2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma vs. Auburn Prediction, Game Preview, History, Scores

2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma vs. Auburn Prediction, Game Preview, History, Scores

SEC

2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma vs. Auburn Prediction, Game Preview, History, Scores

Allstate Sugar Bowl Prediction, Auburn vs. Oklahoma Game Preview, History, Scores


Three reasons why you should watch the Allstate Sugar Bowl between Auburn (8-4) and Oklahoma (10-2), why each team might win, honest thoughts, line and prediction.


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Date: January 2nd, 2017
Game Time: 8:30 pm
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Network: ESPN

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Scroll down for the video preview and bowl history

The Bowl Matchup Ranking Of Awesomeness (1 best-40 worst): 6 out of 40

Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Allstate Sugar Bowl

Offense, offense, offense, offense, offense. When everyone was healthy, the Auburn offense kicked it into high gear for a key four-game stretch of the middle of the season as it turned everything around for a program that seemed to be on the fritz. The Tigers sputtered late when the schedule got tougher and the injuries in the backfield starting kicking in, but they averaged 279 rushing yards per game and were breathtaking when everything was working correctly.

Oklahoma’s attack leads the nation in passing efficiency and is third in total yards, cranking out 557 yards per game. Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook might have been Heisman finalists, but this was a star-studded effort from all the skill players in the high-octane attack. It’s going to be a shootout – and least it needs to be for the Sooners. More on that in a moment.

Auburn has been a terrific bowl team over the years. The Tigers won five straight before losing the BCS Championship thriller to Jameis Winston and Florida State to end the 2013 season, and it played Wisconsin in a battle of an Outback the year after. Last season, the Tigers roared against the other Tigers from Memphis in a Birmingham blowout. The last time Auburn got rocked in a bowl? The 1995 Outback, losing to Penn State 42-13. Before that, the 1985 Cotton to Texas A&M. Few programs are better at showing up in the post-season.

The narrative of the 2016 college football season could hinge on what happens here. Not to be overly dramatic about it, but considering the Big 12 was miserable in non-conference play, and considering it was such a down year for the SEC, the winner will do its league a huge solid. After losing to Houston and Ohio State early on, a win would – again, to be overly dramatic – legitimize Oklahoma’s conference championship season, while a win for Auburn might prove that the SEC wasn’t so awful after all.

Here’s Why Auburn Will Win The Allstate Sugar Bowl

The Oklahoma run defense is optional. The secondary had the bigger problem statistically, but that’s partially due to 1) playing in the pass-happy Big 12 and 2) teams having to bomb to keep up the pace. However, the defensive front got gouged by the run late in the year, with Baylor, West Virginia, and Oklahoma State combining for 817 yards averaging well over seven yards per carry. Auburn needed the time off to get all the parts working, and now QB Sean White and RB Kamryn Pettway are healthier and should tear off yards in massive chunks.

How do you stop the Oklahoma offense? You get into the backfield and pressure Mayfield before he can make his downfield reads. The Tigers don’t have a killer pass rush, but Carl Lawson outside and Montravius Adams in the interior are good enough to stay in No. 6’s face for most of the game and keep him from getting into a groove. Clemson dominated the line last season in the Orange Bowl, and on both sides of the ball, Auburn has the talent to do the same to this Sooner team.

For whatever reason, Oklahoma has turned into a miserable bowl team. It might have shocked the world by beating Alabama in the Sugar three years ago, but OU has lost three of its last four bowls. In those three losses to Texas A&M in the 2013 Cotton, Clemson in the 2014 Russell Athletic – the Sooners didn’t even get off the bus in that one – and again against Clemson in last year’s College Football Playoff, Oklahoma was outscored by a grand total of 128-36.

Here’s Why Oklahoma Will Win The Allstate Sugar Bowl

Baker Mayfield. Even when the team is struggling, he’s been on. He was brilliant in the loss to Houston, and outside of two key picks, he wasn’t all that bad in the loss to Ohio State. He even threw for 311 yards against Clemson in the Orange Bowl, but he was hounded for most of the game. While he and Dede Westbrook kill teams with the back-breaking deep ball, he’s able to dink and dunk, too. The Auburn secondary has been okay, but it got lit up at times over the second half of the season, allowing 200 yards or more in four of the last five games. The one team that didn’t hit the mark was Alabama A&M – Mayfield will come up with a huge day.

