Tennessee will take on the No. 21 Auburn Tigers tomorrow at Jordan-Hare Stadium on the Plains. Here is the inaugural edition of 90/50/10 where I take a look at three things that have a chance of happening from most to least likely:
90%: Auburn holds Tennessee’s offense to under 250 yards and one touchdown
Against Power 5 opponents this season, Tennessee’s offense has only averaged 291.3 yards per game. Couple that with Auburn having a top-20 defense and you can easily see my reason for concern.
Tennessee’s offense has been less-than-stellar to say the least. The Vols offense currently ranks No. 101 (out of 130 teams) in total offense, averaging 360 YPG. Auburn, on the other hand, has a terrific defense. The Tigers have only given up seven touchdowns this season and have yet to let any opponent score more than 23 points against them. Tennessee’s offense should be a walk in the park for Auburn’s defense. Expect the Vols to have trouble running the ball against a talented Auburn front-seven. Through six games, the Tigers’ front-seven has averaged 8.2 tackles for loss per game. They should give Tennessee’s offensive line plenty of trouble.
Unfortunately, the Auburn secondary is just as good, if not better, than their front-seven. Their secondary has only allowed four passing touchdowns and they’ve picked off eight passes. A 2:1 interception to passing touchdown ratio isn’t too shabby. I don’t expect the Vols offense to put up many points on Saturday.
50%: Tennessee will sack Jarrett Stidham three times
The Vols defense is looking to continue their impressive defensive showing against Auburn. With a rising Tennessee front-seven and a declining Auburn offensive line, the Vols just might be able to get to the quarterback a few times.
Going into the season, the biggest question mark for this Auburn team was its offensive line. Unfortunately for Auburn, the line has shown to be just as bad as they feared it to be. After six games, the Tigers’ offensive line has given up 13 sacks and 32 TFLs. After the Vols’ standout performance against Georgia and a bye week to rest up, Tennessee should look to continue its success against Auburn. Expect Darrell Taylor and Shy Tuttle to take advantage of this opportunity and get a few sacks under their belts.
10%: The Vols leave Jordan-Hare with a win
Despite Auburn trending downwards after a 23-9 loss to Mississippi State and Tennessee trending upwards after a decent showing against No. 2 Georgia, I still expect the Tigers to win the game without too much hassle.
Throughout this week I have heard a lot of Vol fans on Twitter talk about a potential upset this Saturday. I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you. Despite a decent showing at Georgia, this Tennessee team stills has plenty to improve on before I would bet on them to beat Auburn.
Even if the Vols defense could replicate their performance from the Georgia game, Tennessee would still need to put some points up on the board which I don’t see them doing. If the Vols were able to pull off the upset, I think that would be huge in many ways. Right now, wins are at a premium for this Tennessee team that is fighting to get to a bowl game.
A win against the Tigers would almost certainly get them to a postseason game. A victory on Saturday would also make waves in terms of recruiting. Tennessee and Auburn are currently battling for multiple recruits and if Jeremy Pruitt can beat Auburn in year one, that would go a long way.
Final score prediction: Auburn 27 – Tennessee 7