Key takeaways from the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry

Jordan Hare Stadium
Jordan Hare Stadium(Auburn University Athletics)
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 7:36 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 7:41 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - A week after Auburn lost to Texas A&M, the Tigers welcomed in No. 1 Georgia for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. The game was a back-and-forth battle, but the Bulldogs took away the win 27-20 in Jordan-Hare. Here are three takeaways from the matchup.

Auburn’s defense continues to create opportunity for the offense : Jaylin Simpson was all over the field during the first half. He grabbed an interception late in the first quarter, which led to an offensive touchdown. Meanwhile, on the first play of the second half, Marcus Harris forces a fumble and Jalen McLeod picks it up. This sets up the Tigers on Georgia’s 32-yard line, and Robby Ashford runs in for the score. Overall, the defense continues to outshine the offense.

The Carson Beck-Brock Bowers duo is dangerous: In two consecutive games, Brock Bowers had over 100 yards. He had nine receptions for 121 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown against UAB. Despite the fumble, Beck hasn’t waivered his trust in Bowers. Today the tight-end finished with 14 carries for 157 yards and one touchdown. This quarterback-tight-end duo will create some problems for defenses the rest of the season.

Auburn has to get the passing game going: Quarterbacks Payton Thorne and Robby Ashford combined for just 88 yards through the air. Ashford jumped into the game late in the second quarter and started under center to open the second half. He finished 1-1 for six passing yards and 33 rushing yards. Is this the “package” Hugh Freeze was talking about for Ashford this season? Well, all we know is after Ashford’s rushing touchdown in the third quarter, Thorne stepped in the next drive. Meanwhile, Thorne finished 10-19 with 82 passing yards and 92 rushing yards. Almost ironically, an interception from Thorne on 4th down ended Auburn’s comeback and the game.

We’ll have coverage from Jordan-Hare Stadium tonight (Saturday, Sept. 30) at 11 p.m. ET on WTVM Sports Leader 9.