Analysis & Picks: Auburn vs California 9/9/2023

Analysis & Picks: Auburn vs California 9/9/2023

September 6, 2023


Game Preview


College football’s second week begins Saturday night at California Memorial Stadium with a matchup between the Auburn Tigers and the Cal Golden Bears. In their season opener, Auburn dispatched UMass. With a score of 59. Even though it was just a home game against UMass, the stakes were high. It didn’t matter that the Minutemen had already won a game and improved their record.


The Tigers’ 59-14 victory in Hugh Freeze’s first game in charge was their biggest point total against an FBS opponent since their 62-0 rout of Alabama State in early 2021 and their second-highest point total against an FBS opponent since their 63-14 rout of Purdue in the 2018 Music City Bowl.


While Cal’s passing game and quarterback Payton Thorne, a transfer from Michigan State, were effective, the running game was even more so, and all three will be needed to beat what should be one of the strongest Cal defenses of the Justin Wilcox era.



Adaptability will be key for Auburn. They will need to swiftly adjust to the time shift and the novelty of its new surroundings, and it will require the pass rush that played such a key role in its victory over Massachusetts (58 points) to be present.


The Bears’ 58-21 victory was their largest margin of victory since their 73-14 season-opening victory against Grambling in 2015, and their largest victory over an FBS opponent since their 60-59 victory over Washington State in 2014.


The passing game finished with 322 yards, Jaydn Ott ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns, and Isaiah Ifanse rumbled for three more, but all of that needs to work against an Auburn defense that will keep up the pressure. Former NC State quarterback Ben Finley was excellent. Cal brings a well-prepared squad to the table.


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Auburn vs California Game Information


  • Date: 09/09/2023
  • Time: 10:30 PM ET
  • Location: California Memorial Stadium.
  • How to Watch Auburn vs California: ESPN
  • Live Stream:


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