2019 Football Preview – South Eastern Conference – Auburn Tigers
Looking for 2019 Auburn Tigers predictions? Coming into a 2018 season marked with high expectations, Auburn struggled throughout while defeating just one ranked SEC opponent – #25 Texas A&M Nov. 3, 28-24.
High profile Tigers losses came vs. LSU, Georgia and Alabama. While those setbacks weren’t earth-shattering given the quality of opposition, losses against unheralded Tennessee and Mississippi State brought grumblings concerning Gus Malzahn’s job security.
However, Auburn’s 63-14 Music City Bowl romp over Purdue gave Tiger nation reason for hope ahead of a 2019 season dominated by key question marks.
Chief among these uncertainties asks who Auburn will start at quarterback now that Jarrett Stidham is a New England Patriot.
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2019-College Football Preview – Auburn Tigers
Head Coach: Gus Malzahn
2018 Record: 8-5
Tennessee Volunteers Odds to win the 2019 FBS Championship: 25/1
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Further, can Malzahn re-ignite his sputtering offense which averaged just 389 yards per game last season and failed to produce a 1,000 yard rusher for the first time in a decade?
2019 Auburn Tigers Predictions: Team Strengths
Defensive Line: While offensive anxieties abound, Auburn boasts an elite front defensive group led by Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown. Last season Davidson added 46 tackles and 2.5 sacks while Brown gained 10.5 tackles behind the scrimmage line.
Meanwhile, Nick Coe’s 7 sacks led an Auburn defense which yielded just 136.4 rushing yards per game.
If Auburn’s incoming defensive ends make an impact, opposing offenses will find ground yardage scarce against a steel Tiger’s wall.
Rushing: Though no Auburn back reached 1,000 yards in 2018, Jatavarious Whitlow’s stock is rising after rushing for 787 yards last season. If the returning offensive line can maintain the momentum it ended with in 2018, Whitlow should become a top-level SEC running back.
Kam Martin, Shaun Shivers and four-star recruit DJ Williams are each viewed as solid complimentary backfield pieces for Auburn.
2019 Auburn Tigers Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Quarterback Uncerainty: The focal point for any football team, the quarterback position, remains a great unknown for this season’s Tigers. With Stidham, and his former backup Mark Willis gone, freshmen Joey Gatewood and Bo Nix are battling for the top play caller spot.
Gatewood, a redshirt freshman, is the quintessential dual-threat behind center. The 6’5, 230 lb. QB gained 3,000-plus yards as a rusher and 3,000-plus yards as a passer in high school. Gatewood also ran for 28 yards during his TIger debut at the Music City Bowl last December. Gatewood doubles as an accomplished sprinter, possessing powerful breakaway speed.
Likewise, 6’1, 210 lb. five star recruit and second team MaxPreps All American Bo Nix has all the tools to become Auburn’s opening day QB.
And while both Gatewood and Nix are talented risers, the SEC is no place, especially with a questionable O-line, to learn on the job.
Auburn’s season will ride on the shoulders of a novice QB. Either Nix or Gatewood might be a phenom, though that maybe doesn’t offer comfort heading into the season.
Linebackers: Auburn may sport a premier defensive line, however, the Tigers must replace each starting 2018 linebacker this Autumn. Highly touted five-star recruit Owen Pappoe will lead a group of inexperienced LB’s looking to help Auburn reach contender status in the SEC West.
Auburn Tigers Prediction: 7-5
Opening against Oregon should provide an accurate early barometer to the myriad questions surrounding this Auburn group. Although, last season the Tigers downed #6 Washington before finishing unranked and 3-5 in SEC play.
The 2019 calendar shows a tough road ahead for an Auburn unit inexperienced at the quarterback and linebacker positions and unproven along the offensive line. So, even if the Tigers improve during the season, a closing schedule featuring LSU, UGA, Alabama and Florida could certainly nullify any gains made.
The Tigers will remain at or just above .500 again this season. Due to their QB situation, Auburn is a year or two away from seriously contending for another SEC division crown.
2019 Auburn Tigers Football Schedule
Date Time vs
- 8/31/19 7:30 PM ET ORE
- 9/7/19 TBD TULN
- 9/14/19 TBD KENT
- 9/21/19 TBD @TAM
- 9/28/19 TBD MSST
- 10/5/19 TBD @FLA
- 10/19/19 TBD @ARK
- 10/26/19 TBD @LSU
- 11/2/19 TBD MISS
- 11/16/19 TBD UGA
- 11/23/19 TBD SAM
- 11/30/19 TBD ALA
What do you think about our 2019 Auburn Tigers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2019!
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