Georgia runs over Auburn 34-7 with strong run game, defense
ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 14 Georgia Bulldogs scored 34 unanswered points as it upset the ninth-ranked Auburn Tigers 34-7 on Saturday, Nov. 15 in front of a sold out crowd of 92,746 and a nationally-televised ESPN audience in Athens, Ga. The Bulldogs improve to 8-2 on the season that includes a 6-2 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Auburn falls to 7-3 overall and 4-3 in league action. The win marked highest ranked team Georgia has beaten since outlasting No. 6 LSU here last year 44-41.
The running back tandem of Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb carried the Georgia offense. Each runner went for over 100 yards marking the first time since 2012 that the Bulldogs have had two 100-yard rushers. Chubb led the team with 144 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while Gurley finished with 138 yards and one touchdown on 29 attempts. Along with his 144 yards, Chubb became the 12th Bulldogs in program history to rush for 1,000 yards. Hutson Mason was 10-for-19 for 123 yards and touchdown on the night. Chubb was hit top target, finishing with 48 receiving yards. Michael Bennett added 29 yards, while Malcolm Mitchell registered 13 yards and a touchdown.
Amarlo Herrera led the team defensively, finishing with 12 tackles, including two solo stops and one tackle for a loss and an interception. Damien Swann and Ramik Wilson finished with eight tackles each. Leonard Floyd had the lone sack of the night.
Auburn struck first, taking a 7-0 lead on a 10-play, 70-yard drive that took just over four minutes. Cameron Artis-Payne scored the touchdown on a 26-yard run.
A muffed punt and a fumble recovery by Lucas Redd breathed new life into the Georgia offense. Sitting at the 20-yard line, Gurley got the call on first down and rushed 11 yards. Three plays later, Mason found Mitchell at the goal line for a touchdown that tied the game at 7-7.
The Bulldogs took the lead on their first drive of the second half. Chubb was the star of the drive, racking up 51 of Georgia’s 83 yards. Facing 4th-and-1 at the Auburn 9-yard line, Georgia called a timeout and decided to go for it. The gamble paid off as Chubb carried it nine yards to the end zone for a touchdown that put the Bulldogs up 14-7.
Georgia was forced to punt on its next drive, but Auburn was flagged for roughing the kicker, which resulted in 15 yards and a first down for the Bulldogs. Georgia worked its way into Auburn territory but settled for a 32-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan that made it a 17-7 game.
Auburn got the ball back with 23 seconds left in the first half, but did not connect on the deep ball as time expired, allowing Georgia to enter the locker room with a 17-7 lead. The seven points was the fewest by Auburn this season.
The Bulldog defense shut down Auburn on its ensuing possession Georgia got the ball back near midfield and stuck to the ground on the drive. Chubb went over 1,000 yards on the drive, racking up 51 yards on five carries. Gurley finished off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run that put Georgia up 24-7 with 7:28 left in the third quarter.
Auburn turned the ball over on downs with 4:56 left in the third quarter after a Nick Marshall fourth-down pass to C.J. Uzomah fell incomplete. Georgia then put together a nine play, 46-yard drive that resulted in a 28-yard field goal by Morgan. A pass interference call and a 27-yard run by Chubb set up the field goal.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Auburn marched all the way down to the Georgia 15 yard line, but couldn’t get any further as Georgia’s defense had an answer for every play call. The Tigers went for it on 4th-and-13, but Herrera picked it off at the two-yard line, ending the chance for an Auburn score.
The Bulldogs kept the hammer down, driving 98 yards on 11 plays and taking up 6:34 on their next drive. Georgia methodically worked the clock and got the first downs when needed before Chubb rushed 11 yards up the middle for the touchdown, his second of the game, that extended Georgia’s lead to 34-7.
Auburn got another chance, but a fumble with just over two minutes left in the game was recovered by Davin Bellamy. Georgia then got the ball back and ran out the clock, sealing the 34-7 win.
Georgia continues its home stand next Saturday, Nov. 22 at noon when it welcomes Charleston Southern to Sanford Stadium. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
*Defense Shuts Down Auburn: Georgia held Auburn to a season‐low seven points (coming on its opening drive), and it was the fewest overall in game Coach Gus Malzahn’s two years at the helm. Only four teams, including Auburn, had scored at least 20 points in every game since the 2013 season. Coming into tonight, Auburn was third in the SEC and 13th nationally at 38.7 points per game. Senior ILB Amarlo Herrera led the defense with 12 tackles, 1 TFL and an interception. Meanwhile, Georgia’s offense came in leading the SEC and seventh nationally in scoring at 38.7 and tallied 34.
*Series History: With tonight’s 34‐7 victory over No. 9 Auburn, the Bulldogs (8‐2, 6‐2 SEC) even the Deep South’s oldest rivalry at 55‐55‐8 in this the 118th all‐time meeting. It’s the 17th time that the teams have had an equal amount of wins in the series. Tonight’s win was the highest ranked team Georgia has beaten since outlasting No. 6 LSU here last year 44‐41.
*Rushing Attack Thrives: Freshman TB Nick Chubb became the 12th Bulldog in school history to reach 1,000 yards rushing in a season with his performance on Saturday. Chubb finished with 144 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown, and hauled in two catches for 48 yards. Chubb became the first Bulldog to lead Georgia in rushing and receiving in the same game since junior TB Todd Gurley did it in the 2014 Gator Bowl. For the year, Chubb has 1,039 yards on 152 carries with nine TDs.
