AUBURN, Ala. — When Auburn played Vanderbilt in 2012, the Tigers were dealt a tough 17-13 loss in Nashville, Tenn.
Though a lot of time has passed since then, No. 9 Auburn (6-2, 4-1 SEC) will try to avenge a two-game losing streak (the Tigers also lost in 2008) to Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-3 SEC) in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday (noon ET, ESPN).
It won’t be an easy task. When the Commodores have competed against SEC opponents this season, they have fielded the third-best defense in the conference. Zach Cunningham is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound linebacker with experience and several talented teammates.
The Tigers, led by sophomore running back Kamryn Pettway, will try to be the first SEC team this season to score more than 20 points against the Commodores.
Here are five Friday predictions:
1. Will the early game time be an issue?
Yes, for the visiting Commodores.
2. Does the offense start hot?
Lou Groza semifinalist Daniel Carlson will be called on during the Tigers’ first drive of the game, but things will pick up for quarterback Sean White and his offense. Auburn’s backfield quickly becomes too much for Vanderbilt to handle.
3. Which sophomore running back takes over?
Pettway will start, but Kerryon Johnson will have a bigger day than he has in the Tigers’ past two games.
4. Will senior WR Tony Stevens play?
Stevens didn’t see the field in Oxford and has been dealing with undisclosed injuries leading up to this game. He might get in for a few plays during the second half, but one of Auburn’s three freshmen receivers will take over for the senior.
5. Who will win?