Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo , MESPORTS SOUTH
Football is officially back baby and its time for all you rowdy fans to get things started. While it has been a relatively quiet offseason (thank God for small miracles well unless your currently Mississippi State then brace the off the field storms ahead) you can be sure it’s about to get amped up from the locker rooms to the stands from coast to coast. There’s smoke in the air and its risin’ out of those chimneys lady and gents. Are you ready? I sure as hell am so let’s get this show on the road and look at some of the biggest games of Week 1. The first stop is none other than the Lone State for a showdown at “Jerry World” between the SEC & PAC 12 powerhouses.
Saturday, Aug. 31st,2019
Kick-Off: 6:30 PM CT
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Is it possible to have a case of Deju Vu & Jamais Vu all in one setting? Well, this match-up might just be that in Week 1 of the 2019 college football season. Flashback to 2011 the last time we saw these two programs go head to head in the BCS Title Match-Up which was also the end of that era. It was field goal by the Tigers as time expired that clutched that victory 22-19 over the Ducks. In only the second meeting in program history will the Ducks finally avenge the past in a Lone Star State Showdown this time around?
While the SEC is a force when it comes to the teams it houses the Auburn Tigers are coming off a not so stellar season with only 8 wins under their belt. Gus Malzahn and his ball club are looking to start strong and stay that way consistently once and for all. The Tigers are loaded when it comes to their offensive and defensive units. The question is do they finally have all the right moves and can remain on the same page to get it done? Even with solid depth and talent, we all know how Auburn can get a case of that broken-down blues and things go south real quick on them. The Tigers are going to have to be more than iron clad to get through that schedule but if they can they just might be the dark horse no one is talking about yet.
Like any 1st game no matter how good or not so good a team is portrayed to be we really can’t tell a lot until we actually see what is really going on and that means taking it into a game-day situation. One thing can be for sure that Auburn will be looking to see if their “Mr. Alabama” himself Bo Nix (Son of Former Auburn QB Patrick Nix) can finally Nix Auburn’s problems in the bud this season and get the ball moving for the Tigers consistently. Nix is definitely already carrying a hell of a load to start the season being the first true freshman to start in this era. The kid is capable and talented no question about that but even for the best of the best being a QB starting as a true freshman in the SEC is a whole other beast to tackle. This is going to take more than a hell of running by “Mr. Alabama.” It is going to take this entire team to man up and step up to get the job going. As they say, sometimes you have to take risks and don’t count out young fiery talent like Nix just yet. But from the looks of things, the Tigers will bring balance and balls on the D-Line which is more than locked and loaded and is going to be tough to stop especially with Marlon Davidson, Nick Coe, Big Bryant taking charge so watch out Ducks the Tigers are on the hunt ! They just need to keep the balance going game in and game out.
7,253 uniform combinations last count is what the Ducks were up to ( if you are interested in those sorts of stats). I for one don’t care what you wear on the field its how the hell you play a ball game for 4 quarters that should be at the forefront #justsaying. The Ducks are no stranger to being on top only to be on the rollercoaster to stay there year in and year out. Could the Ducks finally be a resurgence in the Pac 12 after a 9-4 finish last season? There is still a lot of “Oregon Optimism” that could prove more to just be a slogan on a fans shirt this season all things considered.
The center of this optimism is the fact that Justin Herbert decided to hold off on his NFL dreams and return to Eugene for his senior season. Heisman Herbert at the head of the formation for the Ducks offensively could be the stability and experience to move mountains. Like andy strong contender you have to be strong on the defensive end of the ball. The Ducks bring in one of the better balance ball clubs in the Pac 12 this season with a strong recruiting class. Look for this game to be a test run to see just what sort of defensive beast Kavyvon Thibodeaux can be from the get-go for Cristobal and his ball club. Thibodeaux is one of the top DE in the country and was the #2 in the 2019 recruiting class.
This is going to be an interesting match-up, to say the least for both these teams. We can expect both ball clubs looking to re-emerge and rise again after seasons of trying to find themselves back at the top of the CFB circles. This is a classic football tale of youth vs experience in which two similar yet very different ball clubs are looking to get a fire going and create opportunities. These are the sorts of match-ups we are going to see a lot of the battle being played in the trenches with individual positions playing a key factor in whose coming out of Dallas the victor. Potential is there but there is a hell of a lot to get thru amongst there team and opponents to get to the main stage.
As much as Oregon brings in experience and seems to be back on track it’s still has a lot to prove and it is the Pac 12 still. I still have to go with Auburn and their young Bama buck to edge out the Ducks in Week 1. Even with a true freshman gunslinger, they have experience and depth that knows how to play complete football in these sorts of game situtions that is why I have to go with the SEC on this call. Auburn by (-3.5).
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL beat writer. She is our Sr. Editor and columnist for MESPORTS digital. A Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @Misskyus2011