Underdogs to Vanderbilt, 2013 SEC Schedule + Young Players
I think the headline says it all about this game. Auburn will try to avoid it’s fifth SEC loss and try to right the ship with a win over Vanderbilt on Saturday.
For Auburn, this is another must win. A loss — especially a bad one — may put Chizik out of the door once and for all, although it’s going to be hard to see how he makes it to 2013 as long as Vegas continues to dictate out season. Auburn is 1-5 against the spread so far this season, so read into that what you will.
Vanderbilt will and probably should come into this game motivated for another win. They’re at home, and are scrambling for wins so they can make a bowl game for the second season in a row. The real question is, will this Auburn team be ready?
This will be Auburn’s best chance for an SEC win this season, since the last three opportunities will come at home to Texas A&M and Georgia, and then on the road against Bama. None of those are likely wins, so if Auburn is to claim a fourth win somewhere, it will be here.
The Quarterback situation is again quite cloudy. Mosely played relatively well against Ole Miss, despite his second half struggles. Kiehl is still a little banged up so we may see Mosely play again, even though he did practice a little through the week. Injuries are still abound elsewhere though, as Ford and Dismukes are currently questionable to play. When you’re missing a top pass rusher and your main centre, you’re going to struggle, so I hope to see Dismukes out there sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Kris Frost may be in line for more reps this weekend as well. Thigpen stated that he may get some reps to take the pressure off Bates.
“We need to take some of those reps off him. If we can get Kris to come in 15-20 plays, that would keep Bates fresh.” Thigpen said.
Chizik also feels like McKinzy earned his starting spot.
“I think he feels an opportunity there. I’m proud of how he’s practiced this week”.
I think giving McKinzy a start is going to benefit the defence a little. The Middle Linebacker position is important on this defence, so getting McKinzy some more reps will not only help his confidence but also improve his and Holland’s play. Holland has been struggling since the start of the season, so this may be beneficial for them both.
A loss to Vanderbilt won’t only mean 1-6 (for the first time in 62 years), but it means that Vanderbilt will officially have an all-time winning record over us. Hard to believe, right?
Vanderbilt has had some success moving the ball against the likes of Georgia and Florida, but overall aren’t a great team. If we show up, play tough defence and move the ball then we’ll be in there with a chance to win, just like last week. Fourth quarters have plagued us this season, and another week on the road against a motivated Vanderbilt may not immediately fix things.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 24 – 17 Auburn.
Before I pop off, the 2013 SEC schedule was released earlier. Auburn gained a second straight home game against Georgia, whilst introducing Tennessee (in November of all months) to their schedule. Things may have evened out a bit with the home game to Georgia, since home slates are typically favourable in even years, and vice versa in odd years. Funny how things shake out.
(All quotes from this post are from al.com)