Georgia beats Auburn to win SEC Championship

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Georgia beats Auburn to win SEC Championship

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Hyosub Shin
December 2, 2017 Atlanta: Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith (3), head coach Kirby Smart, and Georgia teammates celebrate after defeating the Auburn Tigers 28-7 during the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, December 2, 2017, in Atlanta. Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com

Shaking off a blowout loss to Auburn just three weeks ago, Jake Fromm threw two touchdown passes and No. 6 Georgia made its bid for a spot in the College Football Playoff with a 28-7 victory over the No. 4 Tigers in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.

Auburn (10-3) was the hottest team in the country, rolling into Atlanta after wins over Georgia and then-No. 1 Alabama in its last three games. But the Tigers were stymied by two crucial turnovers, a blocked field goal and a Georgia team eager to make up for its embarrassing 40-17 defeat on the Plains.

Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and freshman D'Andre Swift provided a much more effective running game for Georgia than the first meeting, which opened up things for the freshman quarterback. Fromm completed 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to Isaac Nauta in the second quarter and a 6-yarder to Terry Godwin with just over 13 minutes remaining that essentially sealed Georgia's victory.

The Bulldogs claimed their first SEC title since 2005 and capped an impressive rise in Kirby Smart's second season as coach. Georgia went 8-5 a year ago, but Nick Saban's former defensive coordinator insisted he was establishing a culture that would return the team to national prominence.

What's next for the Bulldogs? UGA will likely head to either the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl to play in a semifinal game, looking to take another step toward the team's first national title since 1980.

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