Auburn vs Alabama Preview: Why Auburn Will Win The Iron Bowl

In the 2009 Iron Bowl, Alabama came into the game as a prohibitive favorite, but early in the game Auburn had wrested control of the game from them. Auburn’s much maligned defense rose to the occasion, and controlled Alabama’s offense for most of the day, holding Mark Ingram to his worst performance of the season. It was not until Alabama’s last drive of the day that they would take the lead, and hold on for the win. Alabama won the game because they had worn down the Auburn defense, and Auburn’s offense had not put enough points on the board to ice the game.

That was 2009, and this is 2010. There are many things different about these two teams this year. Alabama is not the dominant team that they were in 2009, and have several weaknesses to exploit. On the other hand, Auburn is a much better team than last year, and the only place they are lacking depth this year is in the secondary. Fatigue should not be a problem for Auburn this year, as it was in 2009.

Another thing in Auburn’s favor is their running game. They have been unstoppable this year, averaging over 300 yards per game. The biggest difference in thAuburn vs Alabama Previewis year’s rushing attack and last year’s is Auburn’s ability to spread the field, with defenses trying to stop Cam Newton, Mike Dyer and, opening up the boundaries for Onterrio McCalebb. This inside – outside combination has been like thunder and lightening for Auburn in 2010. It also doesn’t hurt to have the best offensive line in the conference. If you can control the flow of the game with the run, you can keep the opposing offense on the sideline, and wear down the other team’s defense.

Unlike former great running teams at Auburn, this team’s offense is not one-dimensional. Many people look only at the stats and assume that Auburn can’t throw the football. Cam Newton has shown repeatedly this year that he has a rifle for an arm, and is as accurate as any quarterback in the league. Auburn also has a crew of top receivers. Terrell Zachary is capable of going the distance whenever he gets the ball. Darvin Adams is a clutch receiver that can make the difficult possession catches, and Philip Lutzenkirchen can make you pay if you try to stop Zachary and Adams.

Gus Malzahn is the best offensive coordinator in the country, and had a gameplan that kept Alabama’s defense confused all day in 2009. The difference this year is Auburn has the firepower to do what they have done all year, move the ball consistently up and down the field. You can bet that Malzahn has several plays that he has been holding back, just for Alabama.

On defense, Auburn’s front seven are dominating, and Nick Fairley keeps opposing linemen tied up trying to stop him, allowing other defenders to keep constant pressure on opposing QBs. Auburn is second in the league in rushing defense, allowing just over 111 yards per game. If you can take away the run from your opponent, you’ve made them much more predictable. I’m aware of the Julio Jones vs. Auburn secondary battle, and I’m sure he will get his yards and TDs, but Julio Jones isn’t going to beat Auburn. Auburn has already faced two receivers of equal ability, or better, in Alshon Jeffery and AJ Green. Auburn didn’t shut them down, but they also didn’t let that matchup beat them.

There’s a reason Auburn is undefeated, and only two games away from a BCS title game, and it’s not just because of Cam Newton. As of this writing, I have no idea what the line will be on the game, or who the favorite will be, though I assume Auburn would be a 5-8 point favorite. Regardless of the spread, if the best team wins on Friday, it’ll be the Auburn Tigers.

Game Info:

The Auburn Tigers square off against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at 2:30PM Eastern Time on Friday, November 26, 2010.  The game will be on CBS.

Be sure and guess your Iron Bowl score, Saturday Down South is giving away $100 to the winner.

REFERENCES

COMMENTS

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  • The first line I have seen on the game has Alabama as a 3-point favorite. As a dedicated follower of both teams, I consider this a blessing for Auburn. Historically, Alabama has always played their best football when they’re an underdog. I am glad to see them as the favorite.

  • Unfortunately, I think you have to give Auburn at least a two-touchdown advantage in this game. Alabama has been playing soft ever since the Penn State game (perennial foe Tennessee being the only exception). Don’t expect this to be close, or probably even interesting.