Chubb scored his eighth rushing touchdown on a 4th‐and‐1 situation from the Auburn 9‐yard
line at the 8:48 mark in the second quarter to put Georgia up 14‐7. The Bulldogs are now 8‐for‐10 on fourth down conversions this year. Georgia entered into the Red Zone six times and went 6‐for‐6 while Auburn was 0‐for‐1 inside the 20‐yard line.
Chubb is the first freshman to reach 1,000+ since Gurley in 2012 (1,385). Gurley returned to
action after missing four games and had 29 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown. This marks the first time two Bulldog backs have gone for more than 100 yards in the same game since Gurley (116) and Keith Marshall (105) did it versus Auburn in 2012. Gurley has 36 career rushing touchdowns, moving him to No. 2 in school history. He also now has 3,285 career yards and that is the secondmost rushing yards in UGA history.
*Long Distance TD Drive: Georgia used an 11‐play, 98‐yard touchdown drive to extend its
advantage to 34‐7 in the fourth quarter. It marked the longest TD drive by the Bulldogs since 2011 when it went 99 yards on eight plays at Ole Miss. For the game, Georgia finished 412 yards of offense including 289 rushing. Senior QB Hutson Mason was 10‐for‐19 for 123 yards and one TD.
*Points off Turnovers: Georgia scored 14 points off three turnovers. Junior SN Nathan Theus
grabbed the ball on an Auburn muffed punt on the Tiger 19. Four plays later, junior WR Malcolm
Mitchell caught a 7‐yard touchdown from senior QB Hutson Mason. This was Mitchell’s second
touchdown catch in as many games. In the fourth quarter, Herrera caught his third career
interception at the UGA 2‐yard line on a 4th‐and‐13 situation. Redshirt freshman Devin Bellamy
recovered a fumble forced by Malkolm Parrish with 2:01 left and the Bulldogs ran out the clock.
The Bulldogs have a +16 turnover margin. Georgia has scored 76 points off 22 turnovers,
while opponents have tallied six points off six Bulldog miscues.
*For Starters: Senior C David Andrews started his team‐leading 37th consecutive game. On
defense, the Bulldog with the longest starting streak is Herrera now at 25, and he’s got 40 career
*Today’s Captains: Seniors David Andrews (C), Chris Conley (WR), Mike Thornton (N), Kosta
Vavlas (ILB) served as the Bulldog captains.
*Up Next: Georgia (8‐2, 6‐2 SEC) plays host to Charleston Southern Saturday, Nov. 22 at Noon on the SEC Network.
Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt
Overall thoughts on the win…
“It was a great night. The fans were spectacular, the students were ready, the Dog Walk was everything we hoped for, the band was great, and it took everybody to have this kind of performance. We were hoping we could be energized by our fans and that we could energize our fans by our play, and that’s what happened. The crowd was primed for a great night. There’s just something electric about a home game under the lights in November. We made memories together. That’s about as much fun as I’ve had as coach at Georgia, and it’s because of our fans and the players involved.”
On Auburn’s first drive and the rest of its drives…
“On the first drive, they converted some third downs and we could not get off the field. It’s so hard to stop them when it’s third-and-3 or less. After that, we did a little bit better job on first down and some penalties got them in trouble and behind the yardage. On third-and-long, we could pin our ears back and get after them a little bit.”
On Georgia’s first possession of the game…
“We knew it was a long game and sometimes it doesn’t always go the way you want. We had the penalties on the kickoff return and the fake punt and you hate to have those calls. But the players knew we as a staff were going to be aggressive and they fed off that.”
On deciding not to kick a field goal and scoring a touchdown…
“I was really indecisive about what to do. I was going to kick it, but the play clock was winding down and we were about to get a delay, so I called the timeout. I asked Coach (Mike) Bobo if we went for it what play he liked. He explained the play and had faith in it, so I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ It turned out to be big for us. The guys loved it; they all wanted to go for it. If it doesn’t work, it’s a bad thing. But it was a good play and it was executed very well. We hammered it in and it showed we were serious about winning this game tonight.”
On Georgia’s running game…
“We feel like we can run the ball well. We have a great line and backs who are big, physical beasts. … Todd (Gurley) played fantastic. You could hear the way the crowd responded when his name was called with the starters. He played well and inspired his teammates. … (Nick) Chubb is a physical back who runs with determination. He has more ability to make people miss than you’d think and he has good vision. He’s a good back, a special back.”
QB Hutson Mason
On tonight’s game…
“Our mindset coming in was that we were going to have to score a lot of points to win. That’s just because it’s Auburn and with their offense they usually score a lot of points. For us to hold Auburn to just seven points, what a night for our defense.”
On this being a statement win…
“Absolutely. It was definitely a statement. There’s a difference between a win and sticking a knife in an opponent and we shut them down tonight.”
RB Nick Chubb
On tonight’s game…
“This was a big win. It’s a great rivalry game between Auburn and Georgia. This is my first experience and it feels great to get a big win.”
On the play of his offensive line…
“Those are some bad boys up front. They make running a lot easier for us. We couldn’t do it without them.”
ILB Amarlo Herrera
On containing Auburn’s offense…
“We just ran to the ball on every play. We practiced that way all week. We practiced with the mindset that we were going to get to the ball and we weren’t going to let them run on us.”
On this game building confidence…
“We always play with confidence. We don’t lack confidence on defense. This was a big win, though. It’s an SEC game and it put us back in the race for the SEC Championship.”
OLB Lorenzo Carter
On his playing time…
“It’s great. It’s really something with me, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins all out there at the same time. It’s pretty crazy really, but Coach Pruitt makes it work.”
On the gameplan of the defense going into the game…
“We emphasized keying in on them and running up field to set the edge. That’s what Coach Pruitt really put a big emphasis on this week in practice and we hunkered down and made plays.”