By The Associated Press
Tennessee (2-4, 2-4 SEC) at No. 23 Auburn (4-2, 4-2), Saturday at 7 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: Auburn by 11.
Series record: Auburn leads 28-22-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Volunteers are trying to halt a four-game losing streak after a promising start to the season. The Tigers hope to build on a 48-11 thrashing of LSU in their last game three weeks ago and win a third straight. Auburn follows it up with No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 Texas A&M so the Tigers could use a strong performance heading into those games.
Auburn’s running game against Tennessee’s defense. Freshman running back Tank Bigsby has led a resurgence of the Tigers’ ground game and they’re the only SEC team to rush for 200 yards in four straight games this season.
The Volunteers are allowing 160.5 yards a game on the ground. Auburn needs a solid running game to take pressure off QB Bo Nix, who is also a threat to run.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tennessee: QB TBA. Jarrett Guarantano figures to retain his starting job after leaving the Arkansas game with an apparent head injury two weeks ago. But Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt isn’t tipping his hand on the starter. Harrison Bailey was intercepted twice by the Razorbacks and Brian Maurer also played but didn’t complete a pass.
Auburn: RB Tank Bigsby ranks third in the SEC with an average of 149 all-purpose yards per game. His 503 rushing yards is fourth among all FBS freshmen, even though it took a few games for him to emerge from the pack as the Tigers’ go-to runner.
FACTS & FIGURES
This will be Gus Malzahn’s 100th game as Auburn’s coach. The Tigers are 9-1 after an open date during the regular season during his tenure. … The two teams played every year from 1956-91 before falling off each other’s regular schedule following league expansion. … Auburn is the only SEC team that hasn’t allowed more than 30 points in any game this season. … Tennessee’s Henry To’o To’o and Auburn’s Colby Wooden are tied for the league lead with seven tackles for loss. … The Vols have allowed just seven touchdown passes, fewest in the SEC. Auburn’s defense is second with nine TD passes given up.