Forget about if Auburn can beat Alabama…

After reading Bill Connelly’s game preview, I’m wondering if Auburn’s gonna score on Alabama.

It’s not just that Saban’s defense is freakin’ good – it is…

Even by Alabama’s ridiculous standards, the Crimson Tide run defense is fantastic. They rank first in Rushing S&P+ and first in Standard Downs S&P+, and even removing sacks, opponents are averaging 3.6 yards per carry. Bama hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown since October 11.

Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott and Josh Robinson gained 123 yards in 33 carries (3.7 per carry); LSU’s running backs gained 137 in 41 (3.3). You aren’t going to rely on your ground game alone to set up scores against a disciplined Alabama front seven. You have to be able to throw. Alabama has allowed eight touchdowns in its last five games — three of eight possessions began in Alabama territory, and 64 percent of the yardage on those drives came through the air.

… it’s that Malzahn’s offense has been in a state of steady decline for several games now, since Duke Williams went down.

When Duke Williams sprained his MCL against Texas A&M, the passing game hit some bumps. Nick Marshall was 4-for-4 for 30 yards until Williams got hurt. On Marshall’s next 12 pass attempts against A&M, he completed five of 10 for 40 yards and was sacked twice. He rebounded to complete a couple of fourth-quarter bombs, but the consistency Marshall had established in his previous five games — 62 percent completion rate, 14.3 yards per completion, 10 touchdowns, three picks — was gone.

Against Georgia and Samford, Marshall completed 54 percent with one score and two picks. Including sacks, he averaged 4.9 yards per attempt vs. Georgia. The balance was gone.

Williams is expected to play tomorrow.  That can’t hurt, sure, but how effective will he be coming off an injury and how smooth a transition does the offense make getting him back?  Given the way the Tigers play offense, it’s weird to think that a receiver, even one as good as Williams is, is the key to scoring on the Tide.

17 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Nick Saban Rules

17 responses to “Forget about if Auburn can beat Alabama…

  1. Uglydawg

    “In the words of Gus’s proctologist…”A horsehoe isn’t something one can pass without some longterm damage and pain…especially pain.”

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  2. Uglydawg

    LOL..”Horshoe”..A “horsehoe” is something else but also very Auburn.

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    • Cojones

      Ditto to Russ’s comment. Also, a “horseshoe ho” fits nicely into their lucky-ass streak. Your original comment stands.

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  3. Uglydawg

    Gus crapped his “horseshoe”…the golden one. I wonder if he can clean it up and re-use it.

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  4. gastr1

    I think you can see how these things work by looking at the improvement in Georgia’s passing game this year when Mitchell came back. Just having Mitchell on the field at the same time as Bennett and Conley changes who B & C are running routes against; Bennett moves into the slot a lot of the time, where he’s covered by a linebacker or a safety. The matchups change, Conley and Bennett are more effective, and the whole offense benefits as a result.

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    • Cojones

      Throw in Scott-Wesley and Rumph and you have an aerial circus with Hutson the ringmaster. Hoo, boy! I’ll bet he can hardly wait.

      It’s difficult to imagine,( given the RBs , TEs and blocking backs that the opposing team faces) how we would feel if we were facing ourselves. You look up after Grubb has made a long gain to see the next play as a long pass to a receiver that is flat-out on the money. If it was me, that would be plum discouraging. Tech won’t beat us, we can only defeat ourselves.

      These players in themselves don’t represent exactly that they all will be lights-out proficient as they have been.This team has gelled with all these great players producing at the same time. The Committee would be lucky to get the Dawgs and many at ESPN know that. That explains why they are talking us down before it occurs to everyone that we are the best in the SEC and if another team from the SEC gets in, it will be seeded below us.

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  5. WarD Eagle

    I fully expect Bama to win and won’t even be surprised by a blowout. But blaming the passing woes completely on the loss of Williams is reporting by box score. Marshall made some plays in the last two games.

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    • Cojones

      The pundits did a terrible job of highlighting UGA players before our contest with you. Might they be doing the same to you in this upcoming game? You could at least take heart in how wrong they were at assessing that game and realize that they are pounding you into second place in your state by continually pointing out the invulnerability of Bama. They have been so wrong assessing rivals that it isn’t even funny.

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  6. W Cobb Dawg

    The dawg-grading of aubie continues… By midnight tomorrow every self-respecting pundit in the nation will wonder how they became bowl eligible.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      If Auburn loses a close one to Alabama, Auburn will immediately become “the best team Alabama has faced all season”.

      This is how the ESPN hype machine works.

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  7. Biggus Rickus

    Auburn will score at least 20 points and run for over 200 yards against Alabama. They may not win, but the Georgia game was a big aberration.

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  8. AusDawg85

    Auburn will lose. Gus will be fired. They’ll take a run at Pruitt and our hate will grow even darker.

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  9. SouthGaDawg

    I’ve got family who are “State” folks, so I’d like to see them finally get to an SEC championship game, but the closer it gets to tomorrow, I’m thinking AU might score…but only once…on a triple reverse wing t throwback pass…on the first play of the game. Bama 24 AU 7.

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  10. Ben

    I watched last year’s Iron Bowl last night, and I can’t figure out what’s happened to Auburn between last year and this year? Who and what pieces are they missing? Did the smoke machine and mirror finally break?

    I’ve got to admit, it was so much fun watching that game knowing how the season ended for them and knowing how this year has gone. I don’t normally pull for Alabama (and it would be funny if Auburn beat them), but I think it’d be hilarious if they put a hurtin’ on them for the ages. Those Barners deserve every bit of bad juju that can come their way.

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