Auburn vs Tennessee: Preview and Prediction for SEC Showdown

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Auburn vs Tennessee: Preview and Prediction for SEC Showdown
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Auburn Tigers will be taking on the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, and it's bound to be one of the more exciting games to watch all day.

As it stands now, the Tigers are currently second in the SEC West behind Alabama, hoping that they will fall to LSU.  Meanwhile, the Volunteers are near the bottom of the SEC East, although they do have a big win over the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Let's take a look at when and where to watch this exciting SEC matchup, followed by a breakdown of both teams and a final prediction for the game.

 

Viewing Information

Date: Saturday, Nov. 9

Time: Noon ET

TV: ESPN

 

No. 9 Auburn Tigers (8-1, 4-1 SEC)

After going 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC during the 2012 season, the Auburn Tigers have completely turned it around in 2013.

Now, Auburn is 8-1 with its only loss coming against LSU.  Gus Malzahn's team has key wins over Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Arkansas, and it is looking to continue this terrific season.

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

What makes Auburn so effective is its impressive running game.  The offense average 306.2 rushing yards per game, the sixth most in the country, with 2,756 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground.

Junior quarterback Nick Marshall has done a great job as a dual-threat quarterback.  He's put up nearly 1,800 yards, 12 total touchdowns and four interceptions.  Tre Mason has been the team's star running back with 921 yards and 13 touchdowns.

If the Tigers can win their next two games, then they will have an opportunity to take the SEC West in their final game against Alabama.  It's not very likely, but Auburn still has a shot to make a run at the SEC Championship.

 

Tennessee Volunteers (4-5, 1-4 SEC)

Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

The Tennessee Volunteers haven't had a winning record since 2009, and while they might have a chance to have one in 2013, they're going to have to beat Auburn if they want to have a good shot.

Over the past two games, the Volunteers have lost by a combined score of 76-13 against Alabama and Missouri, allowing a total of 981 yards of offense.

With Justin Worley out indefinitely, the Volunteers have had to rely on true freshman Joshua Dobbs to start at quarterback.  He's played the past two games, but he's struggled, completing just 57.4 percent of his passes for 315 yards and two interceptions.

Dobbs will have to rely upon Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane in the backfield.  The two have run for a combined 1,168 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging over five yards per carry.

Defensively, the Volunteers aren't the strongest team.  They've allowed 429.3 yards and 29.4 points per game, which makes for one of the weaker defenses in the SEC.

While they can't make a run at the conference championship, there's still a small chance that the Volunteers can get a bowl bid, but they're really going to need to win against Auburn to have a realistic shot.

 

Prediction

Who wins this SEC matchup?

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It's hard to go with Tennessee in this one.  The Volunteers were able to beat South Carolina and have a close game against Georgia, but with Worley hurt, the passing game is struggling and the offense can't put up points.

Meanwhile, Auburn is on a hot streak with five straight wins, scoring at least 30 in each.  Marshall and Mason lead a strong offensive attack, and they should be able to grab their sixth straight win.

If the Tigers win, they will have a game against Georgia before the big matchup against Alabama.  With how good they've been, there's a chance that they can actually go to the SEC Championship.

Predictions: 35-24, Auburn

 

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