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What to Watch: Tigers vs. Tide for 87th Iron Bowl

Mark Murphy
8–10 minutes

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AUBURN, Alabama–After coming up agonizingly short in last year’s Iron Bowl game the Auburn football Tigers will travel to Tuscaloosa on Saturday to face their in-state rival. The visitors will be trying to become get back to .500 for the season and gain bowl eligibility while Alabama will try to keep alive its outside shot at moving into the College Football Playoff.

The contest, which will be televised on CBS, will kick off shortly after 2:30 p.m. CST at Bryant Stadium. It is a venue where the Tigers have not won since 2010. In last year’s game the Tide won 24-22 in four overtimes at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Both teams come into the contest with two-game winning streaks. Alabama’s last loss was on November 5th, losing 32-31 in overtime at LSU. Since then Coach Nick Saban’s team has won at Ole Miss (30-24) and at home vs. Austin Peay (34-0). The Tide is 9-2 overall and ranked eighth in the AP Top 25 poll.

Auburn’s last loss was also in overtime on November 5th. The Tigers fell 39-33 at Mississippi State. Since then Auburn has defeated Texas A&M 13-10 and Western Kentucky 41-17 to improve its record to 5-6.

Heading into the 87th Tigers vs. Tide matchup Alabama leads the series 48-37-1. In games played at Tuscaloosa Auburn has a 7-6-1 record, but the Tigers’ last win as the road team was by the 2010 national championship team.

With Auburn a three-touchdown underdog a lot of things will have go well for the Tigers to pull off the upset with interim head coach Carnell "Cadillac" Williams in charge. Here are some of the What to Watch keys:

* Although Alabama hasn’t played as well as it did last year, the Tide’s offense has been quite productive averaging 40 points per game. With 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young at quarterback surrounded by plenty of talent, the Tide is averaging 40 points per game.

The best way to keep Alabama from scoring a lot of points is for the Auburn offense to put together time-consuming drives. If the Tigers can do that and finish with touchdowns instead of field goals or some other result, that would enhance the upset possibilities and is a What to Watch factor when Auburn has the football.

* The Auburn offensive line needs to play its best game of the season and not allow the running backs to have to deal with defensive penetration before they get to the line of scrimmage. The starting group features senior Brandon Council at center, senior Kameron Stutts at left guard, senior Alec Jackson at right guard, senior Kilian Zierer at left tackle and senior Brenden Coffey at right tackle. The Tigers need all of that experience to show up on the road in a rivalry game. When Robby Ashford is called on to pass the football the redshirt freshman will have a much better opportunity for success if he has a chance to throw the ball in rhythm. That will be a What to Watch factor on Saturday.

* With Alabama’s defense likely to crowd the line of scrimmage if there are opportunities to make big plays the Tigers need to execute at a high level to make that happen. How well Auburn can do that is a What to Watch major factor. Ashford’s ability to keep his eyes downfield and find the open receiver will be a big deal on Saturday.

Generally accurate on long-range throws and medium-range pass routes, the redshirt freshman has missed way too many short tosses, which could make it more likely for Alabama’s defense to play aggressively with blitzes with less concern about giving up a big play on a screen or other short pass route.

* The Tigers need to take advantage of Ashford’s running ability whether it is on called plays or improvised plays. If Ashford, Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter each have good days carrying the football that is a scenario that could enhance the Tigers’ chances of pulling off an upset. The rushing yardage, especially on third down or even fourth down plays, is a What to Watch statistical key for this year’s Iron Bowl.

Auburn is 195.5 yards per game on the ground at 4.8 per carry. With Williams in charge as interim head coach the Tigers have run for 256 yards and four touchdowns vs. Mississippi State, 270 yards vs. Texas A&M and 252 yards and three touchdowns vs. Western Kentucky.

11466692.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offset-y0.50&width=620&height=320 Tank Bigsby leads the Tigers in rushing with an average of 81.8 per game. (Photo: Greg McWilliams, Inside the Auburn Tigers, 247Sports)

* On the subject of running the football co-offensive coordinators Will Friend and Ike Hilliard have added new plays and formations since taking on new roles since the staff shakeup when Bryan Harsin was fired. In recent weeks we have seen some Wing-T looks, three running backs in formations and the traditional “I” formation with tight end John Samuel Shenker lining up at fullback.

Will the Tigers have some more new looks this week and how effective will that be is a What to Watch factor. Alabama’s defense has been better defending the run than the pass. The Tide is allowing 108.8 yards per game on the ground at 3.1 yards per carry.

* Auburn finally scored a defensive touchdown last week on a pick-six play by cornerback DJ James. The Tigers’ ability to do that again this week is a What to Watch key. For the season the Tigers have just five interceptions with two by Jaylin Simpson, one by Derick Hall, one by Keionte Scott and one by James.

