Tigers 52, Zips 6
“Take however you feel about the beginning of the Harsin era and this Auburn team and set it aside for a moment. This Akron team is one of the worst FBS opponents Auburn's played in a long time. They return 18 starters, but that may not exactly be a positive. In the shortened 2020 season, the Zips went 1-5, and only scored 14 or more points twice - once when their defense gave up 69 points to Kent State, and the other against everyone's favorite MAC trash-fire, the Scot Loefler-led Bowling Green Falcons. The only bright spot on the offense, RB Teon Dollard, was suspended and indicted on felony weapons charges this summer. The Zips return a grand total of 7 carries for 30 yards by running backs, and 41 receptions for 443 yards from receivers off last year's team.
On defense, this Akron team gave up 41 points per game last year, including 58 at home to Western Michigan, 69 on the road at Kent State, and 56 on the road at Buffalo. Most importantly, they allowed opposing rushers to gash them for over 6.3 yards per carry in 2020. Their leading tackler, LB Bubba Arslanian, is extremely undersized at 5'9" 200 lbs, and there's not much star talent anywhere on this side of the ball.
So, what do I expect out of Auburn? I expect at least 45 points from the offense, full stop. Even while staying vanilla, the ground game should run laps around this defense, and I expect Bo to have every chance to experience a clean pocket - if not now, then never. If he struggles at all in this one, it's safe to worry. Defensively, I've projected Auburn to be a top 10 unit this year, and a top 10 defense should live in the back field and make this offense's life hell.
I don't anticipate learning anything from this game, unless we play poorly. It should be full speed ahead to start the Harsin era.”
Picked on September 1, 2021