After a two-week layoff, Auburn returns to game action this Saturday when the Tigers host the Tennessee Volunteers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn and Tennessee have had extra time to prepare for this matchup after both teams had their games postponed last week because of COVID-19. Auburn was set to play Mississippi State until the Bulldogs had a COVID-19 outbreak, while Tennessee’s game against Texas A&M was also postponed due to the Aggies having COVID-19 problems.
No. 23 Auburn enters the game with a 4-2 record and is currently on a two-game winning streak after its 48-11 win over LSU on Halloween. In that game, Bo Nix became the first Auburn quarterback since Cam Newton to have 300 passing yards, three touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. Auburn’s defense also forced three LSU turnovers, one of them resulting in Christian Tutt having a 20-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
Tennessee has a 2-4 record and is on a four-game losing skid after beginning the season 2-0 and ranked in the AP Poll Top 25. In Tennessee’s last game, the Volunteers lost 24-13 at Arkansas. Starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was forced to leave the game with a head injury early in the third quarter and Tennessee’s offense struggled the rest of the way, getting shutout in the second half.
Tennessee has struggled on both sides of the ball in its four losses. Tennessee has failed to score more than 21 points and its defense has allowed 37.5 points on average in these games.
Tennessee on offense is led by running back Eric Gray, who has 478 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns on the season. The Volunteers defense is headed by defensive back Trevon Flowers, who leads the team with 40 tackles.
Auburn had to shut down football activities early last week after 10 players and three coaches tested positive for COVID-19. The Tigers were able to return to practice last Friday and head coach Gus Malzahn said it is possible that some players who had COVID-19 could be available to play Saturday against Tennessee.
Auburn leads the all-time series against Tennessee 28-22-3. The Volunteers won the last matchup however, a 30-24 victory at Auburn.
Auburn (4-2) will look to get revenge on Tennessee (2-4) and continue the winning streak in what is Gus Malzahn’s 100th game as Auburn Head Coach. Kickoff is slated for Saturday at 6:00 p.m. CST and the game can be seen on ESPN.