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Sport Penn State faces Auburn, looking for 7th straight win

10:30  17 september  2021
10:30  17 september  2021 Source:   ap.org

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No. 22 Auburn (2-0) at No. 10 Penn State (2-0), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT (ABC).

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) carries the ball as Alabama State linebacker Jake Howard (46) pursues during the first half of an NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) © Provided by Associated Press Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) carries the ball as Alabama State linebacker Jake Howard (46) pursues during the first half of an NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Line: Penn State by 5 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Tied 1-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Both teams will look for early bragging rights in the first game of a home-and-home matchup that also could serve as a resume builder for both squads. The Nittany Lions are playing for their seventh straight win while Auburn looks for its third straight in a rare visit to a Big Ten stadium.

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KEY MATCHUP


Video: Could there be chaos in the SEC this season? Auburn’s trip to PSU may provide some answers | College Football Enquirer (Yahoo! Sports)

Auburn’s running game vs. Penn State’s front seven. The Tigers have a pair of backs who have carved up their first two opponents and could be the key to quieting a raucous crowd. Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter have combined for 43 carries, 531 yards and four touchdowns. They’re running behind a physical offensive line anchored by four seniors.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Auburn: QB Bo Nix. This could be the loudest venue the veteran QB has ever played in and he’ll be doing so against a defense that’s already intercepted four passes. Penn State’s secondary is loaded with handsy players so Nix’s accuracy will need to be on point.

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Penn State LB/DE Jesse Luketa: The linebacker-turned-defensive end has wowed coaches and teammates with his ability to effortlessly switch positions when needed to fortify Penn State’s front. His tackling skills will come in handy against Auburn’s multi-headed rushing attack.

FACTS & FIGURES

Auburn hasn’t played a road Big Ten game since 1931. … The only two meetings in the series have come in bowl games. Penn State won the 1996 Outback Bowl and Auburn won the Capital One Bowl in 2002. … Auburn’s 1,151 yards of total offense are the most in program history to start a season and its 122 points are the fourth-most in an opening two-game span. … Penn State is 23-23 against the SEC. Auburn is 12-10-2 against the Big Ten. … This will be Penn State’s 13th full-stadium whiteout — where fans are encouraged to wear all white.

Penn State linebacker Jesse Luketa (40) celebrates after intercepting Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt (9) and returning it for a touchdown in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Penn State defeated Ball State 44-13. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger) © Provided by Associated Press Penn State linebacker Jesse Luketa (40) celebrates after intercepting Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt (9) and returning it for a touchdown in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Penn State defeated Ball State 44-13. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

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Harsin on starting QB: 'That has not been decided yet' .
Bryan Harsin isn't tipping his hand on No. 22 Auburn's starting quarterback against LSU. T.J. Finley, a former LSU starter, staked his claim on the job when he came off the bench to replace third-year starter Bo Nix and ultimately throw for the go-ahead touchdown against Georgia Stat e. It remains to be seen if Auburn (3-1) will turn to Finley to start the Southeastern Conference opener under Harsin, hoping to jump-start an offense that sputtered in the past two games.“That has not been decided yet,” Harsin said. “I know depth charts come out. Depth charts, it’s a little bit old-school because so many things change throughout the week and all that.

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