Alabama Auburn Game 2014
Top Ten Ways Auburn Can Win The Iron Bowl
Alabama is favored to win this year’s Iron Bowl, so what? Isn’t Alabama always favored to win every game they play? At least they have in recent memory. But last checked, they do lose some of them. There are spectacular matchups in this Alabama Auburn game 2014 that will test Auburn’s biggest superstars, like the SEC’s No. 1 pass defender, Auburn’s Jonathan Jones facing the No. 4 passing offense of Alabama Quarterback Blake Sims and the SEC’s No. 1 running back, Cameron Artis-Payne being defended by the SEC’s No. 1 rushing defense (also ranked No. 2 nationally,) Alabama.
If Auburn wins three of the following ten challenges in the game, they will win the Alabama Auburn Game 2014.
Number Ten – Win First Quarter
Win the first quarter score. In two of the SEC West wins this year, Arkansas and LSU, Auburn outscored their opponent in the first quarter. Auburn was tied in the first quarter in two SEC losses, Texas A&M and Georgia; and behind at the end of the first quarter in the Mississippi State Loss. The only team to beat Alabama this year is Ole Miss who outscored the Tide, 3 – 0, at the end of the first quarter. The first two possessions for Auburn need to produce points. Get in their rhythm and jump out to a fast start. A first quarter win could mean an Iron Bowl win.
Number Nine – Healthy Duke
D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams is a big 6’2” 216 pound Junior wide receiver and a big reason for Auburn’s No. 2 national ranking in third down conversions. He left the Texas A&M game with an injury and is expected to play in the Iron Bowl. If Duke is 100% healthy, his ability to convert 3rd downs and his talent to bring in the long pass downfield could be the Grinch that Stole Christmas for the Crimson and White.
Number Eight – Bust the Pass
Auburn Junior Defensive Back Jonathan Jones is ranked nationally, tied for No. 8 in defending the pass and tied for No. 1 in the SEC. He’s a quarterback’s worst nightmare defending the pass, breaking up passes and has five interceptions on the season. Alabama Quarterback Blake Sims is 4th in the SEC in passing offense. Jones could make it a long night for Sims and the Tide team and win the game for Auburn.
Number Seven – No Turnovers
No turnovers. The margin for error in this game for Auburn is very slim. Auburn must win the turnover battle and convert Alabama’s turnovers into points. In the 8 games Auburn won, they are +8 in turnover margin. When Auburn wins the turnover battle, they typically win the game. In the 3 games they lost, they are -5 in turnover margin.
Number Six – Nick Marshall Wins
Auburn’s quarterback, Nick Marshall, only knows how to beat Alabama when he plays them. If Marshall had not thrown the game-tying touchdown pass to Sammie Coates with 32 seconds left on the clock in the Iron Bowl last year, Alabama would not have attempted a field goal to try to win the game, which Auburn would not return the missed field goal for a touchdown, the play which gave the game the moniker “The Kick Six.” But those things all did happen and those two players, Nick Marshall and Sammie Coates, are back this year for the Iron Bowl. If successful, they will accomplish something no Auburn team has against Coach Saban, back-to-back Iron Bowl wins.
Number Five – Slick and Fast Zone Read
When the Auburn offense sells the zone read on first down they are difficult for any team to defend. And when Coach Gus Malzahn brings more madness to his mad science, his playbook explodes with trickeration, especially on first down to keep the chains moving and get into his fast tempo offense. Look for Gus to get tennis elbow on the sideline hurrying up the hurry up.
Number Four – Red Zone Defense
Ranked 3rd in the nation in scoring percentage Red Zone Defense, Auburn allows its opponents to score 69% of their trips to the Red Zone. Alabama scores on 82% of their trips to the Red Zone. Auburn’s defense when clicking on all cylinders can force punts and field goals to keep Alabama from scoring touchdowns Saturday night in Bryant Denny Stadium. In the final seconds of the game, Alabama QB, Blake Sims threw an interception caught by Ole Miss defender Senquez Golson in the end zone, which would have won the game had it landed in the hands of the Alabama receiver. The interception gave Alabama their only loss on the season. A Red Zone play like that could win the game for Auburn.
Number Three – Tackle Cooper Early and Often
When Alabama Junior, 6’1” 210 Wide Receiver Amari Cooper, makes a catch, the Auburn defense must tackle him quickly. There’s a reason Cooper is ranked the number one wide receiver in the nation, he is extremely dangerous on his yards after the catch. Even in a loss to Ole Miss, Amari Cooper caught 9 passes for 91 yards. Arkansas contained Cooper to 2 receptions for 22 yards, and Alabama only scored 14 points to win that game. Contain Cooper, contain the Tide.
Number Two – Unleash Payne
Senior Running Back Cameron Artis-Payne, known by his coaches as ‘Cap,’ is a nationally renowned rusher, ranked 12th in yards per game and No. 1 in the SEC. Let Cap do his thing and bring the Payne to Bama. With Payne averaging 127.73 yards per game across the season and 143.5 in the month of November, there may be no cure for this much Payne in Bryant-Denny.
And the Number One Way, Auburn Can Beat Bama…
Number One – Divide and Conquer Alabama’s Coaches
The dynamic between Alabama Coaches Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban is so entertaining that the networks have a special “Kiffin Cam” just for the purpose of giving viewers a split screen of the first year Offensive Coordinator and his perfectionist boss. For the first time in the Saban coaching era at Alabama the Offensive Coordinator is down on the field guiding his quarterback and seeking approval from his mentor. Coach Saban, known for his up the gut, wear them out, clock eating running game, at times seems disgusted when his sandy-haired California dude coordinator calls passing play after passing play that fail to produce points. During one game CBS’s Gary Danielson read Saban’s lips as he informed his O/C, “I told you we should run the ball more.”
Auburns secondary needs to defend Lane Kiffin’s passing game and get Saban second guessing Kiffins play calling. In a halftime interview in the AL vs LSU game, Saban commented, “I think we’re trying to take too many shots and wasting too many plays, throwing the ball down the field rather than just trying to move the ball”. If Saban comes unraveled on the sideline with Kiffin in The Iron Bowl, you know Auburn will be pushing all the right buttons to win this game.
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