5 Iron Bowl Questions With Fly War Eagle


Iron Bowl 2014 is just around the corner. This is a game in which you can throw out the records, because both teams bring everything they’ve got to earn another year of bragging rights.

Alabama is a nine-point favorite over Auburn, but do the Tigers have what it takes to overcome the odds and make it two in a row against the Crimson Tide? We asked Nicholas Ian Allen of our sister site Fly War Eagle to give us his take on the annual renewal of college football’s greatest rivalry.

Auburn has been living off the miracle win over Alabama last year. Are Tiger fans still fired up about the Kick Six?

I think it’s fair to say the Auburn family will be fired up about the Kick Six for many, many years to come. It was one of the most spectacular plays in college football history, and to happen in the Iron Bowl with so much on the line was simply incredible.

After weeks of being considered a front-runner for the College Football Playoff, an embarrassing loss to Texas AM dropped them from contention. How is the team – and fan base – adjusting to the role of being a spoiler for Alabama?

The loss to Texas A&M was certainly disappointing and derailed a very promising season. Like you said, the Tigers had playoff hopes after playing for it all last year, and to lose a game like that is tough to overcome – so much so, it likely carried over to the following game against Georgia. That said, the team and the fan base are focused on upsetting Alabama. If Auburn can’t win the SEC or play for the national title, the next best thing would be keeping Alabama from doing so as well.

Nick Marshall will lead the Tigers into very hostile territory Saturday. How do Malzahn and Marshall plan to settle down the crowd and give themselves a chance to pull of the upset?

The best way to quiet a hostile crowd is to get off to a fast start. Unfortunately, that’s just not something the Tigers have done much in the second half of the season. However, the potential is certainly there. Getting Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne going strong early in the running game would allow the Tigers to set up some big play opportunities with play-action. A couple of big runs, long passes and touchdowns early would certainly help.

Teams had no answers last season for Auburn’s offense. What is Auburn doing this season to keep teams on their heels as they try to adjust to the HUNH offense?

In my opinion, Auburn has put too much emphasis on being balanced on offense. I understand Malzahn and the coaching staff wants to be able to attack teams through the air as much as they do on the ground, but it feels forced. Malzahn and the Tigers had great success last season running the football, and they were so good at it that it created a lot of big play opportunities in the passing game because teams loaded up the box to stop the run and man-to-man coverage on the outside.

This year, the offense has tried to establish the passing game, but incompletions – including plenty of drops and inaccurate throws – makes it difficult to get into the full-speed HUNH rhythm that has been successful for Malzahn in the past. Also, opponents now have 25 Auburn games on film in which Malzahn is the team’s head coach. SEC coaching staffs are solid, and they’re figuring out some ways to give Malzahn and company trouble on defense.

Taking off your fan hat for a moment, give us your best prediction on the outcome of this one.

Based on the way Auburn has played across the last three weeks, I completely understand why Alabama is more than a touchdown favorite. But, having watched this Auburn team a lot in the past, I know the potential is there not only to make this a close game, but to win it. That said, right now I’m leaning towards Alabama winning by a field goal… of course, Alabama doesn’t always have the best luck when lining up for a game-winning field goal…