Oklahoma is better at controlling the tempo. Yeah, Auburn doesn’t care about time of possession when the offense is humming, but the problems come when the thing bogs down. The defense was able to come through time and again over the second half of the year, but the Tigers are just okay on third downs and could be forced to press a bit. Mayfield is brilliant on third downs – Oklahoma is fourth in the nation converting 52% of its chances – and considering the O moves quickly, owning the clock for over 32 minutes a game has been a massive help. Setting up those easy third down chances is …

Arguably, the nation’s best running back tandem. Auburn has its tremendous backs, but Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon have a lot to prove – for different reasons. When healthy, Perine is the workhorse of workhorses, destroying Oklahoma State for 239 yards on 37 carries, and barreling through Texas for 214 yards on 35 carries. But he was knocked out of the Orange Bowl early on last year, and the OU offense wasn’t the same.

Mixon, meanwhile, no matter how good a game he has, won’t be able to erase any aspect of the controversy surrounding the release of the video of him hitting a woman, but if he’s focused, and he’s playing at a high level, he might be the best player on the field.

You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Allstate Sugar Bowl

Again, the Big 12 really, really needs this game. Sensing any sort of a theme here when it comes to the Big 12 bowl season? To beat this narrative into the ground – because it’s a big deal – last year, Oklahoma State got rocked by Ole Miss in an ugly 48-20 Sugar Bowl. This is the SEC vs. Big 12 showcase matchup – at least when it’s not a part of the CFP – and the Big 12 will lose plenty of face if its champion gets blown out.

Everyone’s coming to see the offenses, but … The Auburn D finished fifth in the nation. The Tigers got lit up by Chad Kelly for 465 yards and three scores, but they beat Ole Miss. LSU and Texas A&M ran well, and the secondary allowed 200 yards or more seven times, but the points didn’t always follow. Auburn allowed more than 29 points just once all year – and Alabama scored 30. Why does this matter?

Oklahoma needs to crank up the offense in a big way. Over the last two years, the Sooners are 21-0 when scoring 30 points or more. Take it back to 2014, and they’re 29-3 when hitting the 30-point mark. And when they don’t? 0-7 over the last three seasons.

Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Allstate Sugar Bowl?

This is where the Auburn defense rises up.

Oklahoma has the firepower, and it has the talent, and it has the want-to after the embarrassment of the last two bowl games, but Auburn’s defense has had a month to rest, the offense has had plenty of time to get healthy, and now this will start to look more like the team that was rocking and rolling in the middle of the season.

The Tiger running game will get going right away, the defensive front will bother Mayfield, and the SEC will get a nice win.

And Gus Malzahn will have an easier offseason.

Final Score

Auburn 34, Oklahoma 27

Line

Oklahoma -3, o/u: 63.5

ATS Confidence: 3
5: Your New Year’s Eve chances to score in your favorite bar
0: Your New Year’s Eve chances to score after covering a College Football Playoff semifinal

Must See Rating: 4.5
5: New Year’s Eve: Defected In The House, Ministry of Sound, London
0: New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Special Co-Host Kathy Griffin

Get Tickets For The Allstate Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl History, Results

