Auburn vs Houston: TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch: Tuesday, December 28
Auburn vs Houston: TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl How To Watch
Date: Tuesday, December 28
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET
Venue: Protective Stadium, Birmingham, AL
How To Watch: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
Records: Auburn (6-6), Houston (10-2)
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Auburn vs Houston TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl Preview
– In so many ways, this bowl game matters.
It matters for a Houston team that was 11-1 before losing to Cincinnati 35-20 in the American Athletic Conference Championship. There weren’t any great wins on the schedule after losing to Texas Tech, and the one chance it had to make a big statement this season fell flat against the Bearcats.
– Beating Auburn is a must for head coach Dana Holgorsen and the program, especially after getting rolled by Hawaii in last year’s bowl appearance.
– Beating Houston is definitely a must for Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin, whose first season was going great until a four-game losing streak – closing with the tough overtime loss to Alabama – changed the narrative.
– It’s a strong overall defensive Tiger team that’s great at getting into the backfield and solid against the run. The offensive side is the question mark, with a running game that’s been wildly inconsistent and a passing attack that’s been hit-or-miss since starter Bo Nix – before transferring to Oregon – went out with an ankle injury.
– Houston’s defense is the best in the nation at third down stops. It’s terrific at coming up with takeaways, it was the best in the AAC against the run, and the pass rush has been a constant killer. The offense is efficient and is great at controlling the clock, but the line struggles in pass protection and the running game is spotty at best.