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Auburn Looks to Upset Favored Tennessee

10/3/09

Tennessee hosts Auburn this week and finds themselves anywhere from a -2.5 to a -3 point favorite at most top sportsbooks.

This is the battle of two SEC programs looking to get back to their glory days. Both teams have first year coaches, and both teams are looking to prove to the country that they are still a factor in the SEC picture. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this Tennessee team. Some of it is good and some of it is bad, but when your coach is Lane Kiffin thatís something you have to expect. Coach Kiffin came in here and was determined to get people talking about Tennessee again no matter what, and he has succeeded. Unfortunately for Tennessee the one thing that hasnít brought them much attention is their play on the field. Tennessee is 2-2 on the year with wins over Western Kentucky and Ohio, and losses to UCLA and Florida. Even though they are 2-2 on the year in their game against Florida they proved that their defense is still very strong, and that they are still a good football team.


Auburn has been impressive so far this year. Their new offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has this offense looking strong. They are 4-0 on the year with wins over Mississippi State, and West Virginia, but they still have not faced much competition, and a win over Tennessee would help prove that this Auburn team is a legit SEC WEST contender.

TENNESSEEíS KEY TO VICTORY

This Tennessee defense lead by the legend Monte Kiffin has been very impressive so far. They were able to give Florida and QB Tim Tebow a lot of problems. This defense is going to keep them in a lot of games which is a good thing since their offense is not going to be much help. This Offense has struggled especially QB Jonathan Crompton. Crompton has only thrown for 641 yards this season and even worse he has 7 TDs and 8 INTs. With this offense struggling it puts even more pressure on this defense to produce. Auburnís offense has been potent so far this year. They are putting up over 500 yards of total offense and putting up 45 points per game. Tennesseeís defense is going to have its hands full Saturday, but I have a feeling defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin will have this defense ready.

AUBURNíS KEY TO VICTORY

In most games the key to victory for this Auburn team would be to keep putting up yards and points like it is, but not in this one. I believe that itís going to be the Auburn defense that is going to be the key to victory. Auburnís defense is not quite where it wants to be so far this year, but they have the talent to get the job done. Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton has yet to prove that he can beat a team with his arm. The one thing this Tennessee team does have going for them is their running game with Montario Hardesty and true freshman Bryce Brown. Hardesty has nearly rushed for 500 yards already on the season and has scored 4 TDs, and Bryce Brown has rushed for over 200 yards even with his limited carries. If Auburn stacks the box and commits to stopping the run and forcing Crompton to beat them I see it being a long night for this Volunteer offense.

THE FINAL VERDICT

This should be a very interesting matchup. This Auburn offense has been one of the best in the country through 4 games. It has been putting up gaudy numbers, but that offense is going to get the acid test this Saturday night when they go up against Monte Kiffinís defense. This Volunteer defense likes to get after your early and often, and since Auburn has yet to play a defense like Tennesseeís we see them giving Auburn a lot of problems. Auburn has won 4 straight in this series including squeaking by last season 14-12. The Vols defense is for real but the offense really hasn't shown up yet. Auburn will get their points and that might be enough. We'll call for Auburn to make it 5 straight in this series. Look to get +3 though. Auburn +3

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