Sunday, November 17, 2013
What we learned: Week 12
By David Ching
ATHENS, Ga. -- Here are three things we learned in Georgia's 43-38 loss against Auburn on Saturday.
East's out of the picture: Among the many crushing aspects of Saturday's loss, one of the biggest is that Georgia (6-4, 4-3 SEC) is no longer in the running for the SEC East title. Even with a win against its oldest rival, Georgia needed a lot of help to win the division for a third straight season. But now it doesn't matter. Mark Richt's staff will have to motivate the Bulldogs over the final two games against Kentucky and Georgia Tech without the opportunity to discuss a rematch with Alabama in Atlanta or a potential BCS bowl game. The Bulldogs now must work to make the best-possible mid-level bowl game.
Auburn's happy to see Murray go: As vicious as Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray was in the previous two wins against Auburn, it looked like Saturday's might have been the most deflating for the Tigers. They were dominating the game in virtually every facet until Murray led Georgia to three straight touchdowns, taking a 38-37 lead with his touchdown scramble in the closing minutes. Auburn won with a miracle pass in the final minute, but Murray had a hand in four touchdowns and totaled 452 yards of offense on Saturday. He finishes his career with a 2-2 mark against Auburn.
It's just not their year: First, it was the series of injuries that took the oomph out of Georgia's offense at midseason, but this might have been just as big of a kick in the gut. Safeties Tray Matthews' and Josh Harvey-Clemons' inability to knock down Auburn's last-gasp pass resulted in the game-winning 73-yard touchdown. Fans from both sides will remember this play for years, as Georgia had rallied from a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit to take a one-point lead before the play. And yet somehow Ricardo Louis caught the deflected pass to keep Auburn's dream season alive. This felt like a season in which Georgia could have contended for a BCS title in September, but instead the Bulldogs have four losses with two games to go in the regular season.