Ready or not, it’s time for the Auburn Tigers to remove the training wheels. After cruising through a pair of overmatched opponents in the season’s first two weeks, the Tigers are set to ride into Beaver Stadium for a date with tenth-ranked Penn State. Auburn started the season with a couple of yawners, beating Akron by 50 and dismantling Alabama State 62-0. Saturday’s game in Happy Valley presents much more of a challenge, and they’ll rely on their offensive line to navigate them to a 3-0 start.
Auburn vs Penn State is the 11th @SEC vs Big Ten regular season matchup ever between ranked teams.
SEC teams are 8-1-1
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) September 16, 2021
“As an offensive line, I feel like we had two tune-up games I felt like that were against really good opponents, but the real test comes this week with our offensive line and being in a loud stadium like that and making sure everybody’s on the same page,” said center Nick Brahms.
The Nittany Lions, also 2-0, feature one of the country’s top defenses. Opponents are averaging less than 12 points per game and under four yards per rush. Auburn’s offense is averaging 56 points per game, tops in the nation. Come Saturday, something’s got to give.
“Penn State’s D-line is great. They are big and fast,” Brahms said. “They get after the quarterback and are good in the run game along with their linebackers, too.”
Running back Tank Bigsby expects more of the same from Auburn’s road graders: “Our offensive line always had talent. And they always have been capable of doing what they can do. And with the new coaches and new strength and conditioning coach getting guys stronger, faster and more confident, they’re playing their best ball. I feel like they’re going to continue to do what they do…. They’re going to come prepared and ready to play.”
Oddsmakers don’t agree. FanDuel Sportsbook seems to think the Tigers aren’t ready to ride without their training wheels, currently listing Auburn as 5.5 point underdogs to Penn State.