Alabama goes into the game with just five interceptions as well with no Tide player having more than one. Through 11 games the Tide defense has forced 12 fumbles and recovered seven with one for a touchdown. Auburn's opponents have fumbled 23 times with the Tigers recovering seven.

* Alabama’s quarterback has a knack for avoiding the pass rush and turning a potential negative play into a positive one. That is a major reason he won the Heisman Trophy last season.

Young has been sacked 16 times this season. On his other 25 runs he is averaging 10.2 yards per carry and with nine of those plays going for first downs and three others ending in touchdowns. Without his skills in this area the 2022 Alabama would have likely suffered several more losses. 

The Tigers have tackled better in recent games, a trend that needs to continue. It is a What to Watch factor whether it is on Young scrambles or other plays.

* Alabama has returned two punts for touchdowns this season. Auburn’s punt coverage has been solid, something that needs to continue and it is a What to Watch key. Oscar Chapman is having another strong season for the Tigers. Only eight of the junior's 53 punts have been returned for a total of 53 yards and the Tigers are ranked 10th nationally in net punting at 42.13 yards.

Additionally, the Tigers could really help their cause by making a big play or two on special teams. Auburn’s longest punt return is just 22 yards by Keionte Scott and the longest kickoff return is just 31 yards by Hunter.


* Last, but probably not least, playing on what could be a slippery field on a rainy day could impact the game. Bryant-Denny Stadium’s grass playing surface has a history of being in bad condition late in the season when the Iron Bowl is played, especially on rainy days.  How Auburn handles the conditions will be important. After having a major problem with turnover margin deficits much of the season, the Tigers are trending in a better direction, something they need to continue, and certainly something that could be a major What to Watch factor on Saturday.

How to Watch/Listen to Iron Bowl 2022

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Reports indicate Lane Kiffin, Hugh Freeze leading Auburn coaching search

Lance Dawe
~3 minutes

Twitter is not real life.

Sometimes, that's hard to grasp.

It has not been hard for Jon Sokoloff, who has rebounded better than most from his week of Twitter fame.

According to Sokoloff (Sports Director of WCBI News and recipient of one of the best ratios of the 2022 college football season), his sources say the expectation is that Auburn’s next head coach will be either Ole Miss' Lane Kiffin or Liberty's Hugh Freeze.

Sokoloff was about to catch another ratio from Kiffin again, but he quickly deleted his quote tweet of Jon saying "How many times are you going to change your story??? Great reporting Jon."

There has been no news as to whether or not Kiffin's agent, Jimmy Sexton, has presented Auburn's official offer to him... there has also been no news on how Kiffin would have responded to said offer (if he were to have received it). We do not feel comfortable saying anything other than rumors that may fly over the next 24 hours could only just be rumors or smokescreens to distract from what is really going on.

There is a lot of information being thrown out there.

We do feel comfortable saying this - Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze has had minimal contact with Auburn up until this point in the process, per our sources at Auburn Daily.

Whether or not he is a true contender for the job (and could be hired within the weekend) is not known.

Several outlets have reported that they believe Auburn to make a move following the conclusion of the Iron Bowl on Saturday afternoon.

Watch that space, folks.

A side-by-side comparison of Lane Kiffin and Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss:

  Lane Kiffin Hugh Freeze

Overall Record/Winning Percentage

23-12 (65.7%)

39-25 (60.9%)

SEC Record/Winning Percentage

14-11 (56.0%)

19-21 (47.5%)

Average Recruiting Class Rank

No. 21

No. 19

Best Season

10-3 (2021)

10-3 (2015)

For Carnell Williams' sake, I hope that this does not shape up to be one of the more forgettable Iron Bowls of the 21st century. And it has nothing to do with Auburn's sub-500 record.

It's all about Lane Kiffin... and apparently now Hugh Freeze.

Auburn kicks off against Alabama on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. central on CBS.

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Phillip's Gameday Musings: Iron Bowl and coaching search

Phillip Marshall
6–7 minutes


The Iron Bowl is today at 2:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Is anybody paying attention? On social media and even among those of us who cover this football team, the search for a permanent head coach has soaked up most of the attention. That’s an unfortunate byproduct of the modern landscape.

Because it is important to have head coaches on campus and working when the transfer portal opens Dec. 5 and when the first national signing period opens Dec. 21, more coaches are being fired during the season so as to be prepared to move quickly when the season is over. That leads to a rush to hire coaches.


Cadillac Williams has done a remarkable job of reviving energy and optimism in the Auburn football program. The Iron Bowl will likely be his last game as interim head coach. He and the players who have bought into him and his staff deserve better. It’s not anybody’s fault, really, but it is too bad they are being overshadowed.


And here I go again, talking about the coaching search. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin has been active on Twitter since sleeping on Thursday night’s 24-22 loss to Mississippi State. None of those Tweets have offered any real insight.

