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Georgia Looking for More Against Auburn

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Dating back to 2002, Georgia has had a significant upper-hand over Auburn in the series.

They are the team with the greatest turnaround of anybody from last year to this year.
~Mark Richt

The Georgia-Auburn series, the deep south's oldest rivalry, is one that has been remarkably competitive since its start way back in 1892. To date, the overall record split stands at 54-54-8. Though the Bulldogs have more heated annual tilts with Florida and Georgia Tech and the Tigers constantly tussle with Alabama, Georgia-Auburn is a rivalry with staggering history and tradition. The Bulldogs have spent the better part of the last decade reshaping the series.

Georgia has won six of the last seven meetings between the schools, the last two games by a combined score of 83-7. Last season's 38-0 UGA victory was just the second shutout ever in the rivalry at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Bulldogs scored touchdowns on each of their first four drives and all but one of their first seven possessions resulted in points. Quarterback Aaron Murray finished 18-of-24 passing for 208 yards and three scores. Running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combined for 221 yards on just 19 carries.

"It was awesome," Murray acknowledged. "We looked up midway through the third quarter and I was like, 'Man, we've got more fans here than they do right now'."

In the trenches, the last two years, these teams have not been close. Georgia outrushed Auburn 593 yards to 108 in the 2011 and 2012 contests. The Bulldogs had multiple 100-yard rushers in both of those games. Though UGA expects considerable production from tailback Todd Gurley, this year may be quite different. The Tigers lead all of BCS football with 320 yards rushing per game. Auburn is 9-1 and ranked 7th in the polls.

"They are the team with the greatest turnaround of anybody from last year to this year. It's super impressive what Coach Malzahn has done. Everywhere he has gone he's won. If you look at his track record it's amazing, especially as a head coach and what his teams have done. He's turned it around very quickly - quicker than maybe I would hope - but you have to give him credit. They are doing a great job," Mark Richt explained.

The Tigers, led by Georgia-native and former Bulldog Nick Marshall at quarterback, are hosting this game for the second consecutive season.

Dating back to 2002, Georgia has had a significant upper-hand in the series. The Bulldogs have lost just three times to Auburn in that span: two of those losses came to undefeated Tiger teams, the other loss came by one point. Georgia has not won seven out of eight in this series since 1945-1952. With a win this weekend, the Bulldogs can match that streak.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports