Auburn Tigers at Tennessee Volunteers (+7, 55)
Auburn’s season of redemption rolls into Knoxville on Saturday as the 10th-ranked Tigers face a Tennessee squad that has dropped five of its past seven. One year after going 3-9 and finishing winless in the SEC, Auburn sits one game behind SEC West leader and top-ranked Alabama, with the Iron Bowl looming large Nov. 30. But the Volunteers are 4-1 at home, with the loss coming to Georgia in overtime.
Freshman Joshua Dobbs makes his second start at quarterback for Tennessee in place of the injured Justin Worley. Dobbs presents a dual threat for the Tigers’ defense, throwing for 240 yards and running for 45 in last week’s 31-3 loss at Missouri. The Tigers downed Arkansas 35-17 last week and have averaged 43.4 points during their five-game winning streak.
TV: 12 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE: Auburn opened as a 7-point fave. The total opened at 55.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-50s. Wind will blow across the field at 10 mph.
ABOUT AUBURN (8-1, 4-1 SEC): The Tigers feature the nation’s sixth-best rushing attack (306.2 yards per game), led by running back Tre Mason, who rushed for 168 yards and four touchdowns last week to earn SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Auburn did not know if quarterback Nick Marshall would start last week because of a shoulder injury, but the junior finished with 177 yards of total offense and is expected to be completely healthy against Tennessee. The Tigers are third in the SEC in scoring defense (20.1) and have surrendered 17 points or less in three of their past four contests.
ABOUT TENNESSEE (4-5, 1-4): The Volunteers have to shore up their run defense after allowing a season-high 339 yards on the ground against Missouri. Tennessee has allowed 76 points the past two weeks in losses to Alabama and Missouri. Dobbs completed 26-of-42 passes against Missouri and is the third freshman to start at quarterback for Tennessee in the past four years.
* Underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Tigers are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Over is 10-4 in Volunteers last 14 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.
1. Tennessee ranks last in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing 201.7 yards per contest and 5.1 yards per attempt.
2. Auburn has beaten Tennessee five consecutive times dating to 2003.
3. The Tigers mark the seventh ranked team the Volunteers have faced this season, and third consecutive top 10 opponent.