As champions of the Big 12, the Oklahoma Sooners have been selected to play in the 2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The Sooners will face the Auburn Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Jan. 2. Kickoff time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.
The Sooners have faced Auburn once previously, defeating the Tigers in the 1972 Sugar Bowl (played at Tulane Stadium) by a score of 40-22. That Oklahoma team is the one that faced Nebraska in the “Game of the Century” a little over a month beforehand, so the Tigers ran into a buzzsaw (led by Greg Pruitt and Jack Mildren) that day.
Auburn finished the season with a record of 8-4, and two of their losses came against the top two teams in the College Football Playoff (Alabama, Clemson). The Tigers are seventh nationally in rushing yards (3,342) and average 5.6 yards per carry this season. Defensively, Auburn ranks 20th in total yards allowed per game (348) and rank 10th in defensive efficiency.
The Tigers are led by a load of a running back in the form of Kamryn Pettway, who leads the team with 1,123 yards. The 6-0, 240-pound back also averages a whopping 6.1 yards per carry and has seven touchdowns on the season. Don’t sleep on Kerryon Johnson, who has rushed for 862 yards and leads the team with 11 touchdowns.
The quarterback position has been a revolving door for the Tigers due to injuries and sub-par play. Sean White should be good to go in time for this game, but the Sooners will also see a bit of John Franklin III (of Last Chance U fame), and maybe even Jeremy Johnson.
The Sooners have a challenging, yet winnable game on the horizon against a program with a proud tradition. For coverage of the Tigers over the next month, check out College and Magnolia. We look forward to discussing the game with these guys, and we’ll definitely be collaborating on some pieces with them.