Game time: Noon ET/11 a.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Radio: Auburn Sports Network
How to watch online: http://www.secsports.com/watch
Odds: Auburn (-15), 52 (O/U)
When I previewed this year’s Auburn team at the beginning of the season, I predicted one loss: November 4 at Texas A&M. Auburn has obviously accumulated more than one loss, but as the season has unfolded, I still think it’s possible that Saturday’s game could be a win for the Aggies and a loss for the Tigers. Auburn is coming off a bye week, while Texas A&M is coming off an ugly loss at home to Mississippi State; the game could legitimately go either way, but here are some things to look out for.
Auburn offense vs. Texas A&M defense
Tigers running back Kam Pettway is out for the season with a fractured scapula, but considering how little he has actually played this season, that shouldn’t change the game plan much. The Aggies are giving up 148 rushing yards per game, while Auburn averages 238 per game. One key to watch for is whether Auburn will have Casey Dunn back at center; Auburn runs the ball best with Casey Dunn at center and Austin Golson at left tackle.
It is a homecoming of sorts for Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Texas A&M gives up 232 yards per game through the air, so if his offensive line gives him enough time, Stidham should have success against the Aggies.
Auburn defense vs. Texas A&M offense
If Auburn fans aren’t already familiar with Christian Kirk, they will be after Saturday. Kirk is a threat both as a wideout and as a kick/punt returner. He has a knack for making big plays and in light of how poor Auburn’s kick/punt coverage has been in recent weeks, don’t be surprised if he makes some on Saturday.
The Tigers are giving up 303 total yards of offense per game; the Aggies average 387. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond hasn’t looked good in the past few weeks, so he may have a short leash against a feisty Auburn defensive front. The Aggies will need running back Trayveon Williams to get something going if they want to open things up in the passing game. Against the Tigers’ stingy defense? Good luck with that.
The early kickoff favors Auburn, but it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. It’s a must-win for both head coaches; I think it will be a close game, but coming off the bye week, I’m giving Auburn the edge.