After an outstanding road win against Kentucky, the Georgia Bulldogs finally return back to Sanford Stadium this week. Georgia has been on the road since the October 4th game against Vanderbilt. For the record, forty-two days is the longest period Georgia has been away from Athens since 2008.
Even with the prolonged stretch, Georgia will be riding high as they jumped to No.15 in the College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday. The Bulldogs will need to continue to fight through the few remaining weeks to climb the poll and ensure a solid bowl game birth.
To start their journey off down the home stretch, Georgia will face No. 9 ranked Auburn. This will be the 117th time Georgia and Auburn have faced each other. The titled “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” is currently led by Auburn with a 55-54-8 (Wins-Loss-Tie) record. Georgia can tie the series up with a win in Athens this Saturday.
Hutson Mason Leading up to Game Day
Hutson Mason will especially remember his friend, high school teammate and former Auburn Tight End, Phillip Lutzenkirchen, this week, as the meeting between Georgia and Auburn approaches. Lutzenkirchen passed away in a car accident June 30. Both Mason and Lutzenkirchen attend Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga.
Mason will need to be mentally prepared to combat against Nick Marshall. Mason is coming off of his best game throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions. Mason’s confidence is at an all time high and will be looking for a signature win to solidify his career at UGA.
Watch out for Nick Marshall
Auburn’s QB, Nick Marshall, was once a Bulldog and will be a crucial factor for Georgia to shutdown on Saturday. Marshall is a powerhouse, racking up 14 touchdowns and completing 61 percent of throws. Georgia’s defense will need to drive Marshall out of the pocket and his comfort zone all while watching out for his incredible ability to run the ball. Simply put, Georgia will have their hands full. Auburn has however, recently been unable to hold on to the football. Two costly fumbles against Texas A&M dropped Auburn into the two-loss category. Make no mistake, Georgia will be seeking revenge and trying to put Auburn into the three-loss category.
Todd Gurley Returns
Perhaps the biggest headline of this match up will be Todd Gurley. After a long four-game suspension, Georgia’s celebrated tailback will rejoin his Georgia squad. Todd Gurley will attempt to pick up exactly where he left off. Before the NCAA suspension, Gurley lead the SEC in rushing yard, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards per game and yards per carry. Gurley can run and he does it well. During Gurley’s absence, Nick Chubb and Isaiah McKenzie carried the weight, and Song Michel returned after an injury for the first time since Tennessee last week. Georgia will have a full arsenal to choose from in the back field. Gurley has yet to make a public apology to his teammates, although his Georgia teammates don’t seem to be holding no issue against him. Georgia went 3-1 during Gurley’s absences and If anything speaks for itself, it is that Gurley was honest about his fault and allowed himself to maintain his character among his peers and fans.
All bets are…Waffles?
Wagering on games is fun. Good game, strong competition and smack talking don’t gets much better—unless you add waffles. The Georgia Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers will fight not only for win and pride of their university but for their respected city to get free food. Free breakfast from the Waffle House will be gifted to the victor and $15,000 will be donated to the winning school’s general scholarship fun. Waffles and scholarship cash makes this upcoming match that much better. The same wager was a reward for the last season’s Alabama-Texas A&M game. Bragging rights and free waffles? Name a college student or football fan who wouldn’t want that deal.
Georgia will meet between the hedges against the Auburn Tigers Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7:15. The Dawgs are ready and this is going to be their year.
“Hunker Down One More Time” – Larry Munson