How to Watch
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Spread: Northwestern -3.5
Moneyline: Northwestern -200 | Auburn +160
Auburn is teed up for change, but before Bryan Harsin fully takes the mantle on the plains, the Tigers have to play their bowl game. Auburn is tasked with taking on B1G West champion Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day. With how things have gone for Auburn, it is anyone’s guess what the feeling in the program is at the moment.
They of course are dealing with the fact that Gus Malzahn is no longer with the Tigers. Whether that has a tangible effect in how Kevin Steele will coach this game is yet to be seen. But with a lot of turmoil and turnover coming in the program, it’ll be intriguing to see how they fare in this one. They are facing a Northwestern defense that is both stingy and strong. Bo Nix and the Tiger offense did not perform well or up to expectation this year. Nix took a significant step back and the ground game was riddled by injury and couldn’t perform up to previous years’ levels.
Northwestern played well above expectation this year. While Peyton Ramsey and the offense had their off days, the defense was the heart of the squad. They were rather good against the run and exceptional against the pass. With Nix’s struggles through the air, this could very well present a terrible matchup for the good guys in this game. Northwestern’s passing attack isn’t too much better, but this is a run-reliant squad to say the very least. And that too could present problems, as Auburn has given up 4.3 YPC and has had four instances in the last six games where they’ve allowed at least 5.3.
This doesn’t figure to be a game littered with offensive firepower. I would probably expect a low-scoring affair here, perhaps with one team pulling ahead late in the game.