If I had to bet my house, I’d still say Kiffin will be named Sunday. But I wouldn’t bet my house or bet much at all even if I was a betting man. Kiffin’s antics are somewhat troubling. This is serious business. But if Kiffin is named Sunday, most Auburn people will celebrate. Bur what if he doesn’t? What if he stays at Ole Miss?

My feeling is that Auburn would turn to Hugh Freeze, but to be clear, that is not a prediction and certainly not a statement of fact. If not Kiffin or Freeze, who? That’s an extremely difficult question. Most have seen the names on our Hot Board. Could it be someone else? It could.

A new name has gotten some legs in recent days. Brian Johnson, the 35-year-old Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach and a former Florida offensive coordinator, could be somewhere in the mix. He is considered a rising star. Hiring an NFL coach is not like hiring a college coach. As I understand it, the only way he could leave the Eagles immediately would be for them to allow it. Would they do that in the middle of what could be a Super Bowl run? He is considered a rising star in the profession.

I believe athletics director John Cohen knows exactly where he will go if he doesn’t offer Kiffin. We will know in a matter of days how it all is going to shake out.


There are things I do know: Some of Kiffin’s antics have been bothersome to some at Auburn. The candidate Cohen chooses will have been thoroughly vetted, probably more thoroughly than any previous Auburn hires. Whoever Cohen hires, whether it’s who some people want or who some people don’t want, will be his choice.

Take heart, it’s almost over.


It’s a good thing fans don’t hire coaches. Nobody other than the latest national champion would ever be hired.

I wonder how Auburn fans would feel about hiring a Power 5 coach who lost at least five games for four straight seasons and was 0-3 on the road against his biggest rival, losing all by double digits. I wonder how they would feel about hiring a coach with a losing career record. I wonder how they would feel about hiring a coach who was 0-4 against Auburn and had a 12-20 SEC record. I wonder how they would feel about only hiring assistant coaches for  75 years.

The coaches above are Nick Saban at Michigan State, Gene Stallings at Texas A&M and Tommy Tuberville at Ole Miss. The program is Oklahoma.


When athletics directors go in search of head coaches, they have to look beyond the record, beyond the outcomes of individual games. That’s why making too much of Ole Miss’ losses down the stretch is a mistake. If Ole Miss had made a two-point conversion and beaten Mississippi State or if it had finished off its last drive and beaten Alabama, Kiffin would be the same coach he is today.


Can Auburn and Williams pull of an epic upset today? It’s a long shot, but hope springs eternal. I feel certain he and his players believe they can.

To win, the Tigers must be able to successfully run the ball. If Alabama puts eight in the box, it will be significantly different than most anybody else putting eight in the box. What the Tigers can’t do is get into a situation where they have to throw the ball.

If the Tigers can run enough to keep Alabama honest, have no turnovers, force some turnovers, get pressure on quarterback Bryce Young and hit a big play or two, they can make it a fourth-quarter game. Do that, and who knows what might happen?


I don’t know what the point spread was when Auburn beat Alabama 14-13 in 1949 in what has long been considered the biggest upset in series history. But other than that possibility, an Auburn victory today would be the biggest Iron Bowl upset ever.



It’s to be an interesting day in college football. It starts early with Ohio State playing Michigan. Both are unbeaten. TCU will try to finish a perfect regular season against Iowa State at home. LSU will try to keep its very real playoff hopes alive at Texas A&M, though the Bayou Bengals would also have beat Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. USC will try to do the same at home against Notre Dame. Clemson will try to keep its hopes alive at home against South Carolina. And, yes, Alabama will still have an outside chance if it beats Auburn and there is chaos elsewhere.

In the SEC, for some reason I have a feeling Texas A&M will give LSU a fight in College Station. LSU had to fight for its life in a 13-10 win at Arkansas when the Razorbacks were without quarterback K.J. Jefferson.

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Players to watch, keys to victory: Alabama - The Auburn Plainsman

7–9 minutes

Coach Carnell "Cadillac" Williams has Auburn coming into rivalry week on a two game winning streak, both being victories at home. This Saturday, the Tigers will be heading to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 7 Alabama in the 87th Iron Bowl.

This isn’t the usual Iron Bowl of years past with national championship stakes on the line, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing on the line this year. The Tigers will be playing for bowl eligibility and of course, bragging rights. 

Auburn had a strong rushing game last week against Western Kentucky because of the duo of Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. The Tigers put up 41 points and 374 yards of offense on the Hilltoppers, with 252 of those yards coming from the ground game. Bigsby and Hunter both averaged over six yards per carry and had over 100 yards rushing. Hunter also had the only passing touchdown for the Tigers, a mirrored version of a toss thrown by Williams in 2004.

