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Nov 21, 2017
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  Week One SEC Predictions

Auburn is set to host Georgia Southern Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The contest will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network. This will be the second meeting between the two teams. The Tigers defeated the Eagles 32-17 on Aug. 31, 1991.

Georgia Southern at Auburn

After a 2016 campaign that saw Auburn finish 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the SEC, the Tigers are expected to see improvement on the offensive side of the ball with new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

Lindsey comes to Auburn from Arizona State, where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2016. The Tigers should be more pass-oriented in 2017 under Lindsey while still being a force in the running game.

Auburn averaged 31.2 points per game and 440.8 total yards of offense per game last season, but the passing game was inconsistent all season. Averaging just 169.5 passing yards per game, Stidham looks to be a perfect fit to help the Tigers be more of a threat through the air.

Stidham, the nation’s 2017 No. 1 JUCO recruit, was named the offensive MVP after the A-Day game for completing 16-of-20 passes for 267 yards, and adding a 1-yard rushing touchdown.

The redshirt-sophomore will have plenty of targets to choose from, but Auburn's group of receivers are young and mostly unproven. Nate Craig-Myers and Eli Stove are expected to haul in plenty of catches, while Kyle Davis, Darius Slayton and Ryan Davis look to make an impact in the fall.

The running game averaged 271.3 yards per game last season and should put up huge numbers once again behind a deep, and talented offensive line. Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson are listed as co-starters, with Kam Martin as the No. 3 option.

Last year, Pettway racked up 1,240 yards on 209 carries and added seven touchdowns. Despite dealing with injuries, Johnson was still able to rush for 919 yards on 182 carries with 11 touchdowns in 12 games.

Along the offensive line, Prince Tega Wanogho Jr and Darius James start at tackle, Mike Horton and Braden Smith at guard, with Austin Golson at center.

Defensively, Auburn saw much improvement last year under new coordinator Kevin Steele. The Tigers allowed just 17.1 points per game, 132.8 rushing yards per game, and 361.9 total yards per game.

With Montravious Adams and Carl Lawson playing in the NFL, the Tigers have the potential to be stout on defense again in 2017 with plenty of options available to fill the void left by Adams and Lawson.

At Buck, Jeff Holland will start, with Marlon Davidson at the other end spot. At tackle, Dontavius Russell and Deshaun Davis get the nod after having breakout seasons a year ago.

In the middle of the defense, Darrell Williams, Deshaun Davis, and Tre' Williams are back after being very productive last season. The trio finished 2016 with a combined 182 tackles, with Tre’ Williams second on the team with 67 tackles.

Strong safety Tray Matthews is the leader of Auburn's secondary. The redshirt-senior led the team with 76 stops while starting every game. Stephen Roberts starts at the other safety position with Javaris Davis and Carlton Davis at the two cornerback spots.

Daniel Carlson returns for his senior season as the top kicker in college football. Last season, Carlson connected on 28 of 32 tries with a long of 53 yards. He could also handle punting duties if Ian Shannon struggles like he often did in 2016.

Georgia Southern finished last season at 5-7 overall and 4-4 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Eagles ranked 29th nationally averaging 224 rushing yards per game but only scored 26.6 points per contest.

Redshirt freshman Shai Werts will start under center for Georgia Southern with running back Wesley Fields getting most of the touches in an offense that features a triple-option attack. Fields totaled 492 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Prediction: Auburn 38-10.

Florida A&M at Arkansas

Prediction: Arkansas 42-13.

Missouri State at Missouri

Prediction: Missouri 37-7.

NC State at South Carolina

Prediction: South Carolina 24-20.

Michigan at Florida

Prediction: Florida 17-14.

Kentucky at Southern Miss

Prediction: Kentucky 20-13.

Charleston So at Miss St

Prediction: Miss St 30-6.

Appalachian St at Georgia

Prediction: Georgia 48-17.

South Alabama at Ole Miss

Prediction: Ole Miss 17-14.

Florida State at Alabama

Prediction: Alabama 24-17.

Vanderbilt at Mid Tennessee

Prediction: Vandy 31-23.

BYU at LSU

Prediction: LSU 24-13.

Texas A&M at UCLA

Prediction: UCLA 27-23.

Tennessee at Georgia Tech

Prediction: Tennessee 33-20.

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