Auburn Tigers 2021 College Football Preview
Record – 6-5
ATS – 5-6
The Tigers struggled on both sides of the football but still managed to cobble together six wins in an SEC-only plandemic schedule. They started to get hot mid-season with a three-game winning streak (Ole Miss, LSU, Tennessee) but dropped games to ROLL TIDE and Texas A&M right after that. The season ended on a sour note with a loss to Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl (L 35-19).
Auburn Tigers 2021 Outlook
The offense had a hard time getting much going LY and scored fewer than 30 PPG (25.1, #9 SEC) for the first time since 2015. QB Bo Nix was decent, but certainly not as good as he needed to be (12-7 TD to INT, 60%, 7 rush TD). Nix could have problems improving the THROW GAME given that Auburn loses their top-THREE (!) WRs who tallied 145 out of Auburn’s 216 receptions (!) in 2020. That’s a lot of production to replace, yo. No returning wideout recorded double-digit receptions LY so they’ll need a few young guys to emerge quickly and produce. The good news is the return of star RB Tank Bigsby who’s a superstar in the making (834, 6.0, 5 TD, four 100Y games LY). The OL returns five starters and almost 90 career starts so that’s a bonus.
The Tigers were average across the board LY and were the #8 run defense in the SEC and the #7 pass defense in terms of efficiency. They booked 26 sacks and rated #6 in the conference in sacks per game. This year’s DL is LOADED with size across the board and note the addition of big boy NG Tony Fair from UAB (6’3 335). Hopefully they can find some pass rushers at DE. The LB group features last year’s top-two tacklers in Zakoby McClain (5.5 TFL) and Owen Pappoe (6 TFL) and the secondary features a pair of rock solid CBs in Roger McCreary and West Virginia transfer Dreshun Miller. FS Smoke Monday is one of the better safeties in the SEC. This defense looks really good on paper <grabs popcorn>.
The kicking game is in great shape with the return of star PK Anders Carlson (20/22 FG LY, 7-8 40+) and P Oscar Chapman. Both of their KRs are back as well.
Overall – They should roll to three wins in non-conference play and might bag a fourth if they can find a way to beat Penn St in Happy Valley on September 18th. That’ll be a good one! They get ROLL TIDE at home but must go on the road to face LSU and Texas A&M.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Georgia St (September 25th)
This is a tough-looking sandwich spot (at Penn St, at LSU) so we’ll likely avoid laying a ton of points with the favorite in this one.
Season Win Total
per BetOnline August 10
Over 7 -120
Under 7 +100
We’d take a small taste over ‘6.5’ if you can find one out there.
New HC Bryan Harsin has a phenomenal career mark of 76-24. He won a Sun Belt title with Arkansas St and three Mountain West championships with Boise St.
New HC Bryan Harsin couldn’t have picked a much tougher assignment. Competing in the SEC West is absolutely brutal and we think it’ll take a year for this team to get their sea legs. The defense looks stout and they’ll have to rely on grinding it out on offense. At least that’s the way it appears. We’ll call for 6-7 wins and give them a shot at pulling a big upset along the way.
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