Game Time: 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Radio: Auburn Sports Network
How to watch online: www.secsports.com/watch
Odds: Auburn (-34.5), 58.5 (O/U)
In 2016, the Georgia Southern Eagles (5-7) finished the season with as many wins as Auburn (8-5) had losses. The Eagles’ second-year head coach Tyson Summers has mixed reviews from fans after last year’s disappointing season. The same can be said of Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, who is entering his fifth season with the Tigers.
Both offenses will be called by new coordinators, so that should be interesting. Georgia Southern’s Bryan Cook was brought up under the triple-option at Georgia Tech. Auburn’s Chip Lindsey runs an offense that’s pretty similar to what we’ve seen under Gus Malzahn. Even with talented players, implementing a triple-option offense for the first time sounds pretty daunting. Advantage Auburn.
Georgia Southern has recruited well defensively for the past few years, with the secondary being their strongest unit. Auburn fans will hear the names of Joshua Moon, Kindle Vildor and Christian Matthew quite a bit on Saturday night.
If Georgia Southern’s defensive line looks anything like last year’s, they’ll give up a lot of yards on the ground. Auburn’s defense hopes to pick up where they left off last year.
The gaping hole that Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams left behind will need to be filled, but there’s a wealth of defensive talent on the Plains. Advantage Auburn.
Before assistant head coach Chad Lunsford came to Georgia Southern in June 2013, he was on staff at Auburn. Over the span of four years, Lunsford served as Director of Scouting and Director of Player Personnel. He now coordinates special teams for the Eagles. In 2016 he was a finalist for the Broyles Award because of what his special teams unit accomplished.
Nonetheless, one of Auburn’s most consistent strengths under Gus Malzan has been special teams. Senior placekicker Daniel Carlson is commonly and affectionately referred to as LEGATRON.
As long as punting doesn’t become a liability, Auburn maintains the special teams advantage.
I think Georgia Southern will gain an uncomfortable number of yards, but at the end of the day, I don’t think they’ll be able to stop the duo of Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson. Is 400 rushing yards too much? Nah.
Auburn 52, Georgia Southern 20