The Auburn Tigers (4-4, 1-4 SEC) travel up to Nashville, Tenn., this weekend for a contest with the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-7, 0-5 SEC).
Auburn snapped its four-game losing streak against the Mississippi State Bulldogs last week and will be looking to get back above .500 this week.
This game is a must-win for Auburn. What are the biggest things to watch for as the Tigers look to move closer to securing a bowl appearance?
How will Payton Thorne perform?
Auburn quarterback Payton Thorne has experienced an up-and-down season.
He started out strong but cooled off once conference play started. Thorne put together a solid performance against Mississippi State in which he went 20-26 for 230 yards and three touchdowns.
If Thorne can put together a similar performance against Vanderbilt, Auburn will have a good chance of coming away with the win.
Will Jarquez Hunter replicate his performance from last week?
Auburn running back Jarquez Hunter has not had the season he was expected to so far, but he broke out last week.
Hunter picked up 144 yards from 17 carries and caught two passes for 26 yards.
If Hunter can string together a few more performances like the one he had last week, his 2023 season will be looked on more favorably. Additionally, it would increase Auburn's chances of winning every game it plays.
Who will start at quarterback for Vanderbilt?
Vanderbilt quarterback AJ Swann went down with an injury early this season, and Ken Seals stepped into his place. On the Vanderbilt depth chart, however, Seals or Walter Taylor is listed as the starter.
Seals is 69-113 for 858 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions this season. Taylor is 4-12 for 38 yards and one interception.
Seals was benched in Vanderbilt's 33-7 loss to Ole Miss last week, restarting a quarterback conversation.
Vanderbilt has a losing record against every current SEC team except Auburn. Will that still be the case after this game?
The all-time series between Auburn and Vanderbilt is currently 21-21-1.
Vanderbilt won the last match in Nashville by a score of 17-13 in 2012 over an Auburn team that finished 0-9 in the SEC.
Auburn defeated Vanderbilt 23-16 at home inside Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2016.
How many of the fans in attendance will be Auburn fans?
Vanderbilt games are commonly filled with fans of the other team. This week will likely be the same.
FirstBank Stadium has a reduced capacity this season, limiting the stadium to 28,500. A lot of Auburn alumni live in Nashville plus Auburn fans travel well.
It is a safe assumption that there will be more orange and blue than black and gold in attendance.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
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