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Week 8 – Auburn at Vanderbilt
Posted Oct 19, 2012

Week 8 Fearless Prediction – Auburn at Vanderbilt.

Auburn (1-5) at Vanderbilt (2-4) Oct. 20, 12:21 SEC

Here’s The Deal: The last time the two teams played was 2008, and it was the last time Auburn finished with a losing record. If Vanderbilt can repeat the feat, not only will it be one step closer to a second bowl game in a row, but it’ll ensure a losing season for the Tigers in what’s turning out to be a shockingly disastrous year.

It’s not just that Auburn isn’t winning; it’s that it’s not even close with the overtime win over ULM all that’s standing in the way of a winless season. After battling hard in the opener against Clemson and giving LSU a push, there was some promise and potential that things might turnaround with a little bit of luck. Instead, Arkansas and Ole Miss each blasted away in double-digit wins. With Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama yet to play, this has the potential to be the program’s first eight-loss season since 1952 and the worst campaign since going 0-10 in 1950. That year, Vanderbilt won 41-0.

The Commodores are only 2-4, but they gave a big solid push against Florida last week and have a nice win over Missouri under its belt. While a loss would be tough, it wouldn’t be a killer for bowl dreams with several lightweight games to finish things out, but first, Vandy has to take advantage of the wounded Tigers and come up with a win before getting a light scrimmage against UMass.

Why Auburn Might Win: For an Auburn team that’s been decimated by bad plays and big mistakes, this week it’s dealing with a defense that isn’t forcing enough screw-ups and not coming up with enough big mistakes. Steamrolled over by South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, the D struggled to turn the games around by coming up with big plays and has just three takeaways since coming up with two in the opener against the Gamecocks. Making it worse, two of those other three came against Presbyterian. Offensively, Vandy, especially with top receiver Jordan Matthews hurting, isn’t high-powered enough to bomb away on the Tiger defense that’s giving up way too many big throws.

Why Vanderbilt Might Win: 19 turnovers. That’s what Auburn is giving away so far whether opposing teams are going for the ball or not. Not only have the Tigers given it up at least twice in every game, they’re doing it in a variety of ways and always at the worst times. The passing game has thrown four touchdown passes – two against ULM – while giving away 11 picks. On the other side, the Auburn defense has managed to come up with one measly pick, and that came in the opener against Clemson. Defensively, considering the Commodores have faced South Carolina’s Connor Shaw, Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Northwestern’s Kain Colter – when he was a true quarterback – the secondary has held up extremely well. It’s not going to have an issue with Auburn’s middling attack.

What To Watch Out For: A horrible season continues to mean that Auburn linebacker Daren Bates is flying under the radar. The senior has done everything to hold firm for the porous defense with a whopping 70 tackles so far with two sacks and two broken up passes. He made 16 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss against Ole Miss last week. While he’s trying to do a little of everything, it hasn’t been enough.

What Will Happen: The misery continues. Auburn won’t get bombed on, but the Vanderbilt offense and Zac Stacy, who ran for 86 yards and a score against Florida, will rumble enough to get by. The defense will do most of the heavy lifting.

CFN Prediction: Vanderbilt 23 … Auburn 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Vanderbilt -7 O/U: 44.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Seven Psychopaths, 1 – Here Comes the Boom): 2