  • WAR EAGLE! These were my thoughts exactly!!

  • Just reading this article got my blood pressure up and the butterflies in my stomach took flight. It has been a crazy season for a team that never gets the respect they deserve, and I pray that the game turns out just like the article says it will. Better yet, how one of the comments foretells as “not even interesting”. That would be the icing on the hate cake we can serve to everyone begging for the tigers to fall. WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!!

  • Ugh, I am SO sick of hearing people whining about that Auburn doesn’t get any respect…….My advice to ‘the powers that be’ at Auburn is – You want downright respect? GET A TOUGHER SCHEDULE!!!!

    • What the 9th toughest schedule isn’t good enough, dumn ass….ha ha ha

    • Wait let me check………… oh yea didn’t auburn beat BOTH teams that beat Alabama??? Just sayin……

      • Hey Yeah Auburn Did Beat The Two Teams That Beat Us With Home Field Advantage. All There Toughest Challenges Have Came At Home. Not On The Road. You Auburn Fans Are Like Fairweather Fans You Only Make A Voice To Be Heard When They Are Winning But When They Are Weathering A Losing Season You Dont Hear Nothing,

        • Bamafan, it’s funny that you should say that. Since last January, 10-15% of the cars on the road around here have flown their Alabama flags. After the loss to South Carolina, that number dropped to about 5%. I went to the local barbecue place after the Alabama-LSU game, and didn’t see a single Alabama flag waving. I’d be willing to bet you wouldn’t have to watch the game, or catch the scores, to know who wins the Iron Bowl. Just look to see if there are any Alabama flags flying on Saturday.

        • hold on now so u sayin auburn fans make a voice when auburn winning and that all our tough games are at home. Was you sayin the exact same thing last year when alabama was undefeated and won the NC because last i checked Ole Miss, MsSt, and Kentucky was Bamas road games. the exact same schedule auburn have this year besides auburn played clemson this year at home and bama played v tech in atlanta last year but whats thats like 2hr drive, jus like a home game compared to where vtech came from.
          you Bama Fans jus quit hating and take it how its giving out.

    • We play in the same conference in the same division. That sounds like a typical BAMA comment.

    • Do I detect a little fear in his post? Or maybe jelousy, because Auburn is all the headlines.

    • Ok let’s see…..

      San Jose State. Penn State (who is usually ok, but SUCKS this year). Duke. Tennessee. GEORGIA STATE, who is in their first EVER football season. Sounds like Alabama had a really tough schedule…. and they are 9-2.

      We had…..

      Arkansas State (W). Mississippi State (W) in Mississippi with all those cowbells. Clemson (W), which is a tiger rival for Auburn. South Carolina (W) who BEAT ALABAMA. Louisiana-Monroe (W). Kentucky (W) in Kentucky. Arkansas (W). LSU (W) who BEAT ALABAMA. Ole Miss (W) once again in Mississippi. Tennessee-Chattanooga (W). Georgia (W), THE SOUTH’S OLDEST RIVALRY.

      ANY MORE QUESTIONS??????

      • Yes, Rebecca, I have a question, what color crayon did you use to compose your e-mail? You are obviously a very bright third grader, or Auburn graduate. Same thing, really.

      • You forgot to put (W)’s next to all of the teams you listed for Alabama.

        but really you are just an idiot because you’re whole post could have been squared away with this:

        Alaama: 9-2
        Auburn: 11-0

      • yeah and auburn let chattanooga score 24 points on your first string defense to haha

        • Bamafan, Auburn actually only played their first string defense for a little over a quarter. I follow recruiting closely, and there were names on the field for Auburn’s defense that played in that game that I had never heard of before. I can assure you that UTC didn’t score 24 points on the Auburn starting defense.

