Auburn is rolling up 38.2 points per game this year against Southeastern Conference opponents.
That not only puts pressure on a Georgia defense that will try to slow the Tigers down Saturday, but on the Bulldogs’ offense that will try to keep pace.
"We’re going to have to put up a lot of points, man, because their offense is explosive," Georgia receiver A.J. Green said.
The Tigers rank first in the SEC and sixth in the nation in scoring at 42.2 points per game.
"When you play a team like Auburn that’s produced on offense, sometimes you might get impatient," Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "I don’t think we can get impatient. We’ve got to play our game. … We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to move the ball and execute."
Auburn has scored 35 or more points in seven of its 10 games this season including a 65-43 win against Arkansas.
"If they do what they’ve been doing and score at the pace they’ve been scoring, it puts pressure on all offenses to keep up," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "You have a plan going in and you want to stick to your plan, but if the points get so far out of whack that you just have to flat out try to chunk it every down to stay in it, it can put a lot of pressure on you."
The most points Georgia has given up is 31 to Kentucky and 34 to Florida in overtime.
The Bulldogs have set a program record with five straight games of 30 or more points.
"We want to manage the time, keep their offense on the sideline and keep our defense resting," quarterback Aaron Murray said. "If we keep them off the field, that will be a huge thing for us."
Dogs don’t think Newton will be distracted
Auburn coach Gene Chizik and quarterback Cam Newton faced the media in Auburn on Tuesday after Foxsports.com reported Monday that Newton faced possible expulsion while at Florida after three instances of academic cheating.
"It’s definitely not the greatest thing for him to deal with," Murray said. "They’ll make sure he puts that aside and focuses on the game. … Once he steps in between those lines, he’s going to be the type of player he’s been all season."
Georgia players said they didn’t expect the latest Newton story to impact his preparation.
"I don’t think he’ll be distracted one bit," receiver Kris Durham said. "I think he’ll be fired up and ready to play. This game holds a lot for their season. If they win, it puts them in the SEC championship."
Reports surfaced last Thursday that someone claiming to represent Newton sought a six-figure payment from Mississippi State for him to sign there when the school recruited him out of junior college in Texas.
"It was swirling last week, it didn’t seem to bother him last week," Richt said. "Usually when you just start playing ball, whether you’re practicing it or playing it, no matter what’s going on around you, it’s usually kind of a haven for an athlete to be in to be in his element and just shut everything out."
Said Chizik: "Cameron is going to be focused on playing Georgia this week."
Newton the tight end?
Georgia offered Newton a scholarship out of Westlake High School in Atlanta, but Richt said the Bulldogs projected Newton, now 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, "more as a tight end prospect."
Newton signed with Florida, where he backed up Tim Tebow before transferring.
"I remember him," Richt said. "He was a very talented guy, a guy that we did look at. … A lot of it had to do with what we like to do offensively. He was more of a fit than any type of disrespect to his ability to play quarterback. He’s proven to be pretty darn good there."
Auburn tackle Fairley makes Richt ‘a little nervous’
Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley is a threat to not only get to the quarterback, but to do him bodily harm.
Richt called Fairley, who leads the SEC with 18 tackles for loss and is second with 71/2 sacks, "a beast."
Richt said that the 6-5, 298-pound Fairley likes to body slam guys when he sacks them.
"It makes me a little nervous," Richt said.
Murray was told that a Fairley hit led to a concussion for Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett.
"We’ll have positive thoughts about that," Murray said. "I don’t want to think about that. That’s not a pleasant thought. I’ll do some extra praying this week."
Murray said he won’t exchange any trash talk with Fairley before the game, but joked he might tell him, "Please don’t kill me or something like that."
This and that
After South Carolina lost to Arkansas, this Saturday’s South Carolina-Florida game would have determined whether Georgia was heading to the SEC championship game if the Bulldogs had defeated Florida. "It would have been a wonderful story, but it’s not," Richt said. … Richt on scout team quarterback Parker Welch, who is simulating Newton: "One of the best similarities I can say he has to Cam is he wears No. 2 this week." Welch is 6-3 and 207 pounds. Newton is 6-6, 250. … Durham (bruised lung) practiced in a non-contact jersey Tuesday, but said he’s been cleared medically to play. … Nose guard Kwame Geathers (ankle) did not practice. … Receiver Logan Gray (jaw) practiced non-contact.