No.24 Auburn Tigers (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) vs. No.7 Texas A&M Aggies (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date and Time: Saturday October 19th, 2013. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Kyle Field College Station, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Aub +13.5/Tex AM -13.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
A pair of 5-1 SEC West foes square off this Saturday when the no. 24 Auburn
Tigers go into College Station to meet Johnny Football and the
no. 7 Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies outlasted Ole Miss 41-38
last week in a back and forth offensive shootout. Despite throwing for nearly
350 yards, it was the legs of Johnny Manziel that made the difference. The
former Heisman Trophy winner rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on
the ground which ultimately helped seal another Aggies victory. This week
Johnny Football looks to keep his magic alive as the Aggies face an surging
Auburn team led by Coach Gus Malzahn.
Coach Malzahn was expected to take some time rebuilding Auburn back to the National Championship contender they were when he helped lead Auburn to winning the National Championship as an offensive coordinator in 2011. After a brief head coaching stint at Arkansas State, Malzahn has once again put an impressive spin on Auburn’s offense. In 2012, the Tigers were one of the worse offenses in the country and finished with an embarrassing 3-9 record. However things have been nearly a polar opposite thus far this year as the Tigers have sported one of the most effective offenses in the country averaging 474 yards (28th in FBS) per game in route to a surprising 5-1 start.
Sticking to the offense that made Cam Newton a superstar, Auburn remains one of the best option read style offenses averaging 287 yards per game which is the 7th best rushing mark in college football. Running backs Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne have emerged as a lethal 1-2 punch in the backfield. Both tailbacks have combined for over 900 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns through the first 6 games of the season and both rushers are on pace to eclipse the 1,000 yard barrier by the end of the year.
Perhaps the more interesting part of Auburn’s offense to watch going forward will be the battle behind center. Junior Nick Marshall has been the clear starter this year with average results (59% pct, 4 touchdowns, and 4 picks). Last week freshman Jeremy Johnson got the start as Marshall nursed a knee injury. Johnson excelled by completing 17 of 21 passing for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns as Auburn blew out an inferior Western Carolina team 62-3. Though Johnson did not jump Marshall as the starter, he definitely made a case to get some shared snaps going forward.
No matter who is behind center for Auburn, it will be interesting to see if the Tigers improved offense has enough firepower to keep pace with the Aggies this Saturday. The Aggies have averaged an outstanding mark of 47.8 points per game which is the 4th best scoring average in the country. Manziel is having another outstanding season with big numbers throwing and running the football. Manziel has already racked up 1,835 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and 5 picks while completing 73% of his passes. Additionally Manziel leads the Aggies in rushing with 438 yards on the ground and another 5 touchdowns. While Manziel has been nearly unstoppable, the Aggies have yet to score less than 42 points this season. In fact that season low of 42 points was scored in the loss against Alabama. To put things into perspective, Alabama still owns one of the best defenses in the country and has given up just 16 points combined in their last 4 games. That should tell you just how dynamic this Texas A&M offense is playing and it will be interesting to see if anyone can slow them down as the 2nd half of the season begins.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: While Texas A&M’s offense is nearly unstoppable, the Aggies defense cannot get a stop. More importantly the Aggies defense cannot stop the run which will equal big troubles this Saturday against Auburn. The Tigers are being a bit under rated but they are really playing well. If the ball bounces their way, I would not be surprised to see them contend for an upset on the road in Aggie Land. Take Auburn +13.5
Additional College Football Betting Previews