Game Time: 7:30 pm ET, Saturday, September 18, 2021
Venue: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Where to Watch: ABC
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: Tigers +5, Nittany Lions -5; Over/Under: 53 points
Bet365: Point Spread: Tigers +5, Nittany Lions -5; Over/Under: 53 points
BetMGM: Point Spread: Tigers +5, Nittany Lions -5; Over/Under: 53 points
Auburn Tigers: 2-0 (!st place, SEC West)
Penn State Nittany Lions: 2-0 (2nd place, Big Ten East)
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Auburn Tigers vs Penn State Nittany Lions Preview and Analysis
Auburn Tigers: won 2
Penn State Nittany Lions: won 2
Last season the Auburn Tigers averaged a 59.7% completion percentage, 220.3 passing yards, and 1.1 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 162.5 rushing yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game on the ground. The Penn State Nittany Lions were averaging a 60.3% completion percentage, 256 passing yards, and 1.9 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 174.3 rushing yards and 1.7 touchdowns per game on the ground.
Last season the Auburn Tigers were allowing teams a 64.6% completion percentage, 242.6 passing yards, and 1.8 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allowed 163.4 rushing yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game on the ground. The Penn State Nittany Lions were allowing teams a 59% completion percentage, 198.6 passing yards, and 1.7 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allowed 130.4 rushing yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game on the ground.
Tigers vs Nittany Lions Prediction
Auburn is coming into this matchup with a 2-0 record overall, this will be their 3rd non-conference game in a row. They won their first game of the college football season against the Akron Zips 60-10 and also won their last game against the Alabama State Hornets 62-0. Bo Nix had an alright game completing 9/17 passes for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was the running game that went off in that one though. Jarquez Hunter led the team with 147 rushing yards and 1 touchdown while Cartavious Bigsby also had a big day rushing for 122 yards. Demetris Robertson led the receiver with 61 yards and 2 touchdowns although it was not a very busy day through the air for them. Zakoby McClain led Auburn's defense with 7 solo tackles and 3 assisted ones. T.D. Moultry and Eku Leota both recorded 1 sack each in the game while Roger McCreary came away with the only interception for them. Auburn has scored 60 or more points in each of their games for a total of 122 points scored on the season while only allowing 10 across 2 games. Auburn's offense has been averaging 575.5 total YPG while allowing their opponents 194 YPG.
PSU are coming into this college football game with a 2-0 record overall and are 1-0 in conference games this season. They beat the Wisconsin Badgers 16-10 in their season opener and then beat the Ball State Cardinals in their previous game 44-13. Sean Clifford completed 21/29 passes in that game for 230 yards and 1 touchdown. Ta'Quan Roberson also threw a touchdown pass for 23 yards completing 1/2 passes. The run game was spread out pretty evenly in their last game. Noah Cain led the team in rushing with 69 yards and 1 TD while Keyvone Lee was not far behind with 68 yards rushing in the game. Even Sean Clifford racked up 66 yards and ran in 1 TD as well. Jahan Dotson led the receivers with 65 yards and 1 touchdown on 5 receptions but there was no real stand out player for the receiving corps. Brandon Smith led Penn State's defense with 3 solo tackles and 4 assisted ones. Curtis Jacobs recorded the only sack while Jesse Luketa and Daequan Hardy both had 1 interception each in that one. PSU has scored 60 points total in their first 2 games while allowing their opponents to score 23 points total against them in 2 games. Their offense is averaging 395 YPG while their defense is allowing 327 YPG.
Auburn has looked good on both offense and defense so far but they have also played 2 very bad teams in their first 2 games. Penn State has still been putting up good offensive numbers on much tougher opponents. They are allowing a lot of yards against them but it is not really reflecting in the points scored against them. PSU is the better team and they are at home, they will cover this spread.
Tigers Nittany Lions Prediction: Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, September 18, 2021 (7:30 pm ET start time) is Nittany Lions 24 Tigers 14.
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NCAAF Betting Trends
Auburn Tigers: 16-10 ATS in all games. 8-3 ATS when the total is between 49.5 and 56.
Penn State Nittany Lions: 2-4 ATS when the total is between 49.5 and 56. 5-8 ATS in home games.
Auburn Tigers: T. Dawson Jr. (WR) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury. J. Wright (DT) Out indefinitely - Knee injury.
Penn State Nittany Lions: J. Lovett (RB) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury. S. Wormley (OL) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury. K. Ellis (CB) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury. H. Beamon (DT) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury.
Players to Watch
Auburn Tigers: Bo Nix is one player to watch in this game. He did not have to do much in the last game against a weak opponent as the run game stole the show but he may need to put some work in here. PSU has a very good defense so it will not be as easy for them to move the ball. Look for him to make the big plays in key moments to give his team a chance here.
Penn State Nittany Lions: Sean Clifford is one player to watch here. Not only does he command the passing game but he has been getting involved in the running game as well. He is a dual-threat so look for him to make some plays and move the ball down the field for his team here.
“I think part of that message is just 1-0. For us, what that means is we have a day in front of us, and we want to win that day and stay focused on the things we have to do to accomplish those tasks and the way we are successful. And that’s not just one guy; that’s everybody–coaches, players–so we’ve been very clear on that, with that message. Right now, it is focused on Auburn.” - Bryan Harsin on his mentality coming into every game.
"I have, I have. But I've also found and tracked this over time that, really no matter what you say, people aren’t happy with [it]. So I decided I'm going to handle this internally. I talked to our team. It happens every single year. I’m not worried about distractions in the media and with the fans, I’m worried about my team.” - James Franklin on the distractions in the media of him possibly making a move to the USC Trojans.
WR Jackson, Shedrick
WR Robertson, Demetris
WR Johnson, Ja'Varrius
TE Shenker, John Samuel
QB Nix, Bo
RB Bigsby, Tank
Penn State Nittany Lions
WR Dotson, Jahan
WR Washington, Parker
WR Lambert-Smith, KeAndre
TE Strange, Brenton
QB Clifford, Sean
RB Cain, Noah
Passing: B. Nix (383)
Rushing: J. Hunter (257)
Receiving: S. Jackson (90)
Touchdowns: J. Hunter (2)
Sacks: T. Moultry (2)
Tackles: Z. McClain (10)
Penn State Nittany Lions
Passing: S. Clifford (477)
Rushing: N. Cain (117)
Receiving: J. Dotson (167)
Touchdowns: N. Cain (2)
Sacks: E. Brooks (1)
Tackles: E. Brooks (9)
Auburn Tigers: Bryan Harsin (1st season)
Penn State Nittany Lions: James Franklin (8th season)
80 degrees F partly cloudy, 79% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 5 mph wind speeds SW.