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Staff Picks - #8 Auburn vs Kent State

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We’re all going to take the Tigers, but which coward predicts the Flashes to cover?

Tulane v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Auburn’s going to finish Saturday night as a 3-0 football team, that’s all but assured. But what manner of undefeated will these Tigers be? Are we going to see some improvement from the disjointed offense that’s graced the field the first two weekends, or are we going to feel some of the same frustrations with the team that we have the first two weeks?

No need to watch if you can’t, for every possible outcome follows below!

***IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE PICKS YOURSELF, JUST PUT THEM IN THE COMMENTS AND RYAN STERRITT WILL KEEP SCORE. MAKE SURE YOU PUT AN ACTUAL SCORE IN YOUR PICK AS WELL SINCE WE KEEP TRACK OF THE LINE AND THE OVER/UNDER***

#8 Auburn vs Kent State - 6 pm CST - Auburn, AL - Jordan-Hare Stadium

Auburn won’t struggle with this opponent. Kent State isn’t good. There really isn’t much to say here.

Kent State’s best playmaker, WR Isaiah McKoy, may make a play or two here and there, but Auburn’s defense will suffocate any redzone threats. I expect Kent State to have at least two red-zone opportunities ended by turnovers.

I’d like Bo Nix to hang around a little longer than normal tomorrow. A little extra game time can’t hurt. It seems like Auburn’s receiving depth will be thin, so this is a great trust-building opportunity for Nix and his receivers. I’m also looking forward to seeing (hopefully) all six of Auburn’s starting running backs. Auburn 52, Kent State 3

-Josh Dub

Kent State is a bad football team. There is 0 excuse for either side of the ball to get off to a slow start. Game is at night, opponent isn’t great & you aren’t coming off a super emotional win. This needs to be one of those 40+ pt beatdowns where multiple players get to be on the highlights.

What I want to see is a more efficient night from Bo, a 2nd RB stand out, someone at WR step up to prove they can be helpful, OL pancaking folks, very little snaps for Auburn’s key defensive players and LOTS of reserves. A dream scenario would be for AU to be up big at half & then allow Joey to run the opening game script to start the 3rd quarter with the 2nd team offense but I have seen enough of Malzahn to know that ain’t happening...

Still, Saturday is a chance to clean some things up before the meat of the schedule arrives. I expect a huge day on the ground with Auburn doing what they should do & then eating clock all 2nd half. Auburn 59 Kent State 3

-AU Nerd

Auburn is better by a wide margin than the Flashes at every single position. I don’t see this one being particularly close. I do see us getting a lot of guys as many reps as possible. However, if this game is within 14 after 1 people might get really restless. I can’t imagine a scenario where they score more than twice on our defense. Auburn needs to use this game to get better on offense. Auburn’s offensive line is what it is, it is now up to Dilly and Gus to figure out how to maximize what it is. I think Auburn scores early and often. I think Kent State struggles mightily in quarters 2&3 against a much deeper roster. Auburn wins. 35-0

-Son of Crow

Just what the doctor ordered! A bad football team shows up in Jordan-Hare Stadium for another night game on the Plains (someone should seriously contact the SEC offices about how we have to suffer through night games in September when it impacts our team’s ability to get a jump start on the next week…not to mention potentially lose prime seating at Waffle House). We’ve got a lot we need to see before hitting the road back to Texas for the SEC opener, so here’s what I think we need to see to win this game the right way:

Protect the football. For the love of God, protect the football.

Turn Bo Nix loose. It looks like we haven’t let him go through all of his progressions in practice by this point in the year, and are slowly trying to help him acclimate to the college game. This needs to change in a hurry Saturday. We can’t see anymore wheel routes left open or Marquis McClain streaking down field and it not be seen. Turn this kid loose, Gus. Let him play.

Hope DJ Williams is healthy, so he can start sharing the load of carries. He’s the only true every down back on this football team aside from Boobie. We need him.

Refine punting so it negates coverage issues. We need some more hang time from the punter from down under!

