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Staff Picks - Auburn vs Tennessee

Tigers try to keep a clean sheet against the Vols in the new millennium.

NCAA Football: Southern Mississippi at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn gets another SEC test this weekend when the Jeremy Pruitt-led Tennessee Vols come into Jordan-Hare Stadium, but have no fear. We may have all gotten the picks wrong last week, but we’re rebounding right now.

Auburn (-15) vs Tennessee (O/U 47.5)

“I’m thinking this winds up like the Arkansas game. Tennessee isn’t too bad on defense, but their offense is awful. Auburn comes out sluggish on offense but eventually gets far enough away to feel moderately comfortable. I think the spread has finally dropped low enough to be spot on, but that total is too high. Auburn 26, Tennessee 10.” - James Jones

“Hope springs eternal. This time, Auburn gets confidence, gets rolling, and puts the dark past behind it. THIS is the week Stidham looks cool and collected. THIS is the week the line gels and becomes a fully realized Auburn offensive line. He’ll never hurt me again, he promised he’d change this time… Auburn 39 TU 10.” - Son of Crow

“I’m going to keep doubling down on Auburn figuring things out and fixing this broken offense. There is no better team left on our schedule to do that against than Tennessee. The team from Knoxville really stinks, and nothing will turn this frown upside down quicker than sending Jeremy Pruitt home with his tail between his legs. Tigers 45-3.” - AU Chief

“I cannot wait for the basketball matchup between these two schools on March 9! Oh wait, my bad, we’re talking football here. Here’s a few factors to consider: This game is an 11 AM kick, while being played on Fall Break, with the team coming off of a loss and playing against a bad team. Because of all of these things, this game just has the makings of one that could be totally disastrous to watch. Tennessee is the worst team in the SEC and I’m not sure how much the bye week helped them out. I’m tired of hearing the “we need to play better and coach better talk” from Auburn, they need to start actually doing it. As bad as Auburn’s offense has been, I don’t think the play calling has been the biggest problem, it’s been the execution. There were 3 or 4 plays last week that if they were executed properly, we’re talking about a completely different result. I still find it difficult to trust this Auburn offense but hopefully this week because they have to figure things out at some point, right? Auburn 23 Tennessee 7.” - Will McLaughlin

“Last weekend was a referendum on whether or not this AU team will be a championship contender. They will not.... This weekend will be a referendum on whether or not they will be bowl eligible. They better be... I don’t think it’s ever gonna “click” for this team but I think sheer talent wins out Saturday in another ugly game that doesn’t make anyone feel better about this team. AU 31 TEN 13.” - AU Nerd

“I don’t know what to say here really. I want to believe that this offense is going to get right’ and ‘be fierce’ but that won’t happen... This is a game Auburn should win. Should win. Just like Auburn should have won last week, but blown calls and whatever else that was cost Auburn the game and forced me to watch Fitzgerald jump up in the air awkwardly. Tennessee is bad. Like real bad, from a talent standpoint. Pruitt can’t stand Auburn, being an Alabama guy, and will blitz Auburn at every turn. If Auburn can get a turn over on defense, maybe score there then they will coast (as much as this team can). Auburn 24, Tennessee 12.” - Drew McCracken

“If I had any faith in Tennessee to play offense, this game could be close. They don’t run the ball well enough to keep the Auburn defense on the field all game, which bodes well for Auburn. They’re also a hair worse on defense than Auburn is on offense right now (UT defense is 94th in S&P+, Auburn offense is 93rd), so that side of the ball could lead to either some ‘WTF how can we not move the ball’ or some ‘WTF how did we get away with that’ kinds of plays. I still think this team is more talented than the way they’ve played. Give me Auburn 27-7.” - Ryan Sterritt

“I really don’t know what to think with this one, and since I’ll be at the game (with my Tennessee fan wife, yes) I’m choosing to go positive. With the right throw, or the right catch, or the right ruling, last week could’ve turned into a win for Auburn. If’s and but’s aside, we were very close to putting it together last week, and I think Gus may have learned some things. It’s no secret that Boobee’s our best back. He needs to get at least 20 carries tomorrow. It’s also no secret that actually unleashing the passing attack can move the ball. Open up the offense, get Ryan Davis plenty of touches, and toss the deep ball to Slayton until it hits. Do it. Tennessee doesn’t have a Montez Sweat that can pressure the quarterback, so I think this is a relatively safe game to go all out. Defensively, I’ll be disappointed if the Vols score in the double digits. This should be an angry group after last Saturday. Auburn gets the win, covers, and we all get to go home and watch the late games in relaxation. Tigers 31, Vols 7.” - Jack Condon