Injuries caught up with Auburn football big time in its 13-7 loss at Georgia, but the Tigers weren't into making excuses after seeing their winning streak snapped at six games.
"This is the SEC. People are going to get hurt," running back Kerryon Johnson said. "That's not an excuse for us not having a productive day. We just were outplayed."
Johnson is one of three running backs who is less than 100 percent at this point of the season. He played against Georgia and had 22 carries for 99 yards, but he still is somewhat hobbled by the ankle injury he sustained against Mississippi State last month that sidelined him one game.
His backup, Kamryn Pettaway, who took over the SEC's rushing lead with Johnson limited, didn't play at all against the Bulldogs because of a leg injury sustained late in the win over Vanderbilt.
Running back Stanton Truitt was available for only two carries against Georgia, and quarterback Sean White played with a shoulder that was re-injured and limited his effectiveness.
"We're pretty beat up back there," coach Gus Malzahn said of the Tigers' backfield.
The Tigers, however, should be able to rest up some players this week when they host Alabama A&M before finishing up the regular season against Alabama in an Iron Bowl that will not be quite as impactful as it was shaping up to be.
Auburn's loss to Georgia coupled with Alabama's rout of Mississippi State handed the SEC West title over to the Crimson Tide. With three of the top four teams last weekend, it's doubtful if the Tigers can even take on the role of spoilers at least as far as the Tide's chances of making it back to the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Even if the Tide would lose to Auburn on Thanksgiving weekend, it probably would play its way back into one of the four playoff berths by winning the SEC Championship Game the next weekend.
"We've got two more games," Malzahn said. "Our guys will rebound."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
--QB John Franklin III could get his second start if Sean White's shoulder is still tender. Franklin started against Vanderbilt but turned the game back to White when the Commodores led 13-10 at the half of Auburn's eventual 23-16 win
--RB Kerryon Johnson will go into the game against Alabama A&M hoping that the Tigers can get an early lead and give his injured ankle some recuperation time. Johnson rushed for 99 yards on 22 carries in the loss to Georgia last week.
--DE Carl Lawson recorded a sack among his six tackles at Georgia, giving him 9.5 for the season. He ranks 10th in the country with an average of .95 sacks per game.