Auburn Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Preview
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa
When: Saturday, November 26, 3:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the Auburn Tigers (+17)
The Auburn Tigers returned to winning ways Saturday with a resounding 55-0 victory over the Alabama A&M Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It was a huge bounce-back win for the Tigers, who suffered a gut-wrenching 13-7 defeat to Georgia the previous weekend. With the victory, Auburn improved its record this season to 8-3 (5-2 in conference play).
Things are bound to get tougher, though, for the Tigers as standing in their way in their next game are the Alabama Crimson Tide. They have struggled lately against their arch-rivals, losing four of their last five meetings with the Tide. To make matters worse for head coach Guz Malzahn and the rest of the Auburn supporters, they may head to the Iron Bowl in a few days’ time without their best quarterback. Sean White reinjured his shoulder in the loss to Georgia and is a major doubt for this weekend’s clash.
With White possibly sidelined for Auburn’s biggest game of the season, the onus is on backup QBs Jeremy Johnson and John Franklin III to deliver the goods this coming Saturday. Johnson looked solid in his final start at Jordan-Hare Stadium, accounting for 189 yards and three scores in the win against Alabama A&M. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t taken a snap at quarterback since Auburn’s season opener against Clemson. Franklin also starred in that win against Alabama A&M, rushing for 81 yards and a touchdown on just four carries.
Johnson may get the starting nod, though, for this blockbuster showdown because of his experience. He started last year’s Iron Bowl, finishing 10 of 23 for 170 yards. With plenty of uncertainty surrounding the quarterback ranks, the pressure is on Auburn’s ground game to carry the offensive load this coming weekend. The Tigers are fifth in the country in rushing offense, averaging a whopping 297.8 yards per game on the ground this season. The Tigers will need to be at their best, though, against an Alabama defensive line that’s allowing just 68.9 rushing yards per game this season, fewest in the FBS.
Auburn is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five road games.
Betting on the Alabama Crimson Tide (-17)
Alabama bolstered its College Football Playoff resume with an emphatic 31-3 victory over Chattanooga on Saturday. It was another impressive victory for the Tide, who improved their season-record to a perfect 11-0. They have won their first 11 games by an average of 28.9 points. Key to Alabama’s scorching start has been their outstanding offense. The Crimson Tide are 14th in the FBS in scoring, averaging 40.3 points per game this season.
Just like in their previous victories, it was Jalen Hurts who took center stage for the Tide in their win against the Mocs. He passed for three touchdowns and rushed for 68 yards in that one-sided victory. He is 37th in the nation in total offense, averaging 270.1 yards per game this campaign. Hurts is right on track to become the first quarterback in Alabama history to run for 1,000 yards in a single season.
For the Crimson Tide to preserve their unbeaten record against the Tigers, they will need to quickly establish their ground game this coming Saturday. Alabama ran for 196 yards in the win against the Mocs. The Tide are 13th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 249.8 yards per game this season. They will have their work cut out for them, however, against an Auburn defensive line that has allowed just four rushing touchdowns this campaign, second-fewest in the FBS.
Alabama is 10-0 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 home games. The Crimson Tide are pegged at -150 to win the national championship this season.
Alabama wins but Auburn (+17) covers.
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