ATHENS — Nolan Smith smiled when asked about it. Zion Logue let out a chuckle. Jamon Dumas-Johnson admitted there was no way to ignore the comments made by Auburn center Brandon Council.
The Auburn offensive lineman told reporters on Wednesday that if Auburn could keep Georgia out of its third-down package, the Tigers could ‘demolish’ Georgia.
Related: Auburn center makes bold claim about Georgia: ‘We could demolish them, I personally believe, up front’
That very much did not happen. If anything, it was the Auburn offense that was ransacked on Saturday afternoon.
Auburn finished with 258 total yards. Robbie Ashford completed 13 of his 38 pass attempts for 165 yards, with 62 of those coming on a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Jarquez Hunter. The score was 35-3 at that point.
Georgia’s front seven dominated on Saturday, even if it didn’t finish with a sack. Auburn’s best play all afternoon was a quarterback scramble by Ashford, who picked up 52 yards on nine carries. One of those though saw Ashford just drop the ball, which Logue happily scooped up.
The Georgia defense was led by Dumas-Johnson on Saturday. He picked up a team-best five tackles but that doesn’t illustrate his play. He had a number of strong plays on the afternoon, stonewalling Bigsby multiple times and chasing Ashford on a handful of dropbacks.
Georgia was without two top inside linebackers as neither Smael Mondon nor Trezmen Marshall played on Saturday. Rian Davis made his first career start while Xavian Sorey saw an uptick in snaps.
But it was Dumas-Johnson who never left the field, setting up the Georgia defense to be in a position to punish the Auburn front.
“That should motivate everyone to go a little bit more harder,” Dumas-Johnson said about Council’s comments. “It was a strike-and-attack game. So with that demolish how we fit right in. That’s what we did today, strike and attack.”
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The Georgia defensive line similarly stepped up on Saturday, doing so without its best player. Jalen Carter did not dress for the game as he suffered a knee injury in the win over Missouri. Even without a potential top-10 pick, the Georgia defensive line unit found a way to muddy up the Auburn offense.
Georgia linked more on Warren Brinson and Bear Alexander to replace Carter. Georgia also leaned heavily on veterans Logue and Nazir Stackhouse to keep Auburn’s offense behind the chains all afternoon.
“As a defense, we really took it personal,” Logue said. “We try to stay away from social media and try and come out on Saturdays and prove what we’re going to do. Usually when we get stuff like we try and take that stuff pride. You see what we did.”
Auburn’s offensive line had far from a banner day, as the group had five false starts in addition to its struggles to open things up for its rushing attack. The Tigers were 5-for-17 on third down, essentially allowing Georgia to live in the package Council said Auburn had to keep Georgia out of.
No Georgia player was as publicly bold in their postgame comments as Council was. But you could tell the defense was very proud of their effort on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s an honor to play in the front seven at Georgia,” Smith said as he walked off with a big ole grin on his face.
Zion Logue laughs off Auburn ‘demolish’ comments
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