Friday, September 18, 2009

WVU at AU: who scores more?

I touched briefly on this game earlier in the week, but a little more analysis is in order. Auburn plays home game #3 of the season against their toughest foe in what should be a shootout. Both teams are scoring a lot (WVU, 34 ppg; AU 43 ppg) and both teams are allowing a good number of points on defense (WVU, 20 ppg; AU 18.5 ppg).

On the offensive side, Jarrett Brown looks like a solid passing threat, completing 43 of 57 pass attempts on the still early year. He also has 19 rushes for 142 yards, an average of 7.5 ypc. RB Noel Devine is also having a solid year, rushing for 192 yards on 36 carries (5.3 ypc). Five of WVU's players have long receptions of over 30 yards each, so the passing threat seems to play out in their favor. Top receiver Jock Sanders has 17 catches, despite being 5'7", which is athlete-speak for 5'5". On the flipside, Auburn's running back corps seems to be solid, running off 345 ypg on the ground. AU's passing game will keep it short, possibly using the pass to set up the run (stranger things have happened).

On the defensive side, nothing noteworthy has happened. WVU allowed 20 points to Big South powerhouse Liberty and 20 points to spoiler East Carolina. Meanwhile, Auburn allowed 24 to Mississippi State, a team they blanked last year (if you consider that Ryan Pugh scored the 2 points for Mississippi State).

On special teams, both kickers are perfect on the season in FGs and XPs. Return games are OK, both teams ranked in the 50s on yards per return.

All in all, I think this game comes down to which team cracks first on defense. Look for Auburn to win a tight one late, 38-35.


  1. I think AU's defense will stand up tall today and look for Gus to open up the playbook to impress the 60+ recruits who will be in the stands...WDE!
    AU 41-24

  2. I look for Auburn to try to rattle J Brown early in this game. He has yet to play an SEC caliber defense in his 4 starts so far. Couple that with a rowdy Jordan-Hare night crowd and he could make some mistakes early in the game helping Auburn jump out to an early lead.

    I don't expect Noel Devine to have the quality game he had last year. If he's only managed a total of 194 yards in two home games against Liberty & ECU I don't see how he'll do much better against an SEC defense on the road.

    Auburn's confidence is sky high right now and the team is hitting on all cylinders. I expect about a 7-10 point win for Auburn in a shootout, but wouldn't be surprised if Auburn wins by more.

  3. Believe me, I hope you guys are right. Plus, my predictions this week are off, so maybe we do win big.