Game Day Preview: What you need to know about Alabama-Auburn
The 80th Iron Bowl will kick off on Saturday afternoon, 122 years after Alabama and Auburn first met on a football field. Auburn won, 32-22, that day in 1893.
This time around, a similar result would mean chaos at Jordan-Hare Stadium and dashed title hopes for the Crimson Tide.
Here is what you need to know before the game:
No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1 SEC) at Auburn Tigers (6-5, 2-5 SEC)
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 28, 3:30 pm ET (CBS)
Weather: 72 degrees, mostly sunny, zero percent chance of rain (Weather.com)
Line: Alabama -14.5 (VegasInsider.com)
By the numbers
154 – Rushing yards Alabama running back Derrick Henry needs to break the school’s single-season rushing record. Trent Richardson had 1,679 in 2011.
6 – Times in the past six years that the winner of the Iron Bowl has advanced to the BCS National Championship Game or the College Football Playoff.
200.9 – Rushing yards per game for Auburn, good for 32nd in the country. It’s one of the few things the Tigers have done well this year. Alabama is second in the country in rushing defense, allowing just 77.8 rushing yards per game.
Storylines to watch
Alabama looking ahead?
Nick Saban has done an excellent job of keeping his team focused down the stretch, but you have to wonder if Crimson Tide players are sneaking peeks at the SEC Championship Game or College Football Playoff at this point. If any of them are underestimating the Iron Bowl, Kirk Herbstreit will set them straight.
Has Coker turned the corner?
It’s a question we ask every time the fifth-year senior appears to have turned a corner in his decision-making. Coker completed 11 of 13 passes for 155 yards and two scores against Charleston Southern last Saturday, and — most importantly — did not make any unnecessarily dangerous throws. If he can show similar patience against Auburn, there might be reason to believe Coker is a changed man. Maybe.
Griffith has chance at redemption
The ‘Bama kicker has been on a field goal tear since starting 0-for-4 this year. Griffith is 14-of-17 in his past nine games, and could potentially shake the “Kick Six” monkey off his back with a game-winner or clutch fourth-quarter field goal against Auburn on Saturday.
Prediction: Alabama 26, Auburn 21
Winning a national title requires beating your most hated rivals. Auburn will be amped for this game simply because it’s a chance to ruin Alabama’s season. When it comes to the Iron Bowl, that’s some serious motivation.