History–if not the odds–on Auburn football’s side against Northwestern

Auburn football Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn football Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /

Auburn football is not exactly rolling into the Citrus Bowl with momentum after a disappointing season. That said, history at least bodes well for the Tigers in Orlando.

Bryan Harsin has once again replaced Gus Malzahn as head coach of an FBS program. That said, doing so on the grand scale that is becoming the new head coach of Auburn football will be a different challenge for the lifetime Boise State Bronco.

That challenge does not begin tomorrow when the Tigers play their final game of the 2020 season to ring in the new year. The new normal will not feature a packed house at Camping World Stadium, but yours truly will be in attendance to witness Kevin Steele’s first–and final–outing as the team’s head coach.

Of course, #StopSteele worked, but tomorrow there needs to be a green light for the offense to be creative against a stingy Northwestern defense. As Auburn Wire’s JD McCarthy pointed out, their defense is a juggernaut…but is vulnerable:

"Despite scoring just 23.38 points per game, the Wildcats are 6-2 thanks to a defense that has not allowed more than 28 points since their season opener.The Northwestern defense is 5th nationally in points per game allowed and top 10 in yards per play but does have some weaknesses Auburn can try to expose.In the Big 10 Championship game against Ohio State, Northwestern was unable to contain Buckeyes running back Trey Sermon who ran roughshod over the Wildcats for 331 yards and two touchdowns."

Now, Cartavius “Tank” Bigsby is questionable and may not make an appearance, but the run offense is still the best route of attack. Bo Nix has become a threat leaving the pocket this past year, making the offense slightly less predictable.

It’s an uphill climb and the War Eagle does not want you to bet the farm on the Tigers tomorrow. But–and this is with the caveat that past history means nothing in college sports due to it being a different era with different players–history is on our side:

War Eagle, and happy new year everyone!

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