When: 6:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn
The line: Auburn by 19
1. Moving forward: Auburn escaped with a huge win over No. 11 Oregon as the Bo Nix era officially began on the Plains. Nix made the two biggest throws of his life on the game-winning drive over the Ducks, including the game-winner to Seth Williams with nine seconds to play. Nix was a modest 13 of 31 for 177 yards with two TDs and two interceptions, but showed he has what it takes to lead the Tigers. No doubt, he’ll get better.
2. Defense improved as game went on: After getting hit with some big plays and two touchdowns in the first quarter, Auburn’s defense improved as the night wore on. It limited Oregon’s rushing attack to 90 yards on 33 carries and came up with a fumble. Oregon featured a veteran offense, and the Tigers did good work overall.
3. Run game emphasis: Auburn was disappointed in the way it ran the ball in 2018, and coach Gus Malzahn placed an emphasis on improving it this season. After one game, it looks like the Tigers will be just fine. JaTarvious Whitlow has turned into a workhorse and had 110 of Auburn’s 206 rushing yards.
4. Tulane impressive in debut: The Green Wave won’t be a pushover this week as Willie Fritz’s team is coming off a seven-win season. In his fourth season, Fritz has seen Tulane’s record improve each season. For North Alabama standout and Harlon Hill Trophy winner Will Hall is Tulane’s new offensive coordinator, and he is known for his explosive offenses.
Tulane QB Justin McMillan vs. Auburn’s defensive line: McMillan was good last week in a 42-14 win over FIU, accounting for three touchdowns and 251 total yards. The Tigers are in a league of their own defensively, though. They held Oregon to 90 rushing yards and can get to the quarterback. McMillan will likely have to rely on his legs to escape trouble.
Player of the week
JaTarvious Whitlow, running back
Whitlow is trying for his second consecutive 100-yard game, and he’ll be going against a good Tulane defense that held FIU to 267 total yards. Auburn will try to work on its passing game against Tulane, but expect Whitlow to get the bulk of the carries in the run game.
By the numbers
10: Auburn’s new AP ranking after beating Oregon in the first week of the season.
40: Consecutive start made by Auburn DL Marlon Davidson, the nation’s second longest streak behind Louisiana Tech’s Ethan Reed (41).
1955: The last time Tulane beat Auburn was Oct. 29, 1955.
Auburn 38, Tulane 17
Look for the Tigers to iron out the first week kinks and beat Tulane handily. Willie Fritz has done a nice job with the Green Wave in his first three seasons, but Auburn is the best team they will face this season. It’s not a pushover game for the Tigers, but one they should win handily.
— Gregg Dewalt