Week 11 - Auburn at Tennessee

Posted Nov 6, 2013

Week 11 SEC Fearless Predictions & Preview - Auburn at Tennessee

Auburn (8-1) at Tennessee (4-5) Nov. 9 12:00, ESPN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Is Auburn flying under the radar? No one seems to be making much noise about a Tiger team that controls its own destiny, and yeah, if you really want to get crazy, if three of the four non-SEC unbeaten BCS teams lose – which isn't out of the realm of possibility – the national title shot really and truly would be on the table. Of course, all it would take a win over Georgia and Alabama to get to Atlanta after first not losing to a needy Tennessee team looking to keep its bowl hopes alive.

The Vols parlayed what seemed like a season-changing win over South Carolina into blowout losses to Alabama and Missouri, losing to the league's two biggest stars by a combined score of 76 to 13. Last week, the Tiger offense gashed the Tennessee defensive front, but now the team is back at home where it's 4-1 on the season with the one loss a close battle with Georgia.

This is the first meeting between the two schools since 2009 – a 26-22 Auburn win – and the Tigers have won five straight going back to 1999. Before that, Tennessee went on a run, going 5-0-1 since 1988.

Why Auburn Might Win: The Tennessee defensive front isn't stopping anyone. It's not getting into the backfield, the linebackers are making way too many plays down the field, and there isn't enough of a pass rush to disrupt quarterbacks to keep them from taking off. Tre Mason and the Auburn ground game has found its footing, tearing off 200 yards or more in every game but the win over Mississippi State, and averaging over six yards per carry with 28 scores. How dominant have the Tigers been? They've rushed for four touchdowns or more in each of the last four games with Mason running for 168 yards and four scores last week against Arkansas.

Why Tennessee Might Win: The Auburn secondary can be thrown on. Auburn doesn't have a high-octane passing game, and it's a painfully inefficient attack, but this is the game to start throwing and throwing for more. Auburn might have a decent pass rush, but it's not a killer. Florida Atlantic and Arkansas struggle to get anything going through the air, and the stats look decent for the Tiger pass defense, but Ole Miss and Texas A&M chucked at will, and Zach Mettenberger was effective in LSU's September win. Tennessee doesn't have a Mettenberger or a Johnny Manziel, but against Missouri, the passing game got a big yardage day out of …

Who To Watch Out For: Joshua Dobbs, who threw for 240 yards against the Tigers, but he threw two picks and there weren't enough big downfield plays. With Justin Worley out with a thumb injury, the coaching staff gets to see more of its extremely promising four-star recruit out of Georgia with 6-3, 190-pound size and deadly accurate short-to-midrange arm. While he can run a little bit, with time, he's going to shine as a very smart, very tough leader who'll do just about everything right.

What Will Happen: Nick Marshall. Missouri's Maty Mauk didn't have the best passing game against the Vols, but he ran wild when he had his chances. Marshall might be protecting an injured shoulder, and he might want to limit the hits, but he'll be able to take off when needed for big yards. Tre Mason will hit the 100-yard mark without a problem.

Prediction: Auburn 34 … Tennessee 17
Line: Auburn -7.5 o/u: 55
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … #
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