Preview capsule: No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Preview capsule: No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn

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(AP Photos) (AP Photos)

Matchup:  No. 25 Georgia (6-3, 4-2 SEC) at No. 7 Auburn (9-1, 5-1)

Time:  2:30 p.m.

Line: Auburn by 3 1/2.

Last meeting:  Georgia 38, Auburn 0 (Athens, Ga."

Series Record: Tied at 54-54-8.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

It seemed more likely to be Georgia in this position, but Auburn is a dark horse in the national championship hunt. The Tigers also will win the SEC West if they beat the Bulldogs and No. 1 Alabama. Georgia is still in the running for a repeat SEC East title despite a season-long battle with injuries.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn's running game versus Georgia's defense. The Tigers lead the SEC and rank third nationally in rushing yards per game (320.0). QB Nick Marshall and TB Tre Mason have been so successful, Auburn has only attempted 16 passes total the past two games while racking up 444 yards on the ground against Tennessee and Arkansas. The Bulldogs are fourth in the SEC against the run, giving up 126 yards a game. Only South Carolina (226) has topped 200 yards against them.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Georgia: RB Todd Gurley. The powerful runner returned with 187 all-purpose yards against Florida after missing three-plus games with an ankle injury. Auburn has given up 100-plus yards to Arkansas' Jonathan Williams and Tennessee's Rajion Neal in the past two games and ranks ninth in the SEC in rush defense.

Auburn: Marshall. A former Georgia defensive back who was dismissed from the team in February 2012, Marshall ran for 214 yards against Tennessee. He's only attempted 15 passes the past two games but will likely have to throw a few more times to keep up with the Bulldogs. He has proven able to do that when needed, passing for 339 yards against Mississippi State.

FACTS & FIGURES

Through 116 meetings, the game billed as the Deep South's oldest rivalry has been a dead heat. Georgia, though has won six of the last seven meetings and can take the series lead for the first time since 1986 with a win. The Bulldogs have won two straight by a combined score of 83-7. ... A scheduling quirk caused by the league's expansion means the Bulldogs are playing for the second straight season in Auburn. The game hasn't been played at the same site in consecutive years since it was held in Columbus, Ga., from 1930-58. ... Auburn's Mason and Georgia placekicker Marshall Morgan rank 1-2 in the SEC in points per game.

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