After a convincing 37-10 victory over Ole Miss, No. 5 Georgia (8-1, 6-1) has set its sights on the upcoming game against the Auburn Tigers (2-7, 0-6) this Saturday.
Coach Mark Richt has begun to look at Auburn’s quarterback Jonathan Wallace, who recorded his first start of the season on Saturday in the Tigers’ 42-7 win over New Mexico State.
“I did happen to see that game,” said Richt. “He didn’t throw the ball an awful lot during the game. They definitely had some play action pass type stuff for him. The reality of that game is they were able to turn it into a game where they could grind it out with their traditional runs. I don’t know if we got a really good feel for everything they want to do this week.”
While Richt is still determining what to expect from Wallace, he knows what the Dawgs face in Auburn running backs Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb.
“Mason is averaging 5.6 and McCalebb is averaging 6.1 yards per carry,” Richt said. “Together they have over 1,000 yards rushing at this point. They’re serious about running the football and they do a lot of it. They will be a big part of what we have to stop this week.”
Richt hasn’t watched tape of the Auburn defense yet, but he already has a sense of what he will be facing in defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and secondary coach Willie Martinez. VanGorder served as defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2001-04 and Martinez coached the Dawgs secondary from 2001-04 before moving into the roll of defensive coordinator in 2005, a position he held until 2009.
“I’ve not watched any game tape of Auburn yet,” said Richt. “By now, all we’ve really done is watch our own game from yesterday. I’m really curious about the new quarterback at Auburn, so I’ll watch the offense tape first.”
The Georgia-Auburn series, which is often referred to as the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, dates back to 1892. Auburn holds a very slim advantage in the series record with 54 wins to Georgia’s 53. However, Georgia holds a 14-10-2 record in Auburn and has won seven of the last 10 games, including last year’s 45-7 win in Athens.
Saturday’s game is set to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN2.