College Football Game of the Week: No. 7 Auburn vs. No. 10 Florida
The college football game of the week takes place in the swamp, as the undefeated Auburn Tigers travel to Gainesville to take on a fellow undefeated SEC foe, the Florida Gators, on Saturday, Oct. 5. Auburn comes into the matchup ranked seventh in the nation, coming off a dominant 56-23 win at home over Mississippi State last week. Florida is ranked ninth, breezing past Towson at home last week, 38-0. This game will more than likely end in one team being theoretically eliminated from the College Football Playoff, as both teams kick off a brutal stretch of games, starting with this one.
Auburn has looked dominant so far this year with two résumé-building wins over Oregon and Texas A&M. The offense is led by true freshman quarterback Bo Nix and sophomore running back JaTarvious Whitlow. Nix has seven passing touchdowns while Whitlow has seven of his own on the ground. The Tigers offense is averaging 38 points and 454 yards per game. The offensive attack is split about even between passing and rushing, which is what we can expect of Gus Malzahn’s team on Saturday afternoon.
The Auburn defense is allowing an average of 320 yards per game, with 225 of those yards coming in the air. The defense matches up well with the Gators, as the front line should have a big game against a generally weak Florida rushing attack. The Tigers are one of the most balanced teams in the nation, as their defense is giving up only 17 points per game.
The Gators have impressed a lot of people this year, as many thought that they were in store for another disappointing season after squeaking by unranked in-state rival Miami on opening weekend. Florida has dominated since but has not faced an opponent with the same talent that Auburn possesses. After losing starting quarterback Feleipe Franks for the season in Week 3 against Kentucky, junior Kyle Trask stepped into the starting role and has delivered, scoring five touchdowns this year, four of which came in his two starts. The rushing attack has not been quite as effective, as senior Lamical Perine leads the team with only 197 yards and three total touchdowns.
The defense is the strongest part of this team. Florida is allowing 284 yards per game with the majority of that coming from the passing attack as well. The Gators have seven players with more than one sack and 24 sacks in total which is second best in the country. With several players coming back from injury on Saturday, you can expect Dan Mullen’s squad to bring pressure to Nix and the rest of the Tigers offense.
Auburn is the favorite, which can be attributed to the Tigers’ stellar play so far this season. Florida, to many, is an overrated team that will have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do once Saturday’s game is over. Auburn’s offense will overpower Florida’s strong defense, continuing its hot streak on the road. The Tigers keep their playoff hopes alive and end Florida’s in the first meeting between these two teams since 2011.
Prediction: Auburn 32, Florida 23
Danny Murray is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.