2023 Music City Bowl – Auburn vs Maryland

2023 Music City Bowl – Auburn vs Maryland

posted December 29

The Game

It’s SEC vs Big Ten time down in the MUSIC CITY as the Auburn Tigers mess with the Maryland Terrapins. The Tigers (6-6) were a mediocre bunch for the vast majority of the regular season but it’s worth noting that they played Georgia very tough (L 27-20) and were a miracle play away from defeating ROLL TIDE (L 27-24). The Terrapins (7-5) began the season like a HOUSAFIRE with five consecutive wins but they proceeded to lose four in a row after that HEATER and drop five of their last seven regular season games overall.

The Details

Auburn -6.5 Maryland (47.5)


“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Auburn 27 Maryland 20.5

Auburn offense vs Maryland defense

The Tigers have done almost all of their work on the ground (198 YPG, #16 FBS) with a deep set of RBs and QBs that can do damage with their legs. It’ll be the Payton Thorne show in this one and he’s rushed for 520 yards and 3 TDs with surprising effectiveness, but on the flip side, he’s struggled mightily with the THROW GAME (15-9 TD to INT, 63%). The poor performance is due in large part to the lack of WR/TE weaponry and that’s not changing overnight so we expect a heavy dose of running from Auburn in this one. Maryland has done a decent job vs opposing ground games this season (130 YPG, #33) but they allowed 150+ yards in each of their L4G and this will be the most dangerous rushing attack that Maryland has faced in 2023.

Maryland offense vs Auburn defense

The Terrapins are basically BIZARRO AUBURN as they don’t do much of anything on the ground (#114) despite having a good #1 RB in Roman Hemby (663, 4 TD) and they rely heavily on MATRICULATING the ball down the field thru the air. The bad news for Maryland is that star QB Taulia Tagovailoa has quit (3,377, 25-11 TD to INT) and it’ll be up to something called a “Billy Edwards Jr” to lead the way vs Auburn. Edwards Jr has only thrown 10 passes this season (46 LY) and it’s likely that we’ll see a bit of youngster Cameron Edge in this one. Maryland will be without their excellent TE Corey Dyches but it appears as tho they’ll have all three of their top WRs available and the Terps have one of the best WR units in the Big Ten. Auburn has been average on defense this season (#81 run D, #63 pass efficiency D) but they faced a stiff collection of opposing offenses. Maryland will be happy to know that Auburn will be missing some key pieces on defense for this game so they’ve got a shot to do some damage.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

The Terps are 2-0 in bowl games under HC Mike Locksley and they’ve won those two events by a combined score of 70-22…..This will be Hugh Freeze’s first bowl game with Auburn and note that he’s 6-1 ATS (and 6-1 SU) in bowl action…..These two teams last met in 1983 when Maryland was led by your boy QB BOOMER ESIASON…..Auburn won the game 35-23 thanks in part to the play of…..wait for it…..we know you want it……BO JACKSON……Maryland has only beaten one bowl team (Rutgers) and played the #61 schedule according to the Sagarin ratings……Auburn has also only defeated one bowl team (California) whilst dealing with the #47 docket.


We’ll side with the Tigers as we think they’ll win the rushing battle very handily and believe that they’ll be the more motivated bunch trying to book a winning season in year one of the Hugh Freeze regime.


Lean – Auburn -6.5

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.