July 13, 2020

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Tulane at Auburn Game Preview

After a 42-14 beatdown of FIU, the Tulane Green Wave (1-0) travel to Auburn, AL to take on the 10th ranked Auburn Tigers (1-0) this Saturday, September 7th in Jordan-Hare. Auburn is fresh off an emotional win against the 16th ranked Oregon Ducks, with freshman Quarterback Bo Nix throwing a game winning touchdown to wide receiver Seth Williams with 9 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. 

Auburn poses a much larger threat to Tulane than FIU, and have arguably the best defensive line in the SEC. Auburn’s defense limited Oregon’s rushing attack to only 90 yards, allowed 242 through the air, and only allowed the Ducks to convert on 4 of 14 3rd down attempts. 

In contrast, FIU gave up 545 yards to the Green Wave offense, with 305 of those yards coming from the ground game and the remaining 195 from its passing attack. Against FIU, Tulane converted on 7 of 12 third down attempts and possessed the football for 33:42. 

For that type of offensive production to cross over into this weekend’s game, Green Wave QB Justin McMillan must carry over his success from the home opener into Jordan-Hare. McMillan showed excellent proficiency against FIU, completing 14 of 18 through the air for 199 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with netting 51 yards on the ground (68 excluding a 17 yard sack) and a rushing touchdown. Expect workhorse back Darius Bradwell to get the majority of touches while testing the Auburn defensive line, with Corey Dauphine supplemented in for the explosive play calls. 


Keys To Victory

If the Green Wave expect to pull the upset, both the offense and defense must play their most complete games of the year, a tall order considering they face a top 10 team on the road in Week 2. 

Oregon did a great job of pressuring first time starting QB Bo Nix, allowing him to complete only 42% of his passes. Nix was hurried 7 times, sacked once, and picked off twice, largely due to the constant pressure being placed on him by the Ducks. If Tulane’s talented defensive line can find some penetration up front, Nix can be flustered and forced into bad throws, as his decision making is still questionable as a true freshman. Along with providing constant pressure, look for Tulane’s opportunistic defense to force a few turnovers, gifting their fast-paced offense a short field and less stress against an elite Auburn defense. Last week against FIU, the Green Wave defense accounted for 2 turnovers; one interception by Thakarius Keyes and one fumble recovery by Cameron Sample following a strip sack on FIU QB James Morgan.

Offensively, Tulane must continue the success it established in their season opener. Auburn prides itself on their ability to stop the run, so the Wave must find creative ways of getting their best playmakers in open space to avoid the monstrous Tiger D-Line. 

Currently, Auburn opens as a 3 touchdown favorite against Tulane. I expect Tulane to cover, given their stout defense and resurgence in offense behind McMillan. Couple that in with an Auburn team coming down from an extremely emotional, last-second win, I expect some hangover from the Tigers and a closer game than most expect.


Final Prediction

Auburn 38, Tulane 24