Jan. 1, 2016 Mississippi 48 Oklahoma State 20
Jan. 1, 2015 Ohio State 42 Alabama 35
Jan. 2, 2014 Oklahoma 45 Alabama 31
Jan. 2, 2013 Louisville 33 Florida 23
Jan. 4, 2012 Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 (OT)
Jan. 4, 2011 Ohio State 31 Arkansas 26
Jan. 1, 2010 Florida 51 Cincinnati 24
Jan. 1, 2009 Utah 31 Alabama 17
Jan. 1, 2008 Georgia 41 Hawaii 10
Jan. 3, 2007 LSU 41 Notre Dame 14
Jan. 2, 2006 West Virginia 38 Georgia 35
Jan. 3, 2005 Auburn 16 Virginia Tech 13
Jan. 4, 2004 LSU 21 Oklahoma 14
Jan. 1, 2003 Georgia 26 Florida State 13
Jan. 1, 2002 LSU 47 Illinois 34
Jan. 2, 2001 Miami 37 Florida 20
Jan. 4, 2000 Florida State 46 Virginia Tech 29
Jan. 1, 1999 Ohio State 24 Texas A&M 14
Jan. 1, 1998 Florida State 31 Ohio State 14
Jan. 2, 1997 Florida 52 Florida State 20
Dec. 31, 1995 Virginia Tech 28 Texas 10
Jan. 2, 1995 Florida State 23 Florida 17
Jan. 1, 1994 Florida 41 West Virginia 7
Jan. 1, 1993 Alabama 34 Miami 13
Jan. 1, 1992 Notre Dame 39 Florida 28
Jan. 1, 1991 Tennessee 23 Virginia 22
Jan. 1, 1990 Miami 33 Alabama 25
Jan. 2, 1989 Florida State 13 Auburn 7
Jan. 1, 1988 Auburn 16 Syracuse 16
Jan. 1, 1987 Nebraska 30 LSU 15
Jan. 1, 1986 Tennessee 35 Miami 7
Jan. 1, 1985 Nebraska 28 LSU 10
Jan. 2, 1984 Auburn 9 Michigan 7
Jan. 1, 1983 Penn State 27 Georgia 23
Jan. 1, 1982 Pittsburgh 24 Georgia 20
Jan. 1, 1981 Georgia 17 Notre Dame 10
Jan. 1, 1980 Alabama 24 Arkansas 9
Jan. 1, 1979 Alabama 14 Penn State 7
Jan. 2, 1978 Alabama 35 Ohio State 6
Jan. 1, 1977 Pittsburgh 27 Georgia 3
Dec. 31, 1975 Alabama 13 Penn State 6
Dec. 31, 1974 Nebraska 13 Florida 10
Dec. 31, 1973 Notre Dame 24 Alabama 23
Dec. 31, 1972 Oklahoma 14 Penn State 0
Jan. 1, 1972 Oklahoma 40 Auburn 22
Jan. 1, 1971 Tennessee 34 Air Force 13
Jan. 1, 1970 Mississippi 27 Arkansas 22
Jan. 1, 1969 Arkansas 16 Georgia 2
Jan. 1, 1968 LSU 20 Wyoming 13
Jan. 2, 1967 Alabama 34 Nebraska 7
Jan. 1, 1966 Missouri 20 Florida 18
Jan. 1, 1965 LSU 13 Syracuse 10
Jan. 1, 1964 Alabama 12 Mississippi 7
Jan. 1, 1963 Mississippi 17 Arkansas 3
Jan. 1, 1962 Alabama 10 Arkansas 3
Jan. 2, 1961 Mississippi 14 Rice 6
Jan. 1, 1960 Mississippi 21 LSU 0
Jan. 1, 1959 LSU 7 Clemson 0
Jan. 1, 1958 Mississippi 39 Texas 7
Jan. 1, 1957 Baylor 13 Tennessee 7
Jan. 2, 1956 Georgia Tech 7 Pittsburgh 0
Jan. 1, 1955 Navy 21 Mississippi 0
Jan. 1, 1954 Georgia Tech 42 West Virginia 19
Jan. 1, 1953 Georgia Tech 24 Mississippi 7
Jan. 2, 1952 Maryland 28 Tennessee 13
Jan. 1, 1951 Kentucky 13 Oklahoma 7
Jan. 2, 1950 Oklahoma 35 LSU 0
Jan. 1, 1949 Oklahoma 14 North Carolina 6
Jan. 1, 1948 Texas 27 Alabama 7
Jan. 1, 1947 Georgia 20 North Carolina 10
Jan. 1, 1946 Oklahoma State 33 St. Mary's 13
Jan. 1, 1945 Duke 29 Alabama 26
Jan. 1, 1944 Georgia Tech 20 Tulsa 18
Jan. 1, 1943 Tennessee 14 Tulsa 7
Jan. 1, 1942 Fordham 2 Missouri 0
Jan. 1, 1941 Boston College 19 Tennessee 13
Jan. 1, 1940 Texas A&M 14 Tulane 13
Jan. 2, 1939 TCU 15 Carnegie Tech 7
Jan. 1, 1938 Santa Clara 6 LSU 0
Jan. 1, 1937 Santa Clara 21 LSU 14
Jan. 1, 1936 TCU 3 LSU 2
Jan. 1, 1935 Tulane 20 Temple 14

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