Check out the Alabama vs. Auburn fearless prediction and game preview.
Alabama (11-0) vs. Auburn (9-2) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, November 25th
Game Time: 3:30 pm ET
Venue: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL
Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is one of the biggest rivalry games in sports, and yeah, yeah, yeah, this is a 365-day-a-year thing, but this year it takes on a true national significance for both teams again for the first time since the Kick Six miracle of 2013.
For the other Power Five conferences, it’s all about Alabama, because then there’s a chance this is cleaner.
If the Crimson Tide win, there’s a good chance they beat Georgia for the SEC Championship, and then the College Football Playoff will take just one team from the conference.
If they lose, then it gets tricky.
Does Bama get the Ohio State love of last year – getting into the CFP at 11-1despite losing to the conference champ, if that’s Auburn?
Does it get in over a two-loss Big 12 champion if TCU beats Oklahoma, or if Ohio State beats Wisconsin?
And what happens if Auburn wins? Does it have a realistic shot to be the first two-loss team to make the College Football Playoff, even though it lost to Clemson along the way?
For a whole lot of people in Alabama, though, all that matters is what happens this weekend.
Auburn comes in on a roll, scoring 40 points or more in seven of its last eight games, and going 9-0 when hitting the 24-point mark, and 0-2 when going under.
Alabama comes in on a roll, winning all straight and only allowing more than 23 points once – a 31-24 win over Mississippi State.
The College Football Playoff has started weeks ago for these two. For all intents and purposes, consider this an elimination game.
One Reason Why Alabama Will Win
Run defense, run defense, run defense.
Yeah, that’s what Georgia had, too, and that didn’t work out so hot against a Tiger team that ripped off 237 yards and averaged over five yards per carry, but it was held to just 189 yards by LSU and to 38 yards by Clemson.
Auburn is 0-2 when rushing for less than 200 yards. How many times has Alabama allowed 200 rushing yards this season? It hasn’t. Only Mississippi State came close with 172 yards and three scores on the ground, but that’s it.
That means it’ll be up to Jarrett Stidham and the Auburn passing game to come through against the No. 1 team in the nation in pass efficiency defense.
Alabama has a whole slew of issues, but it doesn’t turn the ball over – the two giveaway against Mercer made it a grand total of seven turnovers on the year – and the secondary that gets back Minkah Fitzpatrick from his hamstring injury is incredible.
Bama hasn’t allowed a touchdown pass in its last fauve games, and gave up just two since Colorado State threw for two late scores back in mid-September.
The Auburn O will have problems, but …
One Reason Why Auburn Will Win
The Alabama offense is just okay. It’s not amazing, but it’s solid on the ground and explosive from time to time when it absolutely has to be.
It’s having a few problems putting teams away, though, struggling on the road to get by Texas A&M and Mississippi State, and throughout the season it’s been fine. The schedule hasn’t been all that great, and the team hasn’t been quite the killer Alabama normally is.
By Alabama’s incredible standards.
The Auburn defensive front has been outstanding, doing a great job against everyone’s running game – holding Georgia to 46 yards and not giving up 200 rushing yards on the year – and coming up with an even better late season against the pass.
Texas A&M, Georgia and ULM all couldn’t hit 50% of their passes, and Nick Fitzgerald and the Mississippi State O connected on just 35%.
What’s Going To Happen
Neither offense will do much of anything, both defenses will be incredible, and it’ll be the tightest of tight games that will come down to one thing.
Alabama’s punting game is solid, Auburn’s isn’t.
The Auburn punters are combining to average under 40 yards per kick, putting just nine inside the 20 and with just three 50-yard blasts. Alabama’s J.K. Scott is averaging 43 yards per boot with 21 put inside the 20 with 13 kicks of over 50 yards.
The Auburn punt coverage team is mediocre, while Alabama has allowed just four returns for five yards.
The field will be tilted on Auburn’s side just a wee bit too much.
Alabama vs. Auburn Prediction
Alabama 23, Auburn 17
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