The Auburn Tigers are the latest in a line of SEC fooball teams to schedule a cupcake game in order to prep for more important contests down the road.
Auburn faces the 1-5 Western Carolina Catamounts from the Southern division on Saturday, but has a massive showdown against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in two weeks.
In order for Western Carolina to pull off the huge upset, it will take a combination of Auburn simply not taking its opposition seriously and the Catamounts playing the best football they can possibly muster, but crazier things have happened.
Here is everything fans need to know about the game.
When: Saturday, Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Jordan–Hare Stadium in Auburn, AL
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Spread: Auburn (-43.5)
Catamounts Injury Report (via USA Today)
Injury info unavailable.
Tigers Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Montavius Adams||DL||10/09/2013||is probable for Saturday's game against Western Carolina||Probable||knee|
|Jaylon Denson||WR||09/22/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Justin Garrett||LB||10/09/2013||is doubtful for Saturday's game against Western Carolina||Doubtful||undisclosed|
|Keymiya Harrell||DL||10/09/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Western Carolina||Questionable||knee|
|Jonathan Jones||CB||10/09/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Western Carolina||Questionable||foot|
|Nick Marshall||QB||10/09/2013||is probable for Saturday's game against Western Carolina||Probable||knee|
|Cassanova McKinzy||LB||10/07/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Western Carolina||Questionable||neck|
|Demetruce McNeal||S||08/17/2013||was dismissed from the team||Out||legal/disciplinary|
|Craig Sanders||DL||10/09/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Western Carolina||Questionable||ankle|
|Jeffrey Whitaker||DT||08/31/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
Can Auburn Avoid a Sluggish Showing?
In reality, a chance at an upset here is highly unlikely for Western Carolina. Auburn is firing on all cylinders and is two weeks removed from a humbling loss to No. 6 LSU in SEC play.
The Tigers bounced back last week, upsetting No. 24 Ole Miss by eight points thanks to a ridiculous showing from junior quarterback Nick Marshall, who had 140 yards rushing along with two touchdowns on just 14 carries.
Auburn needs to keep the ball rolling against Western Carolina to build even more momentum heading into its contest with the Aggies.
Coach Malzahn made it clear, no matter the opponent, each week is a great opportunity to improve.— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) October 8, 2013
Marshall has done little as a passer outside of ripping Mississippi State for 339 yards and two touchdowns a few weeks back, so he especially can use the opportunity to iron out his issues in preparation for the Aggies.
Will Western Carolina cover the spread?
Western Carolina has surrendered 40 or more points in four of its six contests this year. The Catamounts have scored as many as 30 points just once while its one matchup against legitimate competition in Virginia Tech resulted in a 45-3 thrashing.
As Kevin Scarbinsky of AL.com noted, the Catamounts have not recorded a winning season, or more than three wins in a season, since 2005 and hold a horrific record against SEC opposition:
They’ve gone 0-7 against SEC teams since 2002. They’ve played Alabama three times and Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt once each. The average score of those games: 52-3. Five of the games ended in shutouts, including the 2004 and 2012 games against Alabama and the 2002 game against Auburn.
It is going to be a long day for the Catamounts. Auburn should be questioned for even scheduling the matchup. That said, the Tigers will score a major win in prepping for the Aggies.
Final: Auburn 48, Western Carolina 3
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling