December 9, 2022

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“We can knock them down, I personally think, up front.”

Georgia is unlikely to have Galen Carter’s best defensive player as he deals with the injury to the MCL. This seems to have encouraged Auburn ahead of Saturday’s game.

Related: Galen Carter unlikely to play against Auburn after MCL injury

Brandon Council of Auburn spoke to reporters Wednesday in Auburn and explained how the Tigers could beat Georgia in Athens for the first time since the 2005 season.

“I think they’re only capable of, like, the third package,” Council said. “They’ve had some internal stunts that kind of hamper a running game but we’ll start fast. If you start fast, run the ball on them and take them out of their third packet, really, we can knock them down, personally, up front.

The board added that the plan is for Auburn to start quickly on Saturday against Georgia. Auburn has kept double-digit strings in both of its previous SEC games, only for the Tigers to cough up both of those advances. Auburn lost 21-17 last week at home against LSU.

“We should go in there like a SWAT team,” the council said. “Get in, quieten the noise, get out.”

Auburn is a 30-point underdog against the No. 2 Bulldog. Even without Carter, Georgia’s defensive line is still doing well so far this season. An ankle injury restricted Carter only 36 times in the past four games before injuring his knee against Missouri. Bulldogs have the 12th defense in the country at this point in the season.

Georgia will rely more on Zion Logue, Warren Brinson, Nazir Stackhouse and Bill Norton this week without Carter. Georgia will also likely use freshman Bear Alexander more often in the role of Carter.

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“When he knows what he’s doing he can be as annoying as Galen sometimes,” defense line Zion Loge said. “When he finds out and learns to defend a little more he will be really good.”

Related: With Galen Carter injured, Georgian football will see what Per Alexander has learned

Georgia coach Kirby Smart knows this rivalry game is a lot to be excited about, given his time as a player in Georgia. He pointed to the intensity of the rivalry in his opening remarks to the media this week.

“The tradition and history of this game is absolutely amazing,” Smart said. “I think when you talk about one of the oldest rivalries in college football, it’s always been a game that I know, as a player, I’ve been looking forward to playing in. It’s been some massive matches between the two teams, and our guys are looking forward to playing at home in front of a raucous crowd and a great atmosphere.”

“I expect our fans to be involved and give us a strong atmosphere to play against a good football team in Auburn.”

This isn’t the first time Auburn has said something provocative about Georgia, under Smart, with Gus Malzan taunting that Auburn “knocked it out of the doggie crap” after the 2017 regular season meeting. Georgia retaliated in an SEC championship match that same season and didn’t lose to Auburn since Malzan uttered those words.

Georgia beat Auburn 34-10 last season. Saturday’s game will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

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