We’ve got good buddy of ours in FSU fan Geoff Bowles who is very sure about his side winning The Big Game on Monday night. He’ll tell anyone who’s listening that Florida will hammer Auburn, winning by 2-3 touchdowns. It’s not because he doesn’t respect Auburn’s high-octane offence (you know, the one that caused perfectly good defences in Alabama and Missouri problems in back-to-back games), but Auburn’s defence, which he thinks is absolutely horrible.

And he’d be right. Auburn gives up 24 points per game, which is 38th in the nation. And while they’ve made some key stops in their games in the last month of the season – mainly due to fantastic displays by young DE Carl Lawson, opponents still gave up 29 points per game against them.

The Tigers come up against a Florida State side which is ticking beautifully right now on both sides of the ball (1st in the nation in points scored AND points given up). Quarterback Jameis Winston, who has had a season blessed by Football Jesus himself, has passed for 3,800 yards and 38 TDs. His wide receiver duo of Rashad Greene and Kelvin Benjamin – both who had 900 yard seasons – are going to pick on Auburn’s secondary, and Auburn – which is undersized in that department – is going to struggle.

Auburn fans will also have to watch out for running back Devonta Freeman- Auburn gave up 162.3 yards per game, good for 62nd in the nation.

And the Florida State defence? It’s frightening. Defensive co-ordinator will have the ‘Noles ready for Auburn’s high-octane offence, and even if they struggle early on with the Tigers’ pace, they’ll make the adjustments to win out. 


After the miracle wins against Georgia and Alabama, has Tigers coach Gus Malzahn’s done a deal with Satan himself to guarantee victory in Pasadena?

We don’t know, but it sure as hell seems like it. Auburn could quite easily have been a respectable 8-4 this season, not an outstanding 12-1. But after losing to LSU early on, Auburn got away with a horsecollar tackle on Johnny Manziel against Texas A&M as the Aggies were driving. Then, after blowing a big lead to Georgia, the home crowd went crazy as Georgia’s secondary failed out hold a relatively simple interception chance and Ricardo Lewis grabbed it to win the game, and the home crowd went even crazier as Chris Davis caught an Alabama game-winning field goal attempt and took it back 107 yards for an Auburn victory. And then, despite not having a great day in the secondary, the defence simply does enough to stop Missouri…and beat the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game 59-42.

Auburn’s going to win because this is the greatest turnaround season in college football history….and maybe sporting history. Last year they didn’t win a game in the SEC, and fired their coach Gene Chizik.

The man who replaced Chizik in Gus Malzahn brought in an explosive offence, starring quarterback Nick Marshall and running back Tre Mason, as well as a solid wide receiver in Sammy Coates. They are the 10th-best offence in the nation in points scored (40.2 average), and Tre Mason’s brilliance helped Auburn to be the nation’s best rushing team, averaging 335.7 yards on the ground.

But where Auburn’s going to profit is that Florida State’s defence is going to tire in a shoot-out, which is exactly where Auburn want them. They won’t be able to deal with Auburn’s constant speed – however much they practice – and Auburn will bring home yet another SEC Crown. 

BOTTOM LINE: Auburn’s a 12/5 underdog while Florida State’s 1/3. FSU is an 8-1/2 point favourite, which is seemingly miles in college football terms. The ‘over’ for points is 67.5. We like Florida State to win outright in an incredibly entertaining game, although we’re keeping away from the 8.5 points. We’re not sure. But we’d advise a cheeky £1 on the points at 67.5….because both teams can put up plenty!

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