Sugar Bowl clash with OU is Auburn's 3rd vs. a league champ
No. 17 Auburn (8-4, SEC) vs. No. 7 Oklahoma (10-2, Big 12), 8:30 p.m. EST (ESPN), New Orleans.
Line: Oklahoma by 3.
Series Record: Oklahoma leads 1-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Oklahoma can finish its season with a 10th straight victory while cementing its top 10 ranking. Auburn, which lost its final two regular season conference games, wants to knock off the Big 12 champs not only to energize the program heading into the offseason, but also to give the SEC more bragging rights over another power conference.
Oklahoma's offense, featuring two Heisman trophy finalists in quarterback Baker Mayfield and receiver Dede Westbrook, against Auburn's 20th-ranked defense, which also ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense (15.6 points per game). The Tigers have their share of NFL prospects on defense, including edge rusher Carl Lawson and tackle Montravious Adams, who've combined for 21 tackles for losses.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Auburn: Leading Auburn rusher Kamryn Pettway, who had 1,123 yards and seven touchdowns rushing this season, is back from a late-season leg injury and has been the driving force of the Tigers' offense when healthy.
Oklahoma: Mayfield completed 71.2 percent of his passes for 3,669 yards and 38 touchdowns while throwing only eight interceptions this season. Mayfield often looked for Westbrook, this season's Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver, who caught 74 passes 1,465 yards and 16 TDs.
FACTS & FIGURES
Auburn this season has played ACC champion Clemson and SEC champion Alabama - also the two participants in next week's national title game in Tampa - and now meets its third power conference winner of the season in the Sugar Bowl. ... The only other meeting between Auburn and Oklahoma in both programs' long, stories histories also came at the Sugar Bowl to end the 1971 season. The Sooners won 40-22. ... Auburn is in its sixth Sugar Bowl and first since its unbeaten (13-0) 2004 season, when the Tigers finished second in the national rankings behind Southern California - and one spot ahead of Oklahoma. Auburn ended that season by beating Virginia Tech in the 2005 Sugar Bowl, 16-13. ... Oklahoma is in its eighth Sugar Bowl, the most of any school not in the SEC, and the Sooners have won it five times, including the game's 2014 edition, 45-31 over Alabama. ... Oklahoma has won 10 games for the 14th time since Bob Stoops took over as coach 18 years ago. ... Sooners junior running back Samaje Perine needs 82 yards to tie Billy Sims' Oklahoma career rushing record of 4,118 yards, set in 1979.
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25