The #22 Auburn Tigers (2-0) take on the #10 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0) in a top-25 non-conference showdown in Week 3 of the college football season. The road trip for the Tigers is their first of the season and just the second time in school history traveling to a Big Ten venue.
Saturday’s kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. EST inside Beaver Stadium in State College, PA. According to oddsmakers, the Nittany Lions are a 5-point favorite, and the total over-under is 53.
What to Know – Auburn Tigers
Auburn is 2-0 under first-year head coach Bryan Harsin. Harsin spent seven seasons at Boise State, compiling a 69-19 record. The Tigers opened the season with a 60-10 win over Akron and followed it with a 62-0 drubbing of Alabama State.
The Tigers have averaged 58.0 points and 575.5 yards of total offense per game through the first two weeks. Auburn’s defense is holding opponents to 5.0 points and 182.0 yards of offense.
Junior quarterback Bo Nix has completed 74.4% of his passes through the first two games, including a 20-for-22 effort in the season opener. Nix has five touchdown passes on the season with no interceptions.
Auburn’s ground game has been the engine to the Tigers’ offense. Freshman running back Jarquez Hunter (17 carries, 257 yards, 2 TDs) and sophomore rusher Tank Bigsby (24 carries, 241 yards, 2 TDs) have done whatever they wanted on the ground through the first two weeks of play. If Penn State wants to win this, they will need to stop the two-headed attack.
What to Know – Penn State Nittany Lions
The Nittany Lions opened the 2021 season with a monstrous 16-10 victory at Wisconsin. Penn State avoided a letdown and defeated Ball State, 44-13, to improve to 2-0 after starting last season 0-5.
Penn State’s offense is scoring 30.0 points and tallying 395.0 yards of offense per game. The Nittany Lions defense is surrendering 11.5 points and 327.0 yards offense to opposing teams.
Senior signal-caller Sean Clifford has thrown a touchdown pass in each contest and added one rushing score. Clifford has thrown for 477 yards through two games with no turnovers.
Noah Cain has rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns. The junior running back averages 4.2 yards per carry and is also a threat out of the backfield, catching eight passes for 57 yards.
Clifford’s favorite targets are senior Jahan Dotson (10 receptions, 167 yards, 2 TDs) and sophomore Parker Washington (10 receptions, 104 yards). The combo against the Auburn secondary will be an exciting matchup.
The Pick is In
Nix has a history of performing poorly on the road, but he shouldn’t be rattled by the Penn State crowd after years of facing SEC fans. The Nittany Lions’ defense is good, but the athletes on Auburn’s offense will be a tough matchup.
We like the Lions to cover in a close one in prime time.
Betting Pick: Penn State Nittany Lions +5