Iron Bowl week is here, and Auburn will be hard-pressed to snap Alabama’s 23-game winning streak on Saturday. Here are five Crimson Tide stars the Tigers must stop to give themselves a chance to win.
1. Jalen Hurts
As Alabama keeps winning, Hurts keeps improving. Against Mississippi State two Saturdays ago, the true freshman compiled 447 total yards while becoming the first Crimson Tide player to throw for at least 300 and run for at least 100 in the same game.
Hurts didn’t approach those numbers in Bama’s 31-3 win over Chattanooga on Saturday night, but he was still good. The product of Channelview, Texas passed for three touchdowns and rushed for 68 yards as the Tide ran its winning streak to 23.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, Hurts now has 803 rushing yards, which broke Steadman Shealy’s school record of 791 for a quarterback, which he set in 1979. Hurts also has run for 11 scores.
2. Calvin Ridley
Ridley leads Alabama with 57 catches and is tied for first with ArDarius Stewart with 7 receiving TDs. He’s behind last year’s pace when he finished with 89 receptions for 1,045 yards and 7 scores, but he’s still a very dangerous target.
Auburn should also be concerned about Stewart, who was held out of the win over Chattanooga because “sometimes we have players that have a violation of our standard of behavior,” according to the Associated Press. Stewart leads the Crimson Tide with 7 TD catches and 85.4 receiving yards per game.
3. Damien Harris
Harris, who ran for 91 yards and a touchdown against the Mocs, is Alabama’s leading rusher. He’s run for 850 yards and 2 TDs on 115 carries.
Like its receiving corps, Alabama’s backfield has two players who can be workhorses. Joshua Jacobs (6.7) and Harris (7.4) both have high averages when it comes to yards per carry.
Bo Scarbrough leads all Bama running backs with 5 rushing TDs and is averaging nearly 6 yards a carry. But Harris leads the Tide with three 100-yard rushing games and remains its workhorse back entering Saturday’s matchup against Auburn.
4. Jonathan Allen
Allen, who has made 46 total tackles – 9.5 for a loss – is a disruptive force on Alabama’s defensive line once again. He’s also returned two fumbles for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Auburn’s offensive line will have to account for Allen on every play. He’s eighth in the SEC with 7.0 sacks.
5. Reuben Foster
The linebacker left Saturday’s game with an apparent injury to his left arm/hand. But he also returned against Chattanooga to make 5 tackles, running his Tide-leading total to 75.