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Florida Gators vs. Auburn Tigers SEC Football Pick with Pointspread Analysis

10/15/11

The Auburn Tigers host the Florida Gators Saturday night at 7 pm est. on ESPN. Auburn, 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEC is ranked 24th in the nation and very much in the thick of the SEC West race with games against LSU and Alabama still to come. Florida is not in the top 25 however they are also 4-2 and at 2-1 in the SEC East with games against the leaders South Carolina and Georgia still on deck, are also very much in the hunt. A big game Saturday to say the least, for both programs.

Florida opened up 4-0 against questionable opposition with their toughest test coming in a 33-23 win over Tennessee. Then, they ran into two buzz saws as Alabama and LSU both spanked the Gators, 38-10 and 41-11. Auburn also had some patsies to beat up on, including one of Florida's opponents, Florida Atlantic and they lost against stiffer competition, Clemson and Arkansas. They did beat South Carolina 16-13.

For the Gators, big question marks remain at QB. With John Brantley out, and back up Jeff Driskel questionable, it looks as though Jacoby Brissett will make his 2nd career start. He started against LSU and considering the monster defense LSU has, did as well as could be expected going 8 for 14 for 94 yards with TD and two picks.

Whichever Gator Freshmen QB takes the majority of the snaps this week, they should find the going a little easier than when they faced Alabama and LSU. This Auburn defense has given up 34+ points in 4 of their 6 games. Offensively, these two teams have put up similar numbers. Both have good rushing games while both rank low in the passing game. It's the defensive side of the ball where we see a significant edge for the Gators. Florida is 32nd in the nation against the run, Auburn is 103rd. Florida is 13th in the nation against the pass, Auburn is 81st.

Even with the QB problems, going up against the Auburn defense after consecutive games against Alabama and LSU should be like going up against a Pop Warner team. On the other side of the ball, the Auburn offense was contained by the three best teams they faced, Clemson, South Carolina and Arkansas, who held Auburn to 24, 16 and 14 points. The Gator defense should do the same.

These teams have played 4 times since 2001 with Auburn winning 3 of those games. The last time they played was in 2007. We like the Gators here. Our model has the Gators winning 32-21 here, but we have to acknowledge the QB situation. Just the same, we think it's the Gators defense that ends up being the difference in this one. We'll lay the small spot on the road with Florida. Florida -2

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