2* Auburn -17.5 over Southern Miss – (shop for -17) Two squads with new offensive schemes here and we have to give the nod to Auburn simply due to it’s defense. The Auburn stop unit was actually down a notch last year yet still only GAve up 10, 3, 3 and 7 in it’s last 4 home Games last year. Prior to last season Auburn defenses put up yards per point numbers in the 20’s for three straight years which is superb. Last years ypp number was 18, still good, but giving up 45 to Georgia and 30 to LSU didn’t help. New defensive coordinator but same Auburn defense.
We’re talking SEC talent vs. Conference USA talent here folks. No comparison. Just take a glaNCe back to last season when So Miss took a trip to Tennessee to take on the Vols. End result? A 39-19 loss in which So Miss GAve up 469 total yards as the Vols got it done over land and air. Auburn moves to a spread attack this year on offense but a look at last weeks results shows us that there will be a big differeNCe between an Auburn spread and say, a West Virginia spread. The running Game still dominates.
The running Game figures to be key here. Both squads played weak opponents last week. However, it was Auburn piling up 321 yards on the ground while only giving up 84 while Southern Miss piled it up on the ground but GAve up 394 yards of total offense with 263 of those yards coming on the ground. Even in this day and age of potent west coast offenses and complicated offensive schemes football is still about running the football. Auburn figures to be able to do that with ease this week while it’s doubtful Southern Miss will have any success at all on the ground.
Let’s put it in perspective another way. Southern Miss had the top defense in Conference USA last year. A “top” defense that GAve up 30 to UTEP, 29 to Memphis, 34 to UCF, 31 to Rice……it goes on, but you get the picture. Granted not all points scored are as a result of the offense but it still illustrates the differeNCe between the two conferences and this is a defense that only returns 4 starters. Utep, Memphis and Rice surely don’t compare to LSU, Georgia and Florida….Night and Day.
If Auburn can get their new offense humming as the season goes on, they could be a damn scary team. In the meantime, they should have no trouble moving the ball this week and finding the end zone a few times. The offense will only get better each week, while the defense should be able to contain anything Southern Miss throws at them. It’s not like they haven’t seen it all before. Heck, they held Florida to 17 points a year ago and that Game was in the swamp!
The number is reasonable enough. At -17, the Tigers may not need to find the end zone that many times to cover this one, providing the defense holds as expected. This weeks card in general is a very weak one for us. So, we’ll leave this Game as a small 2* play. We’d expect the ratings to iNCrease on these Key Releases starting next week. Remember, it’s a long season and there will be lots of plays. We want to win. We don’t want to play for the sake of playing. Understand that, and you’ve mastered a very important aspect of successful sportsbetting.