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#7 Alabama at Auburn: Previewing the Iron Bowl



#7 Alabama travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on their in-state rival, the Auburn Tigers, in the 88th rendition of the Iron Bowl. Alabama leads the series 49-37-1 and is 11-5 under coach Nick Saban. Four of those losses have come inside Jordan-Hare Stadium, an atmosphere that has given the Tide trouble historically, to say the least. Can Auburn rally after arguably their worst loss in program history last week, and make this a game against the ever-improving Alabama? Will we see another great moment in football to add to the others this rivalry has produced like Bryce Young's last-minute comeback in '21 or the "Kick-Six" in '13? Throw out the record books and buckle happen because anything can happen in the Iron Bowl.


Broadcast Info:

Saturday, November 25th at 3:30 pm on CBS

Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson on the call


Radio:

Auburn Sports Network with Andy Burcham and Jason Campbell

Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart and Tyler Watts


What's at Stake?

This is a must-win game for Alabama if they wish to keep their playoff hopes alive and Auburn would love nothing more than ending their rival's dreams of the playoff by pulling the upset. Auburn could use a strong showing in this game to show the world that their embarrassing loss to New Mexico State was a fluke and not indicative of who they are as a team. A win for Auburn would silence any doubters questioning if they picked the right coach in Hugh Freeze and a win for Alabama would put them one step closer to achieving their goal of reaching the playoffs.



Alabama at Auburn: Keys to the Game

Alabama:

Alabama needs to stay disciplined and be effective early to quiet the Auburn crowd. Jordan-Hare is a very tough environment for the opposing team to play in, so taking the crowd out of the game early will be key to Alabama's success. Alabama will need to limit Jarquez Hunter and Auburn's rushing attack, forcing QB Peyton Thorne to try and win the game with his arm. Alabama will receive some help in that department with line-backer Deontae Lawson set to return from injury. Thorne has had his moments, but overall has played below-average football and is prone to throwing interceptions. Safety Jaylen Key is also set to return for the Tide, bolstering an already strong secondary consisting of Terrion Arnold, Caleb Downs, and Kool-Aid McKinstry. On offense, Alabama will have its work cut out for them against an Auburn defense that has played well this season, aside from last weekend. Jalen Milroe and company must be balanced on offense to keep the stingy Auburn defense on its toes. Last week New Mexico State was able to put up over 200 yds both passing and rushing against this Auburn defense, Alabama will look to replicate that performance.


Auburn:

Auburn will need to avoid making mistakes and make some big plays early to get the crowd going. The Tigers will need to utilize Jarquez Hunter and the rushing attack to take the pressure off of QB Peyton Thorne. They'll need to utilize play-action to get playmakers like TE Rivaldo Fairweather and WR Jay Fair behind the defense for some big plays. Auburn could bring in QB Robby Ashford to utilize his legs against an Alabama defense that has historically struggled with running quarterbacks. Auburn's defense needs to do what it does best, slow down the Tide's running game, and force Milroe to throw short and intermediate passes. By doing so they give players like CB Jaylin Simpson a chance to create turnovers which Auburn will need to win this game. Auburn needs to come out angry with something to prove, get the crowd involved early, and return to form on defense and they'll have a good shot at pulling off the upset.




Prediction:

The Auburn team we saw take the field last week against New Mexico State will not be the team we see in Jordan-Hare this Saturday. I expect Auburn to come out with a chip on their shoulder and play hard on both sides of the ball. That being said, I expect Alabama to match that energy, not letting last week's result trick them into taking this Auburn team lightly. This game will be a low-scoring, hard-fought battle in the trenches. Auburn keeps it close till late in the game, but Alabama will pull away in the 4th as the talent and depth differential will be too much for the Tigers to overcome. Alabama at Auburn will be


Alabama 27 Auburn 10

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