Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia won its first SEC title since 2005 and punched its ticket in the College Football Playoff on Saturday, dominating Auburn 28-7 in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Georgia avenged an earlier 40-17 loss to Auburn on November 11. This time the Bulldogs were much more physical this time around, stifling Auburn’s rushing attack – it helped that Tigers running back Kerryon Johnson obviously wasn’t anywhere near 100 percent, along with Carlton Davis and Tray Matthews not being able to finish the game– and grinding out 238 yards on the ground themselves.

Why Georgia won:

  1. Georgia was ready for the tricky plays

The Bulldogs’ defense was ready for Auburn’s quick screens to the perimeter and did not allow the big yardage plays that happen in the first meeting.  Without Kerryon Johnson and the quick screens, the Auburn offense was neutralized.

  1. Georgia won the line of scrimmage battle

The Bulldogs’ offensive line heard for 3 weeks how Auburn control both sides of the ball.  However, not this time Georgia push the Auburn defense and got the running game going.

  1. Georgia defense made the big plays

Georgia’s Roquan Smith was named SEC MVP.  Smith recovered a fumble when Auburn was driving and had a 7-0 lead. Georgia went on to score a TD.  That started the momentum shift toward the Bulldogs.

  1. Georgia special teams came up huge

A block field goal from the Bulldogs when Auburn was driving to tie the game was the beginning of the end.   Then, RB D’Andre Swift 64-yard punt return for a TD was the dagger for Auburn.

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