No. 2 Georgia Routs Auburn 42-10 in Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry

Ladd Mcconkey, Cam Riley

Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey (84) tries to escape from Auburn’s Cam Riley (13) as he returns a punt in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer

Stetson Bennett scrambled 64 yards for a touchdown, Daijun Edwards scored three times on the ground and No. 2 Georgia ran over listless Auburn 42-10 Saturday.

Bennett’s career-long run on the first play of the fourth quarter was the biggest of the day for a Bulldogs offense that mostly plodded along for the first three.

The Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) got two short touchdown runs by Edwards and one from Kenny McIntosh to build a 21-3 in the third quarter.

Then Bennett found a huge swath of empty green grass and managed to beat a chasing pack of Tigers to the goal line to make it 28-3 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Georgia ran its winning streak to six in the series, has not lost the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry at home since 2005 and leads overall 63-56.

Getting little help from its offense, Auburn’s defense seemed to wear down and gave up 292 yards and six touchdowns rushing.

Robby Ashford was 13 for 38 for 168 yards while frequently scrambling to elude pressure for the Tigers (3-3, 1-2).

Coming off consecutive lackluster performances, the national champion Bulldogs were once again sluggish offensively in the first half.

Georgia opened up a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, turning two short-field possessions into touchdowns.

First, a failed Auburn fake punt in Georgia territory, set up the Bulldogs at the Tigers’ 36. Kenny McIntosh finished that short drive with a 1-yard TD run.

Ladd McConkey’s 38-yard, darting punt return put Georgia at the 31 and Edwards scored from a yard out to put the Bulldogs up two scores.

And that was pretty much all they needed against an Auburn team that has not scored more than 17 points in its last four games under beleaguered coach Bryan Harsin.

Auburn snapped a streak of two straight games without a second-half point, when it got a 29-yard field goal from Anders Carlson after a Georgia fumble deep in its own territory on the first possession of the third quarter.

Any chance the Tigers had to make it a game disappeared quickly. Georgia put together its best offensive drive, marching 81 yards and making it 21-3 on Edwards’ 2-yard run.

In fact, the Tigers have been outscored 125-31 in the second half of their last nine games against Power 5 teams.

There is an if-not-when vibe with the Tigers regarding Harsin. It was clear coming off the university’s attempt to push Harsin out in February that his future at Auburn was iffy at best. Now, it would seem as if time is running out.

Auburn next faces a road game at No. 9 Ole Miss.

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