It has been over a month since Auburn's heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but that changes Saturday afternoon as Auburn returns to action against Maryland in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
Auburn will be looking for its first bowl victory since it beat Purdue in the 2018 Music City Bowl. The Tigers will also be looking to finalize its first winning season since 2020.
What are the biggest things to pay attention to during the game?
How will Billy Edwards perform for Maryland?
Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, younger brother of former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, has opted out of playing in the bowl game.
Sophomore Billy Edwards, Jr. will be starting in his place. Edwards has not seen much action this season. He is 4-10 for two yards and one interception. He saw the field more in 2022 and went 28-46 for 308 yards and three interceptions.
The level of play from Edwards will have a lot to do with how Maryland is able to perform offensively.
How will opt-outs affect Auburn?
Auburn will be without key contributors such as Marcus Harris, D.J. James and Jaylin Simpson.
Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze has talked about how the Tigers will be seeing a lot of young guys get playing time and will be counting on them to step up.
If they are able to perform, Auburn will be capable of coming home with a win. If not, that will be difficult to manage.
How valuable will having a complete coaching staff be?
It is not uncommon for teams to not only have depleted rosters in bowl games but incomplete coaching staffs as well.
Freeze will not have this problem as all of his assistant coaches are still in-tact.
That is a rarity in this day and age, and Freeze is surely thankful.
Will the crowd resemble that of an Auburn home game?
When Auburn traveled to Nashville in November to take on Vanderbilt, the crowd strongly favored Auburn.
The Tigers sold out their allotment of tickets soon after they had gone on sale.
This likely means that Nissan Stadium will be covered in orange and blue.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT, and the broadcast can be found on ABC.
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