No. 5 Texas A&M will travel Saturday to face SEC West rival Auburn with its College Football Playoff hopes still alive and revenge on its mind. It's not likely the one-loss Aggies can win the SEC West, but heading into the end of the regular season with their one loss coming in a hard-fought game against No. 1 Alabama should sit well with the committee.
The Tigers are coming off of an embarrassing 42-13 loss to rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Quarterback Bo Nix struggled under immense pressure last weekend, the running game struggled and the secondary was lost against the high-flying Crimson Tide. There's still plenty for coach Gus Malzahn's crew to play for. Not only can the Tigers play the spoiler role and wreck Texas A&M's title hopes, but they can pick up their fourth straight win in the series.
Let's break down the game and make picks straight up and against the spread.
Texas A&M: The Aggies defense has been lights out this season as it has given up just 328.0 yards per game. It thoroughly dominated LSU last weekend in the 20-7 win that saw the Tigers manage just 267 yards and one touchdown in garbage time. The defensive line was all over both LSU quarterbacks and lived in the backfield all night long. There is a concern on offense, though. Quarterback Kellen Mond was 11 of 34 last weekend against an historically bad LSU secondary. Sure, the weather was a problem. But it can't be used as an excuse against a defense under coordinator Bo Pelini that has been an abject disaster.
Auburn: Tigers quarterback Bo Nix is 10-1 at home over the last two seasons, and will have that on his side this weekend on The Plains. But the absence of running back Tank Bigsby was apparent in the Iron Bowl, and his status moving forward is very much up in the air. The Tigers defense got lit up by Alabama last week, but don't take too much from that. After all, Alabama has done that to everybody. The defensive line is going to have to play better against the Aggies in order to force Mond into multiple mistakes.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 5 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Jordan-Hare Stadium -- Auburn, Alabama
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Texas A&M at Auburn prediction, picks
This Aggies team is on a mission, and that mission will be successful on Saturday afternoon. They'll dominate on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and control the game from the outset. Texas A&M's defensive front will make a living in the Auburn backfield, force Nix into multiple mistakes and get the Tigers off schedule on a consistent basis. Pick: Texas A&M (-7)
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