ATHENS, Ga. -- Nick Chubb shared the spotlight in Todd Gurley's return, with both backs rushing for more than 100 yards in No. 16 Georgia's 34-7 victory over ninth-ranked Auburn on Saturday night.
Georgia (8-2, 6-2, No. 15 CFP) dominated the latest edition in Deep South's oldest rivalry, handing the Tigers (7-3, 4-3, No. 9 CFP) their second straight loss and finishing off any hopes they had of repeating as Southeastern Conference champions.
But there were a couple of things that didn't go Georgia's way: Missouri beat Texas A&M 34-27 to stop the Bulldogs from clinching the SEC East, and Gurley went down late in the game with an injured left knee. The star running back hobbled out of the stadium in the closing minutes, his knee iced down. Coach Mark Richt said he wasn't sure about the extent of the injury.
Gurley returned to Georgia's backfield and, boy, what a splash he made the first time he touched the ball, returning a kickoff 105 yards to the end zone after Auburn scored on its opening possession for a 7-0 lead.
The play didn't count, however, wiped out by a holding penalty on Ryne Rankin.
It didn't matter. Chubb broke off a 9-yard touchdown run that gave the Bulldogs the lead for good midway through the second quarter. Gurley strolled in for a 3-yard touchdown that stretched the margin to 24-7 in the third quarter.
Chubb finished off the stunningly easy victory with an 11-yard touchdown run, capping a 98-yard drive after Amarlo Herrara picked off a fourth-down pass from Nick Marshall in Auburn's last gasp.
Chubb rushed for 144 yards on 19 carries and went over 1,000 yards for the season. He also sent Auburn cornerback Jonathon Mincy flying on an apparent touchdown run that was overturned after the replay showed Chubb's foot barely went out of bounds.
Gurley carried 29 times for 138 yards. Now, having served his NCAA-imposed penalty, the focus will turn to his injured knee.
Not to be overlooked was Georgia's defense, which turned in a brilliant performance. Two weeks after giving up more than 400 yards rushing in an upset loss to Florida, the Bulldogs limited Marshall and Auburn's fast-paced offense to its lowest-scoring performance in Gus Malzahn's two years as coach.
The Bulldogs finished off their conference schedule and now must hope Missouri loses one of its final two games, on the road at Tennessee or the regular-season finale at home against Arkansas. Missouri has lost only one conference game, a 34-0 loss to Georgia that gives the Bulldogs the tiebreaker edge.
Malcolm Mitchell hauled in a 7-yard pass for Georgia's opening touchdown, after Auburn marched down the field with ease the first time it had the ball. After converting three straight times on third down, the Tigers went ahead on Cameron Artis Payne's 26-yard scoring run.
That was about it for the Tigers, who seemed to be feeling the effects of an upset loss to Texas A&M the previous week. Auburn was averaging more than 38 points a game and had not scored less than 20 since Malzahn took over.
Marshall completed 11 of 23 passes for 112 yards, and rushed for only 41 yards. The Tigers were held to 292 yards and turned it over three times.