Texas A&M Aggies (6-3 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. No. 3 Auburn Tigers (7-1 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date and Time: Saturday November 8th, 2014. 3:30PM EST
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium Auburn, A.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: A&M +21.5/AUB -21.5
Over/Under Total: 66
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Last week the Auburn Tigers went into Oxford and knocked the 4th ranked Ole Miss Rebels to stay alive in the college football playoff picture. At 7-1 SU, the Tigers only loss this season was suffered against the current no. 1 team in the country which is Mississippi State. However last weeks victory moved Auburn into the no. 3 position in the polls as the top ranked 1 loss team in the country. This week Auburn shifts their focus to the visiting Texas A&M Aggies who will be trying to end a 3 game SEC losing streak when they come into Jordan-Hare Stadium for a 3:30pm (EST) kick on CBS.
The Aggies started the season with a solid 5-0 start and peaked as high as no. 6 in the AP polls. However the Aggies suffered 3 straight losses against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Alabama who were all ranked inside the top 10. The loss to Alabama was an utter embarrassment considering the Crimson Tide routed the Aggies in a 59-0 shutout. In fact, it was the only shutout in head coach Kevin Sumlins entire career that spreads out over 86 games. The Aggies once potent offense was held to just 172 yards while Alabama eclipsed 600 total yards on the game.
The Aggies did heal a few wounds last week by bouncing back out of conference in a 21-16 victory over UL Monroe. However, the offense was still not near the presence they were earlier this year as the Aggies managed just 243 total yards. The question moving forward for Coach Sumlin is how does this Texas A&M offense get back on track? The Aggies will need all the firepower they can muster this week against Auburn who is averaging near 40 points per game. One of the main problems for this weeks contest against Auburn is that star quarterback Kenny Hill will be out for the 2nd straight week. Hill is serving a two game suspension for a violation of team rules.
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Quarterback Kyle Allen will be the starter this week again for the offense. However, Allen has proved to be a big step back in terms of production behind center as compared to Hill. Allen completed just 13 of 28 passing last week for 106 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 pick. On the season, Allen is completing just 54.5% of his throws with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Obviously Allen does not have much experience under his belt but the offense is going to need much better numbers from their freshman quarterback this week. The Aggies have some serious offensive threats in the receiving corps so Allen has to give those guys a chance to make plays to keep this game close.
However quarterback woes will not be the only concern for Aggies fans this week as defense may be the even bigger concern. The Aggies have relinquished 39.6 points on average throughout SEC competition this season and now they will face one of the most prolific offenses in the conference by way of Auburn. The Tigers dynamic running duo of quarterback Nick Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne have shredded defenses this season to lead Auburns rushing attack to a cool 276 yards per game which is the 9th best team rushing average in the FBS. The Tigers have been able to run the ball with ease and Marshall has been able to be pretty effective with his arm as well (13 TDs, 4 INTs). As long as the offense can avoid any major turnover issues this week, they should be able to keep pressure on Texas A&Ms fragile defense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This line seems rather large with A&M getting 21.5 points but they have also looked flat awful in recent weeks. Without Kenny Hill, this one gets ugly and the 21.5 points may look thin after this one ends. Take Auburn -21.5 in a rout this Saturday at Jordan-Hare