  • RTR, what the hell are you talking about? A tougher schedule? We play the same schedule you do. Only difference is non-conference. We both played patsies except for one non-conference foe. You played Penn State and we played Clemson. Comparing those two, I think we would all agree Clemson is better than Penn State this year. But then again, you being a Bammer, I doubt you would agree to that.

  • Like the man in the houndstooth hat often said, on any given day any team can beat another team despite rankings. Remember this game is in TUSCALOOSA this year. Keep in mind BAMA had six games with opponents coming off their BYE weeks. Saban is a good coach and I think the efforts will show with a good game on Friday and either way… if it can’t be BAMA in the BCS game, let it be the other school in Alabama…

  • The New York Times did a study of the effect of NFL teams coming off of a bye week, and whether it gave a football team an advantage over the team that didn’t have the bye week. Since the inception of the bye week in 1990, teams with a bye week have a meager 52.7 winning percentage in their first game after the bye week. Couple that with the fact that Alabama’s last game before the Iron Bowl was a scrimmage against Georgia State, and I wouldn’t think the week off would make any difference.

    http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/playing-after-a-bye-week-an-advantage-or-overrated/

    • Johnny…Is there any chance that you could be the least bit biased? Naaaaaah. All you Auburn folks are so objective. Your objectivity regarding your team helped you overlook the $180,000 price tag that your school ignored, or paid, when they purchased Cam Newton. That is amazing, but typical. Don’t overlook that bunch of young men from just up the road. They might have more to prove than you think.

      • David, I don’t hide my allegiance. That’s why I’m called the “Auburn Writer”. With that said, I do base my posts and comments on facts, instead of rumor and innuendo. If you have any solid information that Cam Newton or his father either asked for money from Auburn, or accepted any, I’m sure the NCAA would love to hear it. I didn’t think so. It’s like the “tapes of Cecil Newton asking for money” that were alleged to be there over a week ago. So far, no one has produced any such tapes, which is hard to believe, with the FBI also involved in the case. That doesn’t stop some of you from using rumor and innuendo-based character assassination, to try and gain a competitive advantage, though. Does it?

  • I’m an Alabama fan. and the snide remark about auburn being in “all the headlines” is ridiculous.

    last year, we won our 13th national championship.

    auburn maybe winning it’s FIRST is still only speculation.

    not to mention beginning this season.. WE dominated the headlines as a prospective repeat team.

    so I can understand why you’re all so happy to get some attention. all I can say is enjoy it while you’ve got it because it will NOT last forever.

  • Also Know This That GSU Payed 450,000 To Play Alabama For Nation Wide Exposure It Was There First Time On Television

    • Bamafan, are you sure Georgia State paid Alabama $450,000, or whether it was Alabama that paid Georgia State the money? Most rent-a-wins are paid scrimmages by the home team. A team such as Alabama or Auburn will give a smaller school a large financial payday to come give them a scrimmage. The scheduling team gets a breather, and the sacrificial lamb gets a large payday to help them pay for their team’s expenses. I just can’t see a first year lower division team paying anyone $450,000.

  • To the bama fan ur right it didn’t last too long for yall instead of being on headlines ur on the back page,and go search your history only bama fans claim 13 championships NO ONE else does!!!

  • I bet u won’t find a bama comment come fri evenin WDE!!

  • On a serious note, don’t you just love this series? :-)

  • I hate snide remarks and insults as it really cheapens the nature of the competition.

    In any event, Bama lost to LSU not because they are bad, but because of bad calls and trickery by Miles. I think if you can`t win by playing good solid bal and have to resort to trickery, you don`t deserve to win. LSU is the luckiest team in the SEC. But I digress…

    Cam carries the team. Take Cam out and Auburn is average, just as SC is average without Lattimore.

    May the best team win Friday. Roll Tide Roll!

