Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Georgia vs. Auburn in the Richt Era Part 2: 2004 - 2005

*** This part two of a series looking at the Georgia Auburn series since 2001.


In 2004, Georgia and Auburn were two teams made up of senior leaders. Georgia was led by quarterback David Greene, wide recevier Fred Gibson, and defensive end David Pollack. Auburn countered with quarterback Jason Campbell and running backs Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams. Georgia had opened the year in the top 5 and after big wins over LSU and Florida, came into the game with only one loss. Auburn had became the team that many through they would be in 2003. The offensive combination of Campbell, Brown, and Williams combined with a defensive led by Junior Rosegreen had led the Tigers to an undefeated record and a #2 ranking. Larry Munson helped hype the game on College Game day that morning:

What looked like a good game going in became a lopsided affair. Auburn grabbed the lead on 1 yard TD run by Cadillac Williams in the first and that was all the scoring they would end up needing. Auburn's defense shut down the Georgia attack, even when it appeared Georgia may get in the end zone. David Pollack blocked a second quarter Auburn punt and Georgia drove toward the Auburn end zone. But Carlos Rodgers picked off a David Greene pass in the end zone, spoiling Georgia's best chance to get points in the half. Auburn added a trick play touchdown pass and a field goal and took a 17-0 lead into the locker room.

Georgia tried to get back in the game in the third quarter, when David Greene hit Reggie Brown with a pass to Auburn 20. But Auburn corner Junior Rosegreen put a helmet to helmet hit on Brown,causing him to lose the ball and consciousness (the hit led to a rule change protecting receivers from helmet to helmet hits). The refs ruled the play a fumble and Auburn took over. Georgia managed to finally scored on a touchdown pass to Leonard Pope with just over two minutes to play, but Auburn easily won the game.

Auburn 24, Georgia 6


Coming off their first loss of the season against Florida the week before, the Bulldogs were looking to get revenge on Auburn for the 2004 beat down. The Dawg nation was excited because quarterback DJ Shockley was returning to action after missing the Florida game with a knee injury. #9 Georgia welcomed #15 Auburn back to Athens with a chance to clinch the SEC East title:

What happenned was one of the most exciting games in this storied rivalry's history.

Auburn's Kenny Irons, who had a huge game for the Tigers rushing for 179 yards, opened the scoring with a 30 yard touchdown run. After a Brandon Coutu field goal, a touchdown pass to Leonard Pope gave Georgia their first lead and was the second of 8 lead changes in the game. A second Irons touchdown and another Coutu field goal made the game a 14-13 Auburn lead at the half.

DJ Shockley, who finished the game 20 of 36 for 302 yards and two scores, hooked up with freshman Mohammd Massaquoi for a touchdown to give the lead back to Georgia. The teams traded touchdowns and the score 27-21 in favor of Georgia early in the fourth. Auburn drove to the Georgia 11, but a Kenny Irons fumble gave it back to the Dawgs. Georgia would soon return the favor, as Brannen Southerland fumbled a pass at the 15 and Karibi Dede scooped it up for the 15 yard touchdown. With nine minutes to go, the game was about to get really interesting.

With Auburn leading by 1 (at 28-27), Georgia was able to get a 41 yard field goal from Brandon Coutu to take a 2 point lead with 3 and half minutes left. Georgia forced Auburn into a fourth down, but Brandon Cox (in his only good game of his career against Georgia) found Devin Aromashodu went 62 yards before fumbling just before the goal line. Auburn luckily recovered and kicked a field goal to take a 1 point lead with 6 seconds left. Georgia would go on to win the SEC Championship that year, but the memory of this game still hurts.

Auburn 31, Georgia 30

Tomorrow: Part 3 - Stafford Dominates, the Blackout, and AJ Green (2006-2008)

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