2014 Iron Bowl: #15 Auburn at #1 Alabama Preview and Predictions

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Oct 4, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers receiver Sammie Coates (18) runs behind the block of D

Auburn’s Keys to Victory

1. DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKE. D’haquille Williams is back in action for the Tigers after missing two games and most of the Texas A&M game because of a leg injury. Williams is an athletic freak, and Auburn’s going to need him if they have a shot of winning. Alabama’s secondary has rapidly improved as the season has progressed, going from allowing nearly 400 passing yards against West Virginia to shutting out Texas A&M and intercepting Heisman candidate Dak Prescott thrice. Auburn will try to run, sure, but the Tigers need a real threat at wide receiver to find success against Alabama. That threat is Duke Williams.

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Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


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  • 2. Find a way to get push on the defensive line. To say the Tigers’ defensive line has had a bad season would be an understatement. Carl Lawson, an All-American-caliber talent, has been recovering from an ACL tear and hasn’t seen the field all year. The Tigers’ leading sacker this year, DaVonte Lambert, is out for this game because of an injury he sustained against Samford. Jeffrey Whitaker has been out the past few weeks and won’t play against Alabama either. Alabama has a big, talented offensive line, but they aren’t quite the unit they’ve been in the past few years. Auburn needs their defensive line in this game. Whether it’s helping stop the run or getting pressure on Blake Sims, the DL has to step up. If Blake Sims has time to throw, he can run or find someone open.

    3. Keep on running. Sure, Tre Mason is gone. Sure, Greg Robinson is gone. Sure, Jay Prosch is gone. But Auburn is still the best in the SEC when it comes to running the ball, and they proved last year they have what it takes to pound the ball against Bama, when the Tigers ran for 296 yards (164 by Mason, 99 by Marshall). Cameron Artis-Payne has run for 985 yards in seven SEC games this season (140.7 yards per game) and has been held under 100 yards by only two SEC foes (Mississippi State and Georgia). Running the ball is Auburn’s specialty, as the Tigers are 9th in the FBS with 266.2 yards per game. If Auburn can get the ground game going, they have a real chance.

    Next: Alabama's Keys to Victory