Florida Gators vs. Auburn Tigers
The Auburn Tigers and Florida Gators both look to rebound from their second losses of the year as they meet in SEC college football action on Saturday. The Tigers are -1 point favorites over the Gators with an over/under point total set at 55.
While the Auburn Tigers are the defending National Champions the expectations this season for Gene Chizik’s team were muted after losing key players from last year’s team. Along the way tis season Auburn has surprised a few teams but at the same time we have seen the holes that will take time to fill as replacing Cam Newton and Nick Fairley won’t be easy if it is even possible. The further the Tigers get into their season the more we are seeing Kiehl Frazier get time at QB as he’s more mobile and offers more options than Barrett Trotter who has seen the bulk of the action under center. Michael Dyer is clearly Auburn’s most talented player and he’s a threat to go all the way on every play but with Kiehl in it should open more running lanes for Dyer as the opposition shouldn’t be able to key on him. Onterrio McCalebb is a dual threat in the backfield running and catching and Trevante Stallworth and Phil Lutzenkirchen are providing receiving options. The question marks for the Tigers have been on defense and at times we have seen gaping holes where the Tigers were absolutely shredded most recently last week in the second half against Arkansas where they simply had no answers. As we get deeper into the season the Auburn defense will either need to step it up or they will get further exposed though Neiko Thorpe has played well with 47 tackles, Daren Bates has 45 tackles, and Demetruce McNeal has 38 tackles.
It’s been a season of transition for the Florida Gators and while they started the season hot, it looks like it may have been more of a product of light scheduling as opposed to the Gators being ready to compete with the elite in the SEC. QB John Brantley was injured in the Alabama game but it wouldn’t have mattered as UF was clearly over matched and while Brantley is day to day he could be back for this one. Florida has two of the fastest players in the country in their backfield with Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps and both can take a small crease and turn it into a big play. Florida doesn’t go to their wide receivers often but they have talent there with Deonte Thompson and Andre Debose. The Florida defense has been on the wrong side of successive beatings the past two weeks against Alabama and LSU so they aren’t going to see anything this week that they haven’t seen before. Jon Bostic leads the Gators with 42 tackles, Matt Elam has 34 as does Jelani Jenkins.
Auburn is 7-1 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, 8-1 against the spread in their last nine SEC games, and 2-9 against the spread following a loss. Florida is 11-4-1 against the spread following a loss, 2-7-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 14-5 against the spread in their last 19 road games against a team with a winning home record. Auburn has covered four in a row in this series.
I have been a believer in Auburn this year and have taken advantage of some of the value we have gotten on them but I saw some disturbing things this past week at Arkansas including an offense with no direction and plan and a defense that leaves gaping holes and running lanes. I see Demps and Rainey having very big days here.
Florida Gators +1 Auburn Tigers