UGA Football

Five at the half: Notes and thoughts at halftime of Georgia vs. Auburn

Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Telegraph

Here are five notes and thoughts at the half, with Auburn leading Georgia 16-7.

Johnson runs free

Georgia has been strong against the run all year long. That was not the case in the first half against Auburn. Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson continued to find lanes between the tackles time and again, en route to 76 rushing yards in the first two quarters.

If Johnson is able to keep churning out yards at a high clip, Georgia's defense will be on its heels. The Bulldogs aren't able to sell out against the run like they have against other teams this season. Jarrett Stidham possesses a deep threat ability to go with the strong running game. Therefore, Johnson is having quite a bit more success than most running backs have against Georgia.

The Bulldogs will need to get a grasp on Johnson and contain him from running free in the second half. How Georgia that out thanks to Auburn's balanced offensive attack? That's the good questsion.

Lack of passing

This was the worst part about Georgia's first half. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm completed his first three passes for 56 yards and the Bulldogs were able to get into the end zone. On the next two drives, Georgia called a grand total of two passes -- one incompletion and one sack.

The latter then became the theme. Georgia decided to lean too heavily on the run. The one downfield pass Georgia attempted was to Riley Ridley, which was a tad off target with Ridley dropping (Ridley still should have caught it but probably wouldn't have kept his balance. If it's an on-the-money throw it's a touchdown.)

But Georgia seemed stubborn against Auburn's seven-man front, which isn't like the other fronts the Bulldogs have seen this year. The Bulldogs needed Fromm to open up the passing attack to set up the run. Perhaps that's Georgia's game-plan in the second half now that it is down.

Bend but don't break

It could be worse.

Auburn had two trips to the red zone in the first half end in field goals. Consider those wins for Georgia.

On each of the drive, Auburn was able to move the ball between the 20s until stumbling late. On the first drive, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey (and perhaps Stidham on a RPO) forgot about Johnson and went with two passes. On the next trip, Georgia was able to finally corral Johnson twice and force an incompletion.

This game very well could be 24-7 at the moment instead of 16-7.

Undisciplined Bulldogs

Auburn's lone touchdown of the first wouldn't have happened if not for a special teams penalty on a punt. Instead, Stidham was able to hit Darius Slayton for a deep touchdown a few plays later.

In total, Georgia recorded five penalties for 55 yards. This was the least disciplined Georgia has been since the Notre Dame game.

Chubb moves past Jackson

With 24 rushing yards in the first half, Georgia running back Nick Chubb moved up to fourth place in SEC all-time leading rushing.

In doing so, Chubb passed former Auburn running back Bo Jackson, who ran for a total of 4,303 yards on The Plains. Chubb's 24 yards came on only nine carries, which is not characteristic of his season. Again, for Chubb and the running game to get going, Georgia will have to pass the ball to open that aspect up on offense.