Auburn Football: Five Tigers Key to an Iron Bowl Victory Over Alabama

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Nov 9, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn leaves the field with Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates (18) followed by Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (14) after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 55-23 at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Auburn football team will be in Tuscaloosa Saturday for the 79th Iron Bowl. Following a 34-28, once-in-a-lifetime last second victory at home last season, the Tigers are once again tasked with knocking off a top ranked Alabama squad.

It won’t be easy. The Crimson Tide boasts one of the most talented rosters in the nation, including some of the best of the best players in college football, without much of a weak spot.

The defense ranks among the best in the country in multiple categories, including the nation’s second best scoring offense (14.5 points allowed per game) and the third best passing defense (198.3 passing yards on average). Alabama also leads the SEC in rushing defense and total defense.

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Not to be out done, the offense has been one of the best in school history. Blake Sims has been solid at quarterback, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry are two of the nation’s best running backs, tight end O.J. Howard is a matchup nightmare and Amari Cooper is a Heisman Trophy candidate.

But, as good as they are, Alabama is beatable.

For Auburn to win, several things need to happen. The Tigers must take care of the football and and take advantage of scoring opportunities when they are presented.

Conversely, the Auburn defense needs to build on its strong showing against Samford by limiting the Alabama rushing attack, effectively pressuring the passer and causing a couple of turnovers. And of course, special teams are always a factor when inthe Iron Bowl.

Aside from those generalities and expected Keys to Victory, however, are a few specific Auburn football players that need to step up for the Tigers.

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