Auburn takes on Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium, where they are 21.5 point favorites and have the statistical advantage in most categories. Here are the keys for Auburn to notch another win and stay in the Playoff hunt.
Run the dang ball. The Tigers are ninth in the nation in rushing yards per game and the Aggies are 89th in defending the run. The Aggies’ defense is at its best when they can get after the quarterback (13th in the nation in sacks per game), but they struggle mightily against teams that run the ball. Auburn will do that and should have a lot of success on the ground.
Pressure the young quarterback. Auburn’s defensive line hasn’t been able to get much pressure on quarterbacks recently, and the Tigers’ pass defense numbers have reflected that. With a freshman QB making his first road start, the Tigers should dial up the pressure as much as possible to make him make quick decisions with the ball. Allen didn’t look sharp against Louisiana-Monroe last week against pressure, so the Tigers should look at that game as a bit of a blueprint as to how to frustrate the young QB.
Win the turnover battle. Auburn’s turnover margin is +7 this season, good for 22nd in the nation. Texas A&M’s is -8, 114th in the nation. The Aggies have the offensive firepower to keep pace with Auburn in a similar manner to what South Carolina did. However, if the Tigers can rattle Kyle Allen a bit with pressure and create turnovers, they can quickly shake the confidence of a Texas A&M that hasn’t won an SEC game in over a month and pull away.