Auburn Tigers (2-0) vs. Kent St. Golden Flashes (1-1)
Saturday, September 14th, 2019 at 5 PM EST
Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn, AL)
Moneyline: Auburn (-25000), Kent St. (+4500)
Spread: Auburn -35.5 (-110), Kent St. +35.5 (-110)
Over/Under: 52.5 (-110)
Auburn Tigers Week 3 Preview
In Week 2, Auburn’s offense struggled yet again, managing only 379 yards in a 24-6 win against Tulane. In their first 2 games, true Freshman QB Bo Nix has looked…like a true Freshman, completing just over 47% of his passes for 384 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Luckily for Auburn, they’ve got a workhorse in the backfield in Sophomore RB JaTarvious Whitlow, who has carried the ball 47 times for 206 yards and 1 touchdown so far.
On defense, Auburn has allowed just 555 total yards (30th in FBS) and 27 points (24th in FBS) in Weeks 1 & 2 combined. The one area they need to improve in is the turnover battle, as they’ve turned the ball over 4 times and only forced 2 turnovers.
Playing Kent State should be a good final tune-up before SEC play, as the Golden Flashes have been below average on defense (26.5 points allowed per game) and close to the bottom of the FBS on offense (16.5 points per game).
Kent St. Golden Flashes Week 3 Preview
Kent State doesn’t have a chance to win against Auburn, and if they cover the spread, that means Auburn has won another ugly, low-scoring game. The Golden Flashes (1-1) were dominated by Arizona State in Week 1, losing 30-7 and getting out-gained by 255 yards on offense. In Week 2, they needed a field goal in overtime to beat FCS opponent, Kennesaw State, 26-23. Things are not looking good this week for the Golden Flashes.
Kent State struggled establishing their offense against Arizona State and Auburn’s defense could cause even more trouble for them this week. Their run game, which is well below-average at only 132.5 yards per game (T-91st in FBS), could easily stall against Auburn’s front-four.
At the quarterback position, Kent State had a bit of an identity crisis in Weeks 1 and 2. After going 9-16 with 83 yards and 1 touchdown pass in their Week 1 loss to Arizona State, HC Sean Lewis called Junior QB, Woody Barrett, “our guy.” Barrett proceeded to play just 1 snap in Week 2, which was a designed QB run for no gain. Fellow Junior QB, Dustin Crum, took over for the rest of the game and delivered a solid performance, going 17-23 for 192 yards and 2 total touchdowns (1 rushing, 1 passing). Coach Sean Lewis seems to be playing it close to the vest, as he has not named a starter for Week 3 yet.
Auburn should be able to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, keeping Kent State’s offense off the field and providing Bo Nix with the chance to take some risks and gain some confidence before heading into SEC play. I’m sure Auburn will be hoping to light up the scoreboard and put Kent St. away early, but I think this will be yet another game that goes under, due to Auburn’s stifling defense and lack of explosiveness on offense.