Auburn Falls to Georgia in First Game of "Amen Corner"
Defensive Tackle Montravius Adams (Photo: Auburn Athletics)
The college football season has reached the middle of November. For Auburn, that means that they are entering a stretch where they face their biggest rivals, Georgia and Alabama, in a three-week span. It has been known historically as “Amen Corner.” Despite coming into the game with a five-game winning streak, Auburn could not get passed a tough Bulldog defense, and fell, 13-7 on Saturday at Sanford Stadium in Athens. The big question entering game week was the status of running back Kamryn Pettway. When it was confirmed on Saturday that he would not dress out, fans were thinking of how Coach Gus Malzahn would modify the running game in Pettway’s absence. The Tigers used six ball carriers in the first half, with half of them getting their first carry on their second drive of the game. Chandler Cox, Eli Stove, and Stanton Truitt would each get one carry on the drive, which ultimately ended when Kerryon Johnson scored from a yard away, to make the score 7-0 Auburn with 0:28 to play in the opening stanza. The drive, which covered 80 yards in 15 plays and took 6:02 off of the clock, was the longest drive this season by Auburn, that resulted in a touchdown. Neither team would score again in the half, but Auburn’s defense had a few key highlights in the half. On Georgia’s second possession, the Bulldogs ran a play out of the wildcat formation with Sophomore Terry Godwin taking the snap out of the shotgun. Godwin tossed a pass to the end zone, which landed in the hands of safety Tray Matthews for an interception. Also, defensive linemen Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams combined to sack Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason twice. The third quarter started with a bang…. for the Georgia defense. On the third play of the third quarter, White threw only his third interception of the season. However, linebacker Maurice Smith returned it 34 yards for a Georgia touchdown. Rodrigo Blankenship’s extra point was successful, and the Bulldogs tied the game at 7 in quick fashion. The interception would not be enough to swing momentum in Georgia’s direction, as the Dawgs were forced to punt on their first offensive possession of the second half. Both teams traded punts in the quarter, and the game would remain tied heading into the final quarter. The Bulldogs earned their first lead in the game at the 13:44 mark in the 4th quarter, when kicker Rodrigo Blankenship nailed a 45-yard field goal to move Georgia ahead, 10-7. The field goal capped off a 13 play, 50-yard drive. Blankenship attempted a 49-yard field goal with 10:21 remaining. However, the attempt fell short. He was able to redeem himself with 2:25 to go in the game when his 21-yard attempt was successful to put the Bulldogs ahead 13-7, which was the last points scored in the game. Auburn only managed to gain 32 yards of offense in the second half. In the game, Auburn gained 164 yards of total offense (127 rushing, 37 passing). Quarterback Sean White entered the game as one of the most efficient passers in the Southeastern Conference. On Saturday, he completed 6 of 20 passes, which is 30%. White threw 13 passes in the second half, for a total of 8 yards. Kerryon Johnson was Auburn’s leading rusher, he carried the ball 22 times for 99 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Tray Matthews had a great homecoming, as he led the team with 8 total tackles in his return to his old school. Auburn will try to put this loss behind them, and shift their focus to the final home game of the season next week. Auburn battles Alabama A&M next Saturday at 6:30 inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.