Five things to watch for in Birmingham Bowl between Memphis and Auburn

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Nov 21, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Memphis Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) throws the ball against the Temple Owls during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

1. Paxton Lynch

The Memphis quarterback will be the most watched player during the Birmingham Bowl. Almost every NFL team will have a scout at this game to watch Lynch who is projected to be the first quarterback taken in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Playing as a redshirt junior in 2015 Lynch threw for 3,670 yards and 28 touchdowns, while only throwing three interceptions with a completion percentage of 69 percent. He also rushed for 346 yards and two touchdowns on 82 attempts. As a sophomore he led Memphis to a 10-win season and an American Athletic Conference title by throwing for 3,031 and 22 touchdowns, and rushing for 321 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Auburn’s defense gave up an average of 232.2 passing yards per game during the regular season, which ranks 76th in the nation. Dak Prescott, another quarterback expected to go high in the NFL Draft, passed for 270 yards and two touchdowns on 41 attempts against Auburn earlier in the season. He also ran the ball six times for 14 yards. He is probably the closest in comparison to Lynch that Auburn has faced this season so it will be interesting to see how Lance Thompson, the interim defensive coordinator for the bowl game, attacks Lynch.

Against Ole Miss Lynch threw for 384 yards and 3 touchdowns on 53 attempts. He also threw one of his three interceptions on the year against the Rebels. He’ll have a chance to showcase his talent against another SEC foe in this bowl game.

Lynch has a bright future in the NFL, and how well he plays against Auburn could determine where he lands in the draft next April.

Next: Auburn run game