Matchup: Auburn (-8.5, 65) at Kansas State
Date/Time: Thursday, September 18th @ 7:30 pm (EST)
Location: Manhattan, KS (airing on ESPN)
Preview: We have a matchup of two ranked teams on Thursday night when the #5 ranked Auburn Tigers travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the #20 ranked Kansas St Wildcats.
Auburn has started off strong as expected dominating their first two opponents, they clobbered Arkansas 45-21, and thumped San Jose State 59-13. Auburn has outgained their opponents by an average of 220 yards per game, and is averaging 330.0 yards per game on the ground. The Auburn defense is ranked 31st in the country in total defense and are stout against the run allowing just 109 yards per contest.
The Kansas State Wildcats are currently 2-0 and if they have any chance of pulling off the upset, they’ll need a stellar effort from quarterback Jake Waters. Waters has 462 yards passing this season, while also leading the team in rushing with 162 yards. Charles Jones is leading the way in the backfield with 130 yards rushing, while Tyler Locket leads all in receiving, with 145 yards and 1 touchdown. The Wildcat defense has been pretty respectable this season, allowing just 319 yards in their last contest against Iowa State.
Both teams come in at 2-0, yet their competition has been somewhat different, Auburn may have played a dismal San Jose State team in their last contest, yet they were impressive Arkansas in the season opener, and that was with quarterback Nick Marshall sitting out the 1st half. We all know that Auburn’s bread and butter is the up tempo rushing attack, yet Kansas State has allowed just 87 yards rushing per game. Has Kansas State’s opposition been formidable? Well, Iowa State can’t be seen as a powerhouse, seeing how they were handled in their season opener to North Dakota State. Auburn will be without one of their most experienced players on defense, as safety Sammy Whitehead was suspended for Thursday night’s game due to an altercation he had with an assistant coach. I fully expect the rest of the Auburn defense to step up in his absence. The crowd will be absolutely electric in Manhattan on Thursday night, but with Auburn’s running game against an inexperienced Wildcat defense, it’s a recipe to take the crowd out of the game. Kansas State will have some success on offense, but as the game goes on I fully expect Auburn to dominate in the trenches throughout the contest. Auburn has a punishing running game and will be able to wear down the Wildcats’ defensive front. Auburn is no stranger to being in a hostile territory, and I think their talent and experience in big games is the difference here. I think this will be a competitive game, with Auburn pulling away in the second half. As much as I’d like to back the home dog here, I can’t overlook the fact that Auburn is on a 13-0 ATS run. Auburn covers in a high scoring affair.
2014 Week 4 NCAA Football Picks: Auburn -8.5, Over 65
Auburn at Kansas State Score Prediction: Auburn 45 – Kansas State 28