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Sunday May 19th, 2019 4:35AM

No. 4 Auburn faces No. 6 Georgia in rematch for SEC title

By The Associated Press

No. 4 Auburn (10-2, 7-1 SEC, CFP No. 4) vs. No. 6 Georgia (11-1, 7-1, CFP No 6) in Atlanta, Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (CBS)

Line: Auburn by 2½.

Series record: Georgia leads 57-56-8.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

The winner is essentially guaranteed a spot in the College Football Playoff. Both went 8-5 a year ago, and Auburn looked down and out this season after squandering a 20-point lead at LSU. The Tigers bounced back from that excruciating loss with a five-game winning streak, which included a 40-17 rout of Georgia three weeks ago, when the Bulldogs were sitting atop the CFP rankings, and a 26-14 victory over then-No. 1 Alabama last Saturday.

KEY MATCHUP

Georgia RBs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel vs. Auburn's defensive front. In the last meeting, the Tigers shut down Georgia's running game, which leads the SEC with an average of 265.67 yards per game. Chubb managed 27 yards on 11 carries, while Michel was held to 21 yards on nine carries. They'll need some help from their offensive line, which must do a better job against a stellar Auburn front led by OLB/DE Jeff Holland.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Auburn: RB Kerryon Johnson. He went out late in the Alabama game with a shoulder injury, and it's not known if he'll be able to play. Even if he does try to go, his effectiveness may be limited. That would be a huge blow to Auburn's running game, which was powered by Johnson's 1,276 yards and 17 touchdowns. Kam Martin, Malik Miller and Devan Barrett (who have rushed for a combined 620 yards) would have to step up.

Georgia: LB Roquan Smith. A finalist for three national awards, the 225-pound junior leads a Georgia defense that has allowed just 13.8 points per game. He's also eager for redemption after the Bulldogs were torched for 488 yards (237 rushing) by Auburn.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the Deep South's oldest rivalry. The teams first met in 1892 and have played every year since 1898, except for a two-year break caused by World War II (1917-18) and no game in 1943 because of World War II. ... For just the seventh time in the 26-year history of the SEC championship game, the teams also met during the regular season. The same team won both games five of the previous six times ... Georgia went unbeaten in the SEC East (6-0) for the first time since the conference went to divisional play in 1992. ... Georgia is seeking its first conference title since 2005, while Auburn last won the crown in 2013. ... The Bulldogs have the fewest passes (222) and completions (134) in the SEC. ... Since a dismal 9-of-26 passing performance at LSU, Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham has completed 72 percent of his passes (94 of 130) for 1,172 yards, with eight TDs and two INTs.

___

More AP college football coverage: http://www.collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - College Football
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