Auburn Tigers (4-4 SU, 1-6-1 ATS) vs. No. 25 Texas A&M Aggies (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday November 7th, 7:30PM EST
Where: Kyle Field College Station, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: AUB +7.5/A&M -7.5
Over/Under Total: 56
The 25th ranked Texas A&M Aggies ended a two game losing streak last week with a 35-28 victory over South Carolina. Previously Texas A&M had dropped back to back games against ranked opponents in the meetings with Alabama and Ole Miss. At 6-2 SU, the Aggies will be relatively strong favorites in their next 3 games before a showdown with LSU to end the season. If Texas A&M can avoid any further setbacks, they will have a legitimate chance to score their first 10 win season since Kevin Sumlins inaugural debut back in 2012. The late season grind picks up this week when the Aggies host the Auburn Tigers at Kyle Field this Saturday night.
The visiting Tigers are not having the year that they had planned. This was an Auburn team that was ranked in the preseason top 10 and expected to challenge the big dogs in the SEC West. Instead, Auburn has been one of the bottom dwellers in the entire conference with a measly 1-4 record in SEC play. Coach Gus Malzahn simply has not had the talent to run his offense the way that he had hoped. Malzahn has dealt with inadequacies at the quarterback position that started with Jeremy Johnson and have continued with current starter Sean White. Collectively, Auburn quarterbacks have completed less than 60% of their passes this season resulting in 8 interceptions with just 6 touchdowns.
I understand that Malzahn runs a spread option style running offense that does not put too much emphasis on the passing attack. However anytime your quarterbacks throw more interceptions than touchdowns, then you are going to have a bad year. So far this season, Auburn has not only been ineffective with running the football but they have also lacked the big play capability that has catapulted the offense in recent years. Running back Peyton Barber has been a workhorse carrying the ball 180 times for 787 yards with 12 touchdowns. Unfortunately for Barber, there has not been much parity through the rest of the offense.
Still despite all the struggles, Auburn is still a talented football team with potential. This is the same team that took Arkansas through 4 overtimes, and took both Mississippi schools down to the wire. Odds makers have Auburn currently listed as 7.5 point underdogs this week in College Station which seems about right. The question is which Auburn team are we going to see this Saturday night? Will it be the offense that looks confused and searching for answers like we saw recently against Ole Miss? Or will it be the offense that is showing continued progress and potential like we saw against Arkansas?
Of course similar questions could be asked for the offense that will be on the other side of the field. Texas A&Ms offense has been anything but consistent throughout conference play this season. The Aggies looked great in the 30-17 victory over no. 21 Mississippi State before the offense relatively fell apart against Alabama and Ole Miss. In the 20-3 loss to the Rebels, the Aggies were held scoreless in the first half for the first time ever under coach Kevin Sumlin and the 3 points was the lowest total for Sumlin through a full game.
Quarterback Kyle Allen has been hit or miss and that can be said for most of the offense. We have seen at times this year where this Aggies offense has been on point. Allen throwing crisp throws and finding his go to target in Christian Kirk. In other instances, things have been the complete opposite. After starting off the year by going over 100 yards receiving in 3 of his first 4 games, Kirk has only captured 143 yards combined in the last 3 games. Last week the offense looked decent but they were going up against a really bad South Carolina defense that resulted in a surprisingly close 35-28 victory. I am just not certain this offense has regained their confidence and I think Auburn has the chance to exploit those concerns this Saturday night.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Aggies offense continues to struggle. Take Auburn +7.5
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