Auburn Tigers vs. Oklahoma Sooners Preview
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, Louisiana
When: Monday, January 2, 2017 – 8:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX
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Betting on the Auburn Tigers (+3)
The Tigers will again have the services of QB Sean White, who missed the he final pair of regular season games due to a shoulder injury. He doesn’t own big numbers passing-wise (164.4 YPG, 9-3 TD-INT ratio), but he does a good job managing the game.
With that, expect the team to still feature a run-heavy offense. Their two leading backs, Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, led a running attack that made the Tigers rank sixth in the nation in ground yardage (278.5 per game), with the duo combining for 1,985 rushing yards and 18 TDs during the season.
Pettway had 120 or more yards in six of his eight games this season, and when he is given 17-plus carries, they went 6-1. Johnson, meanwhile, showed that he can get to the enzdone well, scoring at least one TD in nine of his 11 outings on the year.
On defense, the key guys are linemen Carl Lawson (13 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks) and Montravius Adams (eight tackles for loss, four sacks). Through their production, the unit is only giving up 384.4 total yards (20th overall) and 15.6 points per game (fifth overall).
Auburn went 8-4 in the season (9-3 ATS).
Betting on the Oklahoma Sooners (-3)
Though they ended the season on a nine-game winning streak, with an average winning margin of 18.8 points, the Sooners could have some unpleasant familiar feeling entering Monday’s showdown. Last year in the Orange Bowl, they folded to Clemson, 37-17, a team that’s also defense-minded like Auburn – both schools are even called “Tigers.”
To redeem themselves in the embarrassing loss, the explosive QB-WR combination of Baker Mayfield and Dede Westrbook will have to play big. They have to display Oklahoma’s passing game that averaged 319.8 YPG and was ranked 12th in the country.
Mayfield is facing a stout Auburn defense, but he too will be boasting great QB skills. He posted 305.7 passing YPG, completed 71.2-percent of his throws, and tossed 38 TDs in the season. His connection with Westbrook in this year’s campaign amassed over 1,400 yards and 16 scores.
For the run game, it’s all about Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, who combined for over 2,000 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and 18 TD runs.
As for the defense, the focus should be on the run. The Tigers are one of the best in running the ball and the Sooners are average on stopping rushers (60.8 YPG, 54th overall), although with a 119th-ranked pass defense (279 YPG), the secondary could be tested heavily as well.
Oklahoma (-3) wins, 30-24.
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