    • “Cam carries the team. Take Cam out and Auburn is average” ~ we’ll return to this comment in January after the All-SEC/All-SEC Freshman/All-American teams and national player awards are announced . Auburn 2010 doesn’t have the draft picks Bama 2009 had, but some Tigers will be gett’n “paid” in the League next year.

      • Yes, we can revisit this after January and all of the rewards are handed out. You may be shocked to hear this, but Cam Newton isn’t the only Auburn player in the hunt for conference and national player of the year honors. Nick Fairley is also on several short lists. Auburn has several offensive linemen that will be playing at the next level, and will undoubtedly garner conference honors. If you think Cam Newton is a one man team, take away that offensive line that gives him such great protection. Take away Auburn’s other backfield threats and see what kind of numbers he puts up. Onterrio McCalebb is averaging 8.8 Yards Per Carry, while Mike Dyer is averaging 6.3 Yards Per carry. You see, that’s where most teams fail when it comes to stopping Auburn. They think you stop Cam Newton from running the ball, and you stop Auburn. In the meantime, McCalebb and Dyer run up and down the field on them. Of course, Auburn’s running game, as potent as it is, isn’t their only weapon. If you commit to stopping the run, Auburn has the passing game to make you pay. Cam Newton has one of the highest QB ratings in the nation, and leads the nation in Yards Per Attempt at 10.3. This wouldn’t be possible without Darvin Adams, Terrell Zachary, Phillip Lutzenkirchen and company. Yeah, Auburn wouldn’t have anything without Cam Newton.
        BTW, Alabama should have more award winners in January, as Coach Chizik has had only two recruiting classes to Nick Saban’s four, and most awards are given to upperclassmen.

  • auburn 28 alabama 14 last yr auburn held ala half of the game but this year we are alot more better more yrds cant no 1 stop them and cam is the the man to run allover ya man? and who else?well you will see black fridat too im glad im not ungly alabama fan they are haters and tlk to much sh#t and cant bk it up!!!!!!!

  • WAR DAMN EAGLE! BEAT BAMA

  • And just how other fans say cam newton is the whole team that is clearly not true because aaron murray could be georgias whole team. on every team there are heroes and whether or not the officials cheated through this alabama season hopefully auburn still comes out on top.

    • I found this interesting little tidbit on another site this morning. If you completely took away Cam Newton’s rushing from the Auburn rushing numbers, Auburn would still have 2,090 rushing yards, which would rank third in the SEC and 28th nationally.

      • You might be a writer, but you are definitely not a football scholar. Not only does Cam Newton gain most of AU’s rushing yards, his threat opens things up for Dyer, McCalebb, etc… Answer this: Would Dyer & McCalebb have those numbers if Barrett Trotter were behind center? Defenses wouldn’t be nearly as concerned with containing Trotter. Cam demands much more attention & game-planning. For this reason, he is indeed, arguably the best player in college football.

        Also, your comment concerning Bama fans flying/not flying their flags. This could be said about every school and I’ll leave with this……one would never guess AU is undefeated by the number of empty seats in J-H S. Has AU ever sold out their season ticket allotment when Bama wasn’t on the home schedule? I thought Auburn men & women loved to participate in fellowship at their beloved alma mater.

        • You see, Doug, that’s why Auburn fired you. You design an offense around the strengths of your QB. If Cam Newton wasn’t the starter, Gus Malzahn would have a different scheme than what he runs with Newton. I honestly don’t know what kind of numbers Dyer and McCalebb would have with a different QB. No one can honestly say what their numbers would be. I do know Dyer was the top-rated RB in the country last year, McCalebb has world class speed and they run behind a veteran offensive line. With a different QB, I have a feeling that Malzahn would have a scheme that emphasized the QB running less, and passing more, but what do I know? I’m not a football scholar, but then again, neither are you.

  • bama by one touchdown…who cares what cam does….bama all the way…

  • Bama looks good at the half.

  • WOW!!!! Was that a game for the ages, or what? I’m exhausted, and I didn’t play a snap.