Fresh off an upset win over Texas A&M, Auburn gets a tune-up game against Florida Atlantic before its tough November schedule. The Tigers close out the year with four straight SEC games, so Saturday's home date against the Owls is likely their last chance to get experimental and work on fundamentals in live-game action.
Gus Malzahn's offensive attack has been impressive, averaging 35.9 points and 494.3 yards per game, and Auburn leads the SEC in rushing with 300.1 yards on the ground. However, the defense hasn't been bad, either. The Tigers give up a bunch of yards (428.1 per game), but they're third in the SEC in scoring D (22.0 points per contest), and they rank in the conference's top three in tackles for loss, sacks, interceptions and red zone D.
Rankings and records: Auburn (6-1, 3-1 SEC) is one of the nation's biggest surprises and checked in at No. 11 in the initial BCS standings. Florida Atlantic (2-5, 1-4 C-USA) isn't remotely close to any top rankings. The Tigers and Owls have met once, a 30-14 Auburn win on Sept. 24, 2011.
Vegas: Auburn opened as a 26.5-point favorite, per Odds Shark, and the over-under was set at 50.
Weather: Saturday's forecast calls for a high of 62, a low of 39 and a 12 percent chance of rain in Auburn.
Three names to know
Tre Mason managed to rush for 1,000 yards in a terrible offense last season, and he's once again the catalyst for the Auburn attack. Mason ranks fourth in the SEC with 693 rushing yards, and he's scored eight touchdowns. Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall has been key to his team's success, too, and he is the reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week after compiling 328 total yards and four touchdowns in the win over A&M.
Florida Atlantic defensive back D'Joun Smith is tied for second in Conference USA with four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He's added 20 tackles, nine pass breakups, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble in seven games this year.
Two things at stake
For Auburn, the main goal here is to avoid injuries and take a business-like approach in an almost certain win. Malzahn's biggest job will be keeping his team focused against inferior competition.
Florida Atlantic would like to avoid getting run over, and any success could help build confidence for the rest of the season.
How to witness
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN
Radio: Sirius 136/XM 139, Auburn affiliates