Alabama Auburn Rivalry A Surprising Stats Jenga Winner
The meaningful stats leading up to the Alabama Auburn Rivalry Iron Bowl are in the history books, less two cupcake games used as a week to rest the starters, Alabama vs Western Carolina and Auburn vs Samford. Auburn and Alabama looked remarkably similar in the statistics we tracked the last couple of months and the Jenga has gone back and forth between the two teams. This week Alabama owns the “Eye Test” after two marquis wins in two weeks, defeating LSU in Baton Rouge, 20 – 13 in another epic defensive battle that required overtime for the Tide to finish off the Bengal Tigers and taking down No. 1 Mississippi State 25 – 20. Auburn limps into the Iron Bowl a little dazed and confused after two bad losses, Texas A&M, 41 – 38, and Georgia 34 – 7.
How the Defenses Look
Alabama is No. 1 in Total Defense in the SEC, giving up 290.5 ypg on average. Compared to Auburn’s 9th place giving up 388.9 ypg. Alabama is also No. 1 in the SEC in Rush Defense, allowing opponents to rush for 94.60 yards per game, compared to Auburn’s 7th place in the SEC, allowing 145.40 yards per game rushing. Alabama only allows 195.9 passing yards per game and Auburn allows 243.5 yards per game.
Alabama has a very clear edge on defense and this very well could determine The Iron Bowl.
Tackles for Loss
Alabama is now leading Auburn in this category by a slight margin. Alabama’s 6.50 TFL, compared to Auburn’s 6.30 TFL. Auburn had a slight edge in this category two weeks ago, but was effectively tied. Because we are within two weeks of the Iron Bowl, there are no more effective ties and Alabama will take this slight edge to the Iron Bowl.
Alabama made up a lot of ground compared to Auburn in this category and now has +1 in turnover margin on the year. Auburn has +2 turnover margin on the year. Alabama’s defense had 3 interceptions on Dak Prescott in the MS State game, which dramatically effected the game as well as putting Alabama in the Plus column of this category. Turnovers in The Iron Bowl could spell absolute disaster for either team. Even though Auburn has the edge in this category for the Jenga this week based on the full season, the three turnovers in the Georgia game produced a loss. The winning team in the Iron Bowl will likely win the turnover battle in that game.
Alabama is ranked 4th in the SEC in penalties, with an average of 43.6 ypg. Auburn is ranked last in the SEC with an average of 69.0 yards per game. The penalties against Auburn were absolute drive killers, taking away first downs, putting Auburn behind the chains and taking points off the board. This statistic alone could decide the winner of The Iron Bowl. And if Auburn cannot clean up their game in this category it will most likely be a very long day for the Tigers in Bryant Denny Stadium.
Offenses of the Alabama Auburn Rivalry
Auburn is ranked 2nd in the SEC in total offense, just ahead of 3rd ranked Alabama. Auburn’s offense is producing an average of 485.4 ypg and Alabama’s offense is producing 472.1 ypg. Only MS State is ahead of Auburn and Alabama in this category.
Red Zone Offense
In the Alabama Auburn rivalry game both offenses are going to be tough to stop inside the red zone. Auburn’s Offense typically dominates in Red Zone scoring 88.10% of the time they were in the Red Zone. Alabama scores on 83.33% of their trips inside the Red Zone. Auburn has an edge in the Iron Bowl Jenga in this category.
Third Down Conversions
The Alabama Auburn rivalry game 2014 might be full of third down conversions. Both ranked high nationally, Auburn number two and Alabama seven. The third down conversion percentage for Auburn and Alabama is close with Alabama converting 51.33% of their 3rd downs and Auburn converting 55.22%. Edge Auburn.
How They “Stack Up?”
Of the eleven stats considered, Alabama wins five categories and Auburn wins six categories.
Alabama Quarterback, Blake Sims, seems to be getting smarter and smoother in his leadership role and Alabama is playing some of their best football of the year in November. The Tide improves each week. The big question mark in the Alabama Auburn rivalry game this year is how Auburn responds to it’s back-to-back losses to Texas A&M and Georgia. What Auburn lacks in defense they make up for in penalties and turnovers; Auburn is spiraling downwards midway through November. Will Auburn’s downward trend end or extend?
There’s a reason clichés become clichés, because they’re true. It’s a cliché that anything can happen in a rivalry game especially Alabama Auburn rivalry, so throw out the stats. Alabama comes in with everything on the line a chance to represent the SEC West in the GA Dome Dec 6. Auburn’s playmakers on both sides of the ball would love nothing more than to spoil the Tide’s playoff hopes and championship dreams.
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