During the 2019 football season, The Villager will run comments from a focus group on results of the previous Auburn University game and a prognostication for the upcoming game. We’ve collectively labeled the group, Panel of Wanna-Be Experts, or POWE! for short.
Here are the panel's comments for the Tigers' home-opener against Tulane:
Last week, the Wanna-Be-Experts did surprisingly well. Maybe the best ever. All seven of us picked Auburn to win over Oregon. Our picks were 28-14; 24-21; 21-10; 24-13; 29-20; 27-17; and 24-21.
The actual score was 27-21. Barry Mask, a former Aubie, who probably knows a little about football, picked 29-20, which was pretty darn close. Auburn didn't fold and the very young quarterback became a man.
It was a great game and trip for my wife, son and I to Dallas to stay with our daughter/sister.
Now back to business: Tulane. I think they plan in a smaller school, American Athletic Conference, and may be in first place. But they play teams like FIU, Missouri State, Navy and Army.
Auburn should be a 21 or 28 point favorite, and should win 35-10. But the score could be even more if our starters stay in the game.
But this is also a game where the coaches need to play a lot of men in order to give the second- and third-teamers playing time. It gives them playing time and prevents injuries to starters.
As a side note, I was not impressed by the inside of the Dome. There were too many flashing lights circling the field and the scoreboards with the down and distance were too small. But our seats were great and we had a great view of the field.
James Sprayberry, local attorney
and longtime Auburn season ticket holder
It will be hard to come back to earth after the dramatic ending of Saturday night’s victory over the Ducks. After an extremely lackluster start both on offense and defense, our Tigers sprang to life in the second half and secured a hard fought 27-21 win over the higher ranked Webfoots.
I was impressed with the poise shown by our true freshman quarterback, who made a Bo-liever out of many Auburn fans. That last drive with time running out was executed to perfection. Praise also goes to our Men of Steele, who tightened up after the first quarter and, except for the touchdown drive on Oregon’s first possession of the second half, shut them down for the last three quarters as Auburn’s offense scored 21 unanswered points.
This week we take on The Green Wave of Tulane, which seems to most like a step backwards after facing the Mighty Ducks in week one, but, in reality, Tulane, a former member of the SEC, has more conference titles (3) than seven current members. Granted, its last SEC Championship was 70 years ago, but Tulane has fielded a football team since 1893, just one season after Auburn played Georgia in the deep South’s oldest football rivalry. The Green Wave also has a three game edge in its games against Auburn (17-14-6), but Saturday’s game is just the second meeting of these teams since 1955.
Now playing in the American Athletic Conference, Tulane returns all of its running backs, has an experienced QB who won five out of his six starts last year, and had its defensive line rated No. 10 in the country by Bleacher Report. That’s not too shabby. They will be playing for their first back-to-back winning seasons in 21 years.
In their first game of the season, the Green Wave, who was favored by only two points against FIU, totally demolished the Panthers by a score of 42-14. Now 7-1 in his starts with the Green Wave, QB Justin McMillan, who transferred from LSU last season, was 14 of 18 passing (78 percent) with no interceptions before he left the game in the third quarter. Tulane amassed 545 of total offense with 166 of those yards coming from two of its talented running backs.
Despite those impressive numbers, if Auburn doesn’t take Tulane too lightly, our Tigers should dominate and secure a relatively easy win. The Green Wave’s pelican mascot, Riptide, will fall off of its surf board as Auburn gets its second win of the season. We must respect the Wave but we should not fear it. Auburn 35 Tulane 10.
Betty Burgess, retired English teacher, Auburn grad and lifelong Auburn fan
The Auburn-Oregon game was a VERY EXCITING game to open the season. Auburn made many mistakes, but won the game ugly. The players and coaches made mistakes. They will get a chance to improve the next two weeks against some tune-up games.
Bo Nix is a player and will be a star before he leaves Auburn. You could tell he was nervous when many of his incomplete passes were thrown high. He will get better as he becomes more familiar with the system and his teammates. Great to see Joey Gatewood make a contribution. He is a fine athlete and can be used in many different ways.
Looks like our line is the weak link on offense. Saturday night they looked like they did last season. They have to get better. I was disappointed with our defense. They did not play well the first half. The defense played better the second half. Our kicking game has to get better. Oregon's punt returns resulted in short fields several times and we missed a field goal.
The opening weekend of college football did not fare well for some SEC teams. The results put their head coaches on the hot seat. The SEC has some great teams, but is not strong from top to bottom.
It's always good to play our first home game of the season. The Green Wave of Tulane will come to the Plains looking for an upset. Georgia State gave them hope. Tulane is coming off a good win over FIU 42-14. Their QB Justin McMillian is a LSU transfer. They can score. Our defense will have to step up. Our Auburn Tigers will correct their mistakes.
In a Blow-Out: Auburn 48 Tulane 14.
