Alabama Football: Three Bold Iron Bowl Predictions

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Alabama Football
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Alabama Football holds Auburn to less than 150 rushing yards

It is no secret that Auburn relies heavily on its ground game. While the Tigers rank last in the SEC with less than 163 passing yards per game, they are third in the conference with 194 rushing yards per game.

On the flip side, Bama fields one of the better run defenses in the league, allowing less than 118 yards per game and just 3.6 yards per carry. Who will prevail in this strength-on-strength matchup?

If Auburn is going to have any success running the football, it will probably have to do so by utilizing quarterbacks Payton Thorne (463 yards, three touchdowns) and Robby Ashford (220 yards, five touchdowns). Ashford ran for 121 yards and two scores against the Crimson Tide last year.

Auburn running back Jarquez Hunter is a very capable back, but Alabama Football has largely shut down traditional ground games this season. In both of the two worst showings for the Alabama run defense (206 yards allowed against LSU, 177 yards allowed against South Florida), the opposing quarterback accounted for more than half of that yardage.

Alabama Football forces two or more turnovers

Auburn has been prone to turning the ball over this season, ranking 11th in the conference with 1.2 giveaways per game. Despite attempting just 23.5 pass attempts per game (124th nationally, 13th SEC), Auburn has thrown nine interceptions between Thorne and Ashford.

The Bama defense has been relatively opportunistic this season. Ideally, it will capitalize on this shaky Auburn offense, which will inevitably make a couple of mistakes in this game.

Alabama Football scores 40 offensive points

The Alabama offense is on a steep upward trajectory after opening the season with several stagnant performances. Bama has eclipsed 40 points three times in SEC play, but that includes a game against Mississippi State in which the Tide got a pick six.

Bama didn’t reach 40 offensive points in SEC competition until week ten, but it has now hit the mark in back-to-back games (42 against LSU, 49 against Kentucky).

These scoring outputs were not flukes, as Bama also had its two best performances against FBS competition in terms of yardage and yards per play in these games. It posted 507 yards on 7.3 yards per play against LSU and amassed 444 yards on 6.9 yards per play against a better defense in Kentucky.

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I expect Alabama Football to continue this offensive progression and move the ball effectively against Auburn.