Behind Enemy lines: Predicting Washington Football chances against Auburn

(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images) Local Caption ***Greg Gaines
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images) Local Caption ***Greg Gaines /

In our third and final interview, we pushed Fly War Eagle’s Rob Maxwell to make his bold prediction over how the Washington Football team matches up against Auburn. Of course, we shared our own as well

This weekend’s headliner features our beloved Washington Football team squaring off against one of the SEC’s finest in the Auburn Tigers. Since this game will likely permanentaly alter and set the NCAA college bowl picture from the onset, we wanted to commemorate two national football powers on the same field this weekend.

So we reached out to Fly War Eagle, the FanSided website dedicated to the Auburn Tigers, and tapped one of their key contributors, Rob Maxwell, for some insights into how Auburn is approaching this game.

What is Fly War Eagle’s prediction for this game?

Husky Haul:  What to watch for when Auburn has the ball?

Fly War Eagle’s Rob Maxwell: With inexperienced running backs, but a veteran quarterback, the temptation would be to say that Auburn will pass the ball a lot Saturday against Washington. But Jarrett Stidham only threw 30 or more passes in three games last season.

Head coach Gus Malzahn likes to establish the running game and I expect the same. The Tigers might be inexperienced in the backfield but they are loaded with all kinds of talent — speed backs, downhill runners. Look for Malzahn and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to find the right combination and stick with it. That being said, one of Auburn’s deepest positions is receiver and the Tigers will throw a lot of players at Washington’s talented secondary.

Husky Haul: What to watch for when Washington has the ball

Fly War Eagle’s Rob Maxwell: The Auburn defensive coordinator knows to win this game, the Auburn defense has to contain Myles Gaskin. This defense is equipped to limit elite backs.

Only two players topped 100 yards in a game last season (Texas A&M RB Trayveon Williams and UCF QB Milton McKenzie) and there were multiple backs on the schedule who are playing in the NFL this season.

Derrick Brown is a big-bodied run stuffer who can rush the passer from the defensive tackle spot. Auburn is fast and athletic on the edges with Marlon Davidson, Nick Coe, T.D. Moultry and Big Kat Bryant. Middle linebacker Deshaun Davis is the backbone of the defense.

The Tigers have talent in CB Jamel Dean and Nickel Javaris Davis in the secondary, but if they suffer any injuries, you’re looking at freshmen getting thrown to the fire.

Husky Haul: Bold prediction for the game outcome

Fly War Eagle’s Rob Maxwell: This one should be fun to watch. It’s the best game of the weekend and if you can say a Week 1 game has playoff implications, this is it. Playing in Atlanta, which is less than two hours from campus and where the Tigers played their last two games, gives the slightest advantage.

What is The Husky Haul’s prediction for this game?

Husky Haul: Both Auburn and Washington enter the game facing unfamiliar opponents.  Auburn has all the advantages in this game in terms of distance travelled, time zone, and fans in the stands. That’s why this game will be close.

Washington learned a great deal last season. They learned that any east coast team opener is a tough challenge. They also learned that they must be able to adjust to what the opposing defense gives them on-the-fly. 

While Auburn’s defense will key on Myles Gaskin, they will be surprised at the speed and versatility of running back Salvon Ahmed.  And don’t discount the passing proficiency of quarterback Jake Browning in this one. While he is not a “bombs away” style of quarterback, he is precise and rarely makes mistakes.  That is a great style to have in the pocket against a strong Auburn defense.

Washington Football DT Greg Gaines makes his last stand. dark. Next

Auburn will try to establish the run early. That should give Washington a chance to take a lead on the Auburn Tigers.  Look for Browning to look good early in the passing game. However, holding onto a lead against Auburn will be difficult indeed. It will require a combined effort of offense, defense, and special teams to win this one. My final score prediction?