Auburn Wire Roundtable: Looking at Auburn vs Penn State

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It is finally here.

We’ve been talking about this matchup for months. Ever since Bryan Harsin finished hiring his staff, the vast majority of conversations have swirled around Auburn football’s matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Both fanbases are incredibly confident going into this matchup and both teams may have a similar game plan. Defenses will aim to make the other team one-dimensional and force Bo Nix and Sean Clifford to beat you through the air.

I think both fanbases are ready for this football game.

We discuss these topics on our third ever Auburn Wire Roundtable with Lance Dawe, JD McCarthy, and Zac Blackerby.

How much of an impact will the white out have on this game?

York Daily Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC

ZB: I think it will have as much as any away crowd. After a certain point, loudness is just loudness. Auburn seems to have been working on this all week. JDM: It will have an impact but not as big of one as Penn State fans would hope for. Auburn is used to playing in hostile environments in the SEC and this will certainly qualify as one, but I don’t think it will be more impactful than what Auburn is used to. LD: It’s obviously going to be a tough road environment, but Bo Nix has been in this situation before. The white out is no different than the Swamp, or Death Valley, or Bryant-Denny Stadium. The white out will be a factor, but not as much as people may think.

Can Tank rush for 150 yards in Happy Valley?

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

ZB: Yes. I think he does it. Auburn is going to run the football a ton on Saturday if they are able. I know there is a lot of hype and buzz regarding Jarquez Hunter but Saturday night will be a huge night for Bigsby. JDM: He can but I do not think it is likely, he has only gone over that mark one time in his career and rushed for at least 120 yards three other times. He will be effective, but 150 yards is a tough ask. LD: It’s very possible. Wisconsin’s running back Chez Mellusi ran for 121 yards against Penn State. I can see Tank playing well in this game against the Nittany Lion defense.

How many turnovers do you think Auburn will have?

Jake Crandall via Imagn Content Services, LLC

ZB: I'll say one. I predict a fumble. JDM: Two, I think Bo Nix will throw his first interception of the season and somebody will put the ball on the ground. LD: None. I expect Auburn to play a clean game. No fumbles, no interceptions.

Does Auburn’s offensive line look good on Saturday?

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

ZB: I think they look fine. They will get help from the coaching staff regarding play calls and schemes to lighten their load in the passing game. As far as their impact in the running game, I believe they will be able to make holes for Bigsby. JDM: They will at times and at other times they will struggle against the Nittany Lion defense. Penn State’s defense is allowing just 11.5 points per game after beating Wisconsin and Ball State. They have had solid defenses under defensive coordinator Brent Pry and this unit is experienced and will pose problems for the offensive line. LD: I think it does. Penn State has only gotten three sacks over the course of two games this season. Auburn will be able to push them around a little.

What are your thoughts on Bryan Harsin so far this season?

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

ZB: I think he's done better than I expected. I thought it would take a few years to implement a new culture and he seems to have done it in a few months. JDM: I’ve been impressed with how well the team has executed on both sides of the ball and how they did not mess around with two overmatched opponents. However, this is the first time they will be competing with a team that has similar talents to them, and we will learn a lot about this team and Harsin. LD: He’s done everything Auburn fans wanted him to. The Tigers have executed and they have executed well. I’m excited about what the future holds, even if Auburn loses this game.

Score predictions for the game?

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

ZB: Auburn 27, Penn State 13 JDM: Auburn 24, Penn State 27 LD: Auburn 27, Penn State 19

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