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Iron Bowl: Auburn Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide

The 2018 Iron Bowl

Top-Ranked Alabama primed and Ready for Arch-Rival Auburn

Top-ranked Alabama appears headed toward a College Football Playoff berth, again. They must avoid an upset today when it hosts Auburn in Saturday’s Iron Bowl. The defending champion Crimson Tide are again at the top of the CFP poll. The Tide has already sewn up a berth in the SEC title game against Georgia.

TV: 3:30 ET, CBS.

LINE: Alabama -25.5; O/U: 52.5.

The Tigers had a stunning 26-14 victory over Alabama last season. Head Coach Gus Malzahn sees no reason why his club can’t pull it off again.

“It’s the Iron Bowl,” Malzahn said during a press conference. “We don’t have to bring anything up. This is a game our guys look forward to, their guys look forward to. When we beat them the last two times, we probably weren’t the favorite, so we’ll see what happens.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban made it clear his players don’t need a reminder of what occurred.

“They didn’t feel good about last year, and they’ve had to live with it for 365 days,” Saban said at a press conference. “I don’t necessarily think that the revenge factor is the best form of motivation out there, but I think it certainly plays into a guy that’s a good competitor who wants to come back and do well if he didn’t perform well the last time he played someone.”

Auburn is 7-4 overall and 3-4 in the SEC.

The Tigers have been solid on defense this season. They are allowing an average of 16.6 points per game. The squad received good news when sophomore defensive end Nick Coe was cleared to play. Coe had a one-game absence due to a wrist injury and he is the team sack leader with 7.5.

Junior quarterback Jarrett Stidham has thrown just 12 touchdown passes while limiting mistakes. He only has four interceptions and was a solid 21-of-28 passing for 237 yards in last season’s win over the Crimson Tide.

Redshirt freshman running back JaTarvious Whitlow has 716 yardson the season. He has rushed for just 90 total yards over the past three games since gaining a season-best 170 against Ole Miss.

The undefeated Crimson Tide is 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the SEC.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has 31 touchdown passes going into today’s game. He broke the school mark set by AJ McCarron, who had 30 in 2012. Saban is ecstatic over the sophomore’s production in his first season as a starter.

“We’re pleased with the way Tua has played,” Saban told reporters. “I think that any player that you talk about, no one is perfect. I do think that Tua has sort of the mindset of trying to make every throw a good throw, make every read a good read. I think he hopes for that. I think he is a perfectionist to some degree.”

The defense is allowing 13.1 points per game and sophomore nose guard Quinnen Williams is enjoying a huge season with a team-leading 15 tackles for loss.

PREDICTION: Alabama 34, Auburn 19

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Title Stat Rank Stat Rank
Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense 28.91 66 13.09 3
Away Team Road Passing vs Home Team Home Passing Defense 200.33 85 155.43 9
Away Team Road Rushing vs Home Team Home Rushing Defense 153.67 69 129.71 51
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense 48.73 3 16.64 10
Home Team Home Passing vs Away Team Road Passing Defense 326.71 13 202.00 31
Home Team Home Rushing vs Away Team Road Rushing Defense 199.00 52 258.33 119

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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