2017 Sugar Bowl Preview
Auburn and Oklahoma will face off in a titanic clash in the 2017 Sugar Bowl.
The Tigers had a six game win streak in the middle of their schedule to help them reach 8-4. They only lost to bowl teams, with two of their losses coming to the two teams playing in the National Championship. They have five wins over bowl eligible teams with their victories over: Arkansas State, LSU, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Vanderbilt.
Auburn has had to play multiple quarterbacks this season due to inconsistency and injury. Sean White has taken the most snaps and has been effective. He has thrown for 1,644 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions. His 65% completion percentage works well because of the rushing attack of Auburn.
Because the pass offense isn’t great, there is only one player who does a lot of damage as a receiver. Tony Stevens has 466 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
The run game is where the Tigers are able to do the most damage. Kamryn Pettway has been the leading rusher with 1,123 yards and seven touchdowns. Kerryon Johnson has added 866 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Tiger defense is good at stopping the run and allow just 125 rushing yards per game. The pass defense is average and gives up 224 yards per game.
Carl Lawson has had a great season rushing the passer with nine sacks. He will have to get pressure to slow down Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense.
Oklahoma is on a nine game winning streak and has a record of 10-2. They have beaten five bowl eligible teams in TCU, Kansas State, Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. Their losses came to Houston and Ohio State.
Baker Mayfield has been great ever since he took the field for Oklahoma. This season he earned a spot as a Heisman Finalist with 3,669 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has also completed an impressive 71% of his passes.
Dede Westbrook also got an invite to the Heisman ceremony as Mayfield’s best receiver. He finished the season with 1,465 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. Westbrook creates big plays at 20 yards per reception.
Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine have split ball carrying duties with a smash and dash approach. Mixon is the speed back and has rushed for 1,183 yards and even missed a game with suspension. He also is a good receiver out of the backfield. Perine is the power back, who has picked up 974 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.
The run defense is above average for the Sooners and allows 161 rushing yards per game. The pass defense is one of the worst in the country as Oklahoma gives up 279 yards per game.
Ogbonnia Okronkwo has been one of the bright spots on defense for Oklahoma with nine sacks this season. Jordan Evans has helped out with his four interceptions.
Oklahoma will move the football through the air and Auburn won’t be able to keep up. Baker Mayfield will elude pressure to make great plays and pick up the win.
Oklahoma Sooners 35 Auburn Tigers 25