 said...

UT got spanked.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

Yeah Paterno is still successful, but he just seems out of it whenever you see him, I have to think Galen Hall or Tom Bradley is running the show there. Especially since Penn state turned it around after Hall came in.

2:37 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...

With a win over a mediocre Michigan State team next week, 2009 will become Joe Paterno's 21st season of 10+ wins.

Here are the other 20:

2008
2005
1999
1996
1994
1993
1991
1986
1985
1982
1981
1980
1978
1977
1974
1973
1972
1971
1969
1968

That's impressive.

2:39 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

Repeat after me. Penn State never wins big. Penn State never wins big. Penn State never wins big.... When will I learn?

2:40 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

Somehow I think Kiffikin will always be and almost coach at UT. The hillbillies will get rid of him before he is successful.

2:42 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...

Here's an interesting factoid: if Iowa State and Kansas both manage to win at home today (vs Colorado and Nebraska, respectively), then all 6 teams in the Big12 North will still be in the running for the divisional title.

2:51 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

I see where South Carolina apparently didn't feel their uniforms had enough ugly.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

At least there is a reason for USC's Ugly, can't say the same for the case of the uglies UGA and UT have had the this season.

3:01 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

Yea, they are doing something nice for the troops. They really need to work on that uniform design, though.

3:02 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

College football has definitely changed over the last 4 or 5 years. I remember when we hired Franklin that some of the Bambi's were telling me that the spread is a high school offense and a fad. Things certainly have changed and I attribute a lot of it to Mike Leach.

3:07 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

The words in place of the names on the SC jerseys are a nice touch.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Jet Says Burn Bulldogs! said...

Impressive drive by Sakerlina.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

"Three Tennessee players were arrested for armed robbery, but after video replay, the SEC officials decided to instead charge two players from Arkansas and one from LSU."

3:36 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

Bad news for me.....My tickets fell thru.... I will be watching the game from La Casa da LT.....

3:53 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

I do think we will seem a continued improvement in our defense. It started against Ole Miss. We are at the point in the season where depth concerns aren't as pressing. When you are at amen corner, you pull out all the stops. There is no later in the season thinking. Plus, we got an open date next week before the Iron Bowl.

3:55 PM  
Blogger auforme said...

Going to get the low country boil on. Hoping to enjoy every minute of tonight.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Jet Says Burn Bulldogs! said...

I'm watching in a hotel room in suburban Indianapolis.

3:56 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

It's ok, LT, the HABOTN will keep you company.

3:56 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

Jay, keep an eye on FAH during warm ups. I am expecting him to play.

3:57 PM  
Blogger D. Miller said...

Great episode of AU Everyday this week!

3:58 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

"watching in a hotel room in suburban Indianapolis"

Wasn't that a number one hit for George Jones back in the 50s?

3:58 PM  
Blogger auforme said...

Yes- DMiller, it was great! Love the part where Zac played the prank on Chizik. Shows the love.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

Shannon may be the worst coach in the country when it comes to clock management.

4:03 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

"You're angle of miss"?

Okay, someone give the color guy the hook.

4:04 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...

§FC, I hope you're right about the defense improving.

This will be the game to find that out.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

I'll be here WRK - the beer is cold and the bathroom close....

Still Jones'in about what could have been...

4:13 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Pre-game thread is UPZ.

4:14 PM  

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