AUBURN, Alabama (Ticker) -- Twenty years after its last Southeastern Conference championship, Georgia hopes to have something special to celebrate this weekend.
The seventh-ranked Bulldogs look to capture their first outright SEC East title Saturday when they visit Auburn. A win will send Georgia (9-1, 6-1) to the SEC title game December 7 in Atlanta.
Georgia's last overall SEC crown came in 1982, when the Herschel Walker-led Bulldogs finished the regular season 11-0 and earned a No. 2 ranking before losing to Penn State in the Sugar Bowl that decided the national championship.
Should Georgia, which enters the weekend with a one-game lead over Florida, falter against Auburn, the Bulldogs can clinch if South Carolina upsets the Gators late in the day. If Georgia and Florida finish tied, the Gators go to the SEC championship game based on their win over the Bulldogs two weeks ago.
Georgia rebounded from its loss to Florida to defeat Mississippi, 31-17, last week behind Musa Smith, who rushed for 148 yards on a career-high 37 carries. Smith has two straight 100-yard games since sitting out the Kentucky contest with a thumb injury and needs 138 yards to become Georgia's first 1,000-yard rusher since Garrison Hearst in 1992.
The Bulldogs have yet to lose a true road game under second-year coach Mark Richt (7-0), but winning at Auburn will not be easy as the Tigers are still in contention in the SEC West.
Georgia also will be without receivers Terrence Edwards and Damien Gary. With Gary already sidelined, Edwards suffered a separated left shoulder on the first play of the fourth quarter against Ole Miss and is expected to be out for nearly a month.
Auburn enters the contest one-half game behind Louisiana State in the SEC West and owns a victory over the Tigers. Alabama, which faces LSU this weekend, leads the division but is not eligible for the SEC title game because of NCAA probation.
If Auburn upsets Georgia and Alabama beats LSU, the Tigers suddenly move into the driver's seat in the SEC West.
Auburn (7-3, 4-2 SEC West) returns to SEC play after routing Louisiana-Monroe, 42-14, last week for their third straight victory.
Jason Campbell and Daniel Cobb each threw a pair of TD passes for the Tigers, who tuned up for the Bulldogs by rolling for 503 total yards.
Auburn has won three straight against Georgia to take a 51-46-8 lead in the oldest series in the Deep South. Last year, Carnell Williams rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns on a school-record 41 carries as the Tigers posted a 24-17 victory.
Williams suffered a season-ending leg injury in Auburn's 30-23 overtime loss to Florida on October 19.
Since 1933, the Auburn game has determined Georgia's fate in the SEC 17 times. Nine times the Bulldogs have beaten Auburn to win the SEC title and eight times a loss to the Tigers cost the Bulldogs a shot at a conference championship.
Most recently, Auburn cost Georgia a trip to the SEC title game in 1997 with a 45-34 victory.