Auburn -7 3.3% play
I'm buying into the SEC bias in this game. Minnesota does have a great group of receivers, but Auburn's defense is arguably the best defense Minnesota faced. Wisconsin and Iowa are close, and MInnesota lost those two games scoring just 17 & 19 points, and Minnesota will be without their OC who was hired away by Penn State. Minnesota also greatly benefited from a very weak schedule this season. They played 6 backup QB's in their 7 wins in the Big Ten, and were lucky to get by South Dakota State, Fresno State, and Georgia Southern. Meanwhile Auburn played Oregon, and their losses came agaisnt Florida and LSU on the road and home to Georgia. Auburn went 8-2 ATS vs. bowl teams while Minnesota went 2-4 ATS.
Auburn's defensive line is mostly in tack. Coe will sit out but Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson will pay which is a huge key when you consider Minnesota is vulnerable on their offensive line ranking 113th in protecting their QB. Tanner Morgan, the Minnesota QB has been great, and Minnesota does have a pair of NFL receivers, but he struggled against Wisconsin, and Auburn has just as good defense.
Auburn's offense is the real reason I'm betting this. Minnesota's defense which ranks 23rd in YPP defense has faced an average offense ranking 85th. Penn State, Wisconsin put up poitns and yards on them and Auburn who is healthy is a dangerous team team. They get Schwartz back at WR who can take it the distance, and you have Malzahn calling the plays who is one of the best, and he hired Chad Morris as his OC for next year. Morris was a great OC at Clemson, and he may have a wrinkle or two that will help, but this is an offense that put up 56 points against a Big Ten team in last year's bowl.
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