The Auburn Tigers are facing a quarterback that has never lost a start on the road. According to CBSSportsline.com, Alabama is a double digit favorite on Saturday. The Iron Bowl is on the line. The SEC championship is on the line. Without those two things, there is no BCS title this season. Adam Zucker stated, this could be the biggest Iron Bowl game in history.
Last season, Auburn was knocked out by Alabama in a 49 point drubbing. The turnaround will be complete for the Tigers if they can beat Alabama at home. The Iron Bowl will be strength on strength, and the winner in the trenches will be the winner on the field.
Alabama vs Auburn
When: Saturday, November 30, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium
While the Crimson Tide offense isn’t explosive, it sure is balanced. It’s the balance between the run and pass that helps Alabama create some big plays. They only average 233 yards passing, but plenty of times it looks very easy. That credit belongs to the stout offensive line. When A.J. McCarron sets up to pass, he’s usually free in the pocket. Alabama wants to continue that trend on Saturday. The best way to make that happen is by having a successful running game.
The defense has been great against run this season. However, they are facing a different type of attack on Saturday afternoon. Still, Alabama has to play with the same principles that have kept their season unblemished. While running games have been nonexistent for the most part, Auburn won’t be going away from their “bread n butter.” The Crimson Tide must have their best tackling game of the season.
Everybody knows that Auburn wants to run the ball. They should also know that Auburn will have some tricks up their sleeves throughout the game. Will Auburn come out passing in the first quarter? They may be able to catch Alabama sleeping the secondary. Their main purpose is to keep the defense off balanced. Nick Marshall has only nine passing touchdowns, but he is the second leading rusher behind Tre Mason. To pull off the upset, Auburn must not turn the ball over.
Defensively, Auburn was getting great production in the month of November. That was until the final quarter against Georgia. Even if they have a big lead on Saturday, Auburn must be prepared for the come back. Their game will come down to the front seven. Missing tackles is not an option for Auburn. Alabama will test them physically up front early.
The game will come down to which team has the better running game. If Alabama controls the ball, Auburns defense will get worn down. If Auburn can create creases in the Alabama defense it could be a long day. Maybe this game will come down to another lucky “Hail Mary.”