Auburn, Ala. (EETV) With their win over No. 1 Georgia, Auburn is now the center of college football.
No. 10 Auburn's pounding of Georgia 40-17 has officially put Auburn in the conversation for the College Football Playoff.
Here are my 5 takeaways from Auburn's win over Georgia:
1) The Auburn defensive front
As I said coming into this game if the Tigers wanted any chance of upsetting Georgia they had to stop the Bulldog rush offense.
And the point was proved in their win. The Auburn defense allowed Georgia's star tandem running backs 49 total rushing yards in the game.
That is the fewest run yard the Georgia offense has had all season, a great thing for the Auburn defensive line and run defense.
The only trouble the Georgia run game of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel gave the Tigers trouble was on the first drive of the game. On this drive, Chubb finished it off with a rushing touchdown in the wildcat formation.
Other than this touchdown and drive, the Auburn defense, led by Jeff Holland, completely shut down the powerful Georgia run game.
This is a really good sign moving forward for Auburn. They will now have to go through Alabama in a few weeks, who also has a pretty decent run game in Bo Scarbrough.
2) Kerryon for Heisman
If you didn't know this already then you have been living under a rock. Auburn's star running back Kerryon Johnson once again proved he is one of the best backs in the nation.
Johnson came into the game with 15 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving touchdown. Well against Georgia, he didn't have a rushing touchdown but ended up catching a 55-yard touchdown.
In the post-game press conference, even coach Gus Malzahn called out the national media regarding Johnson.
"Kerryon Johnson is one of the best running backs in the country, if not the best. He proved it tonight," said Malzahn. "He needs to be in the Heisman talk. I’m very proud of him, not just rushing-wise, he had a huge reception too."
Johnson has once again proved he is a true leader of this Auburn team and can step up in big games to have a major impact on the outcome.
Moving forward, Johnson will need to continue to step up like he did against Georgia. Knowing Johnson, his 167 rushing yards probably weren't enough for him.
3) Stidham's decision making
It was critical for Auburn to not turn the ball over in order to beat Georgia. A key in this was the decision making of Jarrett Stidham.
Stidham proved in this big game to make smart decisions.
If you noticed while watching the game, Stidham rarely threw the ball deep, minus the touchdown to Darius Slayton.
Stidham recognized the importance of not taking unnecessary risks in this game and it paid off.
His short check down passes were efficient, smart, and, in the case of the Kerryon Johnson touchdown, highly effective.
This will be key when Auburn faces Alabama because Stidham will have to play a smart yet effective game against their pass rush and defense.
4) Scoring TDs in the red zone
Auburn struggled early this season with scoring touchdowns in the red zone, relying heavily on kicker Daniel Carlson.
In the beginning of the game, it looked worrisome that Carlson scored on Auburn's first three trips to the red zone.
I thought, is this game going to be the 2016 Auburn vs. LSU game where Carlson scored all of Auburn's points to beat LSU.
Me watching Auburn football right now pic.twitter.com/i7GFSNIN33— Brittany Horton (@BrittanyAnna11) November 11, 2017
However, that proved to be wrong because something changed in the Auburn offense and they were able to move the ball and eventually move the ball into the end zone.
This will be very important in upcoming games because, in order for the Tigers to win out, they will have to be able to score touchdowns rather than field goals in the red zone.
5) Team unity
This game showed one thing, this team is supportive of each other and seem to all
Being a high-ranked 2 loss team, the Tigers have limited room for error if they want a chance at making the college football playoff.
After knocking off the number one team in the country, not just by a few points but in a major blow-out, this team showed they are up for the task of shocking the nation.
This team mindset is the most important