I want to see Kaleb Kim stay off his back and knock someone on their ass. Stay low, hit someone, and drive the block. If we don’t start seeing that fight this weekend, we’re a loss away from seeing changes along the offensive line.

I’m taking the under here. We’ve got a lot of guys out offensively that I’d like to believe could help us account for more points. But I’m also believing that Auburn’s defense refuses to care who they play, and instead continues to operate at an elite level. Auburn 38 Kent State 3

-Josh Black

A lot has been made of Auburn’s slow start on offense this year. This would be a good week to show some improvements before next week’s huge game in College Station. Kent State isn’t good, unlike Tulane, who I think wins at least 8 games this year which makes an already strong Auburn schedule look even better at the end of the year. The offensive line needs to show marked improvement this week. Auburn needs to hold onto the football, 3 fumbles last week wasn’t good. It would be nice to see more of the other Running Backs like DJ Williams and Harold Joiner or else you run the risk of running Boobee into the ground early in the season. Auburn wins but Kent State barely covers. Auburn 41 Kent State 7

-Will McLaughlin

I think Auburn can “athlete” this into a cover. Kent State is not good at all, and I have a feeling Gus is going to let the backups run the core offense for a bit to see if he has any more contributors for next week. Look for big games from Matthew Hill and hopefully DJ Williams. The defense shouldn’t be troubled, and you’ll probably need a full roster by the 3rd quarter. Auburn 45, Kent State 7 (UNDER, Auburn wins and covers)

-James Jones

Auburn covers and take the under.

Well finally the Tigers get to have a tuneup game right before starting SEC play in College Station next weekend. I look for the offense to look a little bit better and I wouldn’t be shocked if Nix is in there a little bit longer than you would traditionally see a starter go. As far as the defense goes, if D-Brown, Davidson and the rest of the starters are out there past the first or second series, some thing is very wrong. Auburn cruises to an easy one.

41-6 Auburn

-Drew Mac

I’ve been told this Kent State team is all-time bad. One would like to think Auburn could win 69-0 or something like that, but I’m going to account for a lot of second and third string action here. I think Auburn doesn’t quit hit the over, much to the chagrin of many I’m sure.

Tigers 42-3

-AU Chief

Kent State is real bad. Like, 117th out 130 bad. Considering the Auburn defense only allowed 6 points to Tulane, a respectable, middle of the road defense, I can’t expect Kent to do better than that. So then we have to look at the Auburn offense. In both games, the offense has struggled out of the gate only to find themselves after a few three and outs. Ideally, the offensive line will be able to pass block against a massively undersized defensive line, and for the first time Bo will settle into the pocket and have time to make some nice throws. Ideally. I’m less worried about Bo, though, than I am about the running game. We REALLY need to see a second running back emerge behind Boobee, whether it’s Shivers, Williams, or Joiner. I think it’s going to be Shivers Saturday who goes for 80+ yards and a score. Auburn 38-3.

-Ryan Sterritt

Until I see the offense run smoothly, even against a terrible opponent, I’m not going to believe that it’ll happen. I think we can run just about as vanilla a gameplan as possible and win going away, even without Seth Williams on the field. I do wonder if maybe not having him on the perimeter may end up having a similar effect to what happened with the Panthers when Kelvin Benjamin was injured. It forced Cam Newton to spread the ball around and the offense surged. After the stilted start, you can’t discount any possible fix.

More than anything else, we need to see the offensive line bully a bad MAC team. It has to happen. If we don’t average well north of 5 yards per carry and run with impunity, then I don’t know how much success we’ll actually have later in the year. We also need to see Bo Nix much more than you might see a normal starter in a similar game. I want him to get as many reps as possible before the SEC fireworks begin.

The defense will dominate, and Kent State’s not getting into the end zone more than once all day. I think we get a defensive touchdown AND a special teams score! Christian Tutt houses one tomorrow. Book it. Auburn rolls, looking better than last week, 49-6.

-Jack Condon