Wendell McLain, Auburn retired brigadier general, Alabama National Guard
Auburn will have shaken the dust off Texas in time for its home opener against a former SEC opponent that holds a series lead over the Tigers.
Though SEC-charter member Tulane holds a 17-14-6 all-time series lead over Auburn, it’s fair to note the two have only met once since 1955, a 38-13 thumping by the Tigers in 2006.
Since leaving the SEC in 1940 to de-emphasize athletics, the Green Wave has been a downtrodden program with only 13 winning seasons during that period.
The last was in 2018 when the American Athletic Conference members finished 7-6 with a Cure Bowl win over Louisiana.
Tulane returns a veteran defense and several skill players on offense, including quarterback Justin McMillan, a lefty dual-threat transfer from LSU.
The Green Wave opened at home a week ago with a 42-14 win over Florida International.
But the AAC is not the SEC, as the three-touchdown underdog Greenies will discover early, before what will likely be a raucous Jordan-Hare Saturday night as Auburn fans welcome the Tigers after their stunning last-play win over Oregon.
Following a shaky start against Oregon that included uneven play on both sides of the ball, Auburn eventually won 27-21 in a spectacular way — a last-play 26-yard touchdown pass from true freshman Bo Nix to sophomore Seth Williams.
Even with the win over the higher-ranked Ducks, there were plenty of improvements to be made by the Tigers — offensive line protection for Nix, special teams play, especially kick return defense, come to mind, and cornerback play.
With the normal improvements from game one to game two, Nix will be more comfortable and polished, especially in front of a home crowd; the receivers will have an easier time getting open against a largely inexperienced Tulane secondary; and the defensive line/linebacker domination should carry forward.
Tulane is a team that Auburn should easily beat. Make it: AUBURN 38, Tulane 10
Bob Lowry, a retired political reporter for United Press International, and three daily newspapers
What a great victory over Oregon ! The Tigers showed grit and perseverance through three quarters of adversity. Bo Nix was as billed. Whitlow showed he’s a gamer , although I hope we swap out some backs and don’t run a guy into the ground as in past seasons.
We have a few things to work on for sure. Tulane is the break we need to fix some things and give some other players a break unless we just come out flat. But I’m thinking the first home game and ensuing crowd keep the Tigers fired up and no let downs !
Auburn 45 – Tulane 10.
Barry Mask, Auburn’s first “Friend of Aubie,” director of marketing for River Bank & Trust.
The schedule makers receive this week’s game ball as the Auburn Tigers welcome the Tulane Green Wave into Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday night. Coming off a thrilling, last-second victory this is a physically overmatched non-conference foe for Auburn to catch their breath against.
The Tigers played far from a perfect game against Oregon, which will give them a lot to work on and plenty of motivation to come out strong against the Green Wave. Bo Nix looked like a true freshman at times, but he never looked as if the moment was too big and he never looked like a player that didn’t believe the team was going to win the football game. His stat line for the game wasn’t great, but when the game was on the line, he was money. Tulane should make for a good confidence builder for him and the rest of the offense.
Tulane ran for 350 yards against FIU in their opening game of the season. That just isn’t going to happen against the Tiger D on Saturday night. Look for Auburn to stop the run and pressure the QB — just as they did the final three quarters of last week’s game. Tulane also held FIU to only 59 yards rushing; Auburn should have that in the first quarter.
Crazy stat of the week: Auburn is 14-17-6 all-time against Tulane (of course, they have only played once in the last 64 years). Tulane may have been a member of the SEC at one time (1933-1965), but they are in the American Conference now and that means bad news for the Green Wave. Auburn beats the boys from NOLA 41-13.
Brandon Hughes, Lee County
I think I’ll borrow from Charles Dickens on summing up the contest at the house of “The Boyz” last Saturday.
It was a “Tale of Two Halfs."
There were a few bright spots but a lot of struggling to get anything done until part two. Credit a fired up Oregon team with giving our guys all they could handle in that first half.
A completely different second half (thank you Tiger defense) sent the Ducks back to the nest with a tough loss.
This weekend sees the Green Wave from New Orleans coming in for the first “ how hot can it get” game this season. The green water people looked good in beating FBS Florida International University by 28 points , putting up 199 though the air and 350 on the ground. In doing so, they snapped a 15 game losing streak to FBS opponents in opening games. One time they shut out Ole Miss 28-0 and went to the Rose Bowl. OK, so that was 1931 but you can never be too careful!
Tulane QB Justin McMillan can run as well as throw and their RB duo of Bradwell and Dauphine can carry a football. They will be excited to play at Jordan-Hare and keeping our foot on the gas would be a good idea. After all, look what happened up in Knox county last Saturday!
I believe the Donahue Drive crew will be ready for our Orleans Parish friends, though, and by the time it’s all said and done . . . well, it will be all said and done.
Auburn 31 – Tulane 14.
Jay Jones, Lee County sheriff
Editor's note: Check back in next week's Villager to see the panel's take on the Tigers' matchup against Kent State in Jordan-Hare Stadium.