Georgia Beats Auburn 45-20 Between the Hedges

Auburn couldn’t handle the blackout. Midway through the third quarter they actually took the lead (their first of the game) but it only lasted two minutes and Georgia never looked back.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt is transforming right before our eyes. He’s always been known as an excellent offensive mind but letting the kids do things such as the celebration during the cocktail party vs. Florida or the blackout today may put him over the top as one of the top coaches in the SEC.

The Georgia players had asked Richt to allow them to wear black uniforms earlier in the week and the players responded by playing well in their new duds. Every fan in Sanford Stadium cheering on the Bulldogs was wearing black to create a blackout effect and similar to Penn State’s whiteout, it was an amazing sight. To say that the visual was the reason Auburn lost the game isn’t rational but it certainly gave Georgia the emotional lift it needed.

Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox threw the game away with multiple interceptions. Cox doesn’t have the arm of his counterpart in today’s game Matt Stafford. Stafford threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns while showing his NFL arm strength and ability to make plays out of the pocket, which impressed me the most.

Stafford has really begun to progress as a leader and may be second to none in throwing the deep ball. Wide receiver Sean Bailey can attest to that as he caught four balls for 96 yards, mostly getting behind Auburn defensive backs who got caught looking into the backfield.

None of this would’ve been possible without Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno who showed his toughness and gave plenty of reasons to compare him to former Auburn runner Carnell Williams. Moreno is incredibly shifty and made a fast defense in Auburn look slow on his way to 101 yards and two touchdowns.

The game remained close until early in the second half because of numerous Georgia penalties, a number of them on borderline calls, as well as three and outs and pooch kickoffs that gave Auburn excellent field position.

Stafford’s inexperience reared it’s ugly head on the first possession of the second half throwing the ball right to Auburn corner Jerraud Powers who baited the throw playing underneath in the cover two. The young Texan quarterback rebounded getting back to the deep ball with Moreno sucking the Auburn front seven towards the line of scrimmage.

Auburn showed a knack for running the football with both Brad Lester and Ben Tate who could eventually form the type of dynamic duo Williams and Ronnie Brown did for the Tigers several years ago. Fullback Mario Fannin also showed his athletic ability turning a short pass into a touchdown.

They couldn’t make up for the turnovers, however, as quarterback play was the difference.

Stafford gave credence to his future as an NFL pivot with an audible to a fade route near the goal line that gave Bailey one of his touchdown catches.

Cox, on the other hand, only made Auburn fans wish future star Kodi Burns was ready to play right now.

Georgia rolled to the victory another step closer to a BCS bowl game but with Tennessee’s win today they remain second place in the SEC east division.

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