The Tigers’ defense have stepped up with three interceptions over the last three weeks, before then only having two on the year. Auburn also seems to have turned around a struggling rush defense by only allowing an average of 64 yards per game under Williams. There has been a defensive intensity with Williams at the helm, and Auburn’s defense will play a big part in the Iron Bowl this Saturday. 

Williams has brought some much needed energy to the program, but can he lead the Tigers to a win on the road in Tuscaloosa? Road games have not been pleasant to the Tigers this season. Auburn hasn’t won an away game since October of 2021, the last one coming against Arkansas. The only wins Williams has under his belt have been at home. 

Can he bring that energy on the road this week?

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has only one loss at Bryant-Denny against Auburn, that loss being in 2010, a game that saw Cam Newton make a heroic effort to pull the Tigers back into contention. The Tide are looking to continue this dominance. Saban-led Alabama teams have averaged 41.6 points a game and allow an average of just 16.8 points at home against Auburn. If Auburn can win this game, the word upset is a massive understatement.

Players to Watch


Offensive line

For the Tigers to have a chance this weekend, the offensive line will need to play their best against a stout Alabama defense. It’s important for them to keep the pocket clean for Ashford to find players down field. They will also be crucial for the establishment of the run game. In last year’s Iron Bowl, the Tide’s front feasted with six sacks and 15 tackles for losses. Williams will need to rally the line and have them motivated for this game.

Ja’Varrius Johnson (WR)

Johnson has been Auburn’s best wide receiver this year, leading the team in receiving, second in receptions and tied for touchdowns. He has been a good threat downfield for the Tigers, helping stretch the field for their offense. Auburn needs to hit Johnson early to get the Alabama linebackers off the line and open the run game for Bigsby and Hunter.

Tank Bigsby (RB)

The junior back’s workload has increased under Williams. Bigsby put up 110 yards rushing on 18 carries for two touchdowns last week. Since Williams took over as head coach, Bigsby has averaged 106.7 yards on an average of 18 carries. That comes as no surprise from a coach that was a former running back. Bigsby needs to carry this momentum into Bryant-Denny.


Bryce Young (QB)

This will probably be the last Iron Bowl Young will play in, with him most likely headed to the NFL after another strong season performance from the junior. Last year, he threw for 317 passing yards for two touchdowns with one interception. Young led the Tide to a fourth quarter comeback and won the game in overtime against the Tigers. He has been stellar at home, never losing in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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Jahmyr Gibbs (RB)

The offensive threat for the Tide has been Georgia Tech transfer Jahmyr Gibbs. He has 1,144 yards from scrimmage with nine total touchdowns on the year. He could have a big game against an Auburn defense that has had a lot of ups and downs this season. Look for him to be a  major threat in the receiving game this weekend.

Will Anderson Jr. (DE)

Also looking like defensive standout for the Tide is Anderson, who will be heading to the draft this year. He hasn’t had as dominant of a year as he did last year, but that doesn't mean he isn’t a force on the line. Last year, he had one sack and three tackles for losses against the Tigers. This weekend he could be living in the Auburn backfield facing a lackluster offensive line. 

Keys to Victory


What’s been effective for the Tigers on this two game winning streak has been simply just running the ball. They’ve limited their passing game and have run the ball 40+ times a game. The Tigers' offense has looked better when rushing the ball, playing into their strength. 

Alabama’s defensive front will be a tough bunch to hammer the run game on. That’s where the Tigers will need to look to the air to help increase rushing opportunities for Bigsby and Hunter. Auburn’s offensive line needs to keep the pocket clean and open up holes in the defense for the Tigers to be in this ball game.

On the defensive side, Auburn needs to prevent Young from getting comfortable or escaping the pocket to create big plays. 'Bend not break' defense will be needed against the Tide. Another thing the Tigers should look to stop is the home momentum. 

Auburn should capitalize on Alabama’s weaknesses, such as their secondary. Set the tone early and bring that 'Go Crazy, Cadillac' energy. Overall, the Tigers are underdogs in this matchup and perfection is what is needed to take down Alabama at home.


Alabama has owned Auburn at home under Saban, but the players shouldn’t let that go to their heads. This Auburn team has an aura around them that is just different. The Tide just needs to stay focused.

The Tide’s offense needs to control the clock and keep the Tigers’ defense on the field. Let Bryce Young do his thing. Make smart play decisions in crucial moments, which they struggled with this season. 

Alabama’s defense can easily shut down Auburn’s passing game. Just focus on the Tigers’ backfield and don’t allow Hunter to get outside to the edge. Eliminate all momentum and energy by getting three-and-outs. 

Finally, the home field advantage is huge for the Tide. Bryant-Denny will be a factor in this game. Saban will have this team ready come Saturday. 

The 87th Iron Bowl is at 2:30 p.m. CST at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. It will be broadcast on CBS. 

Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.

Jac Myrick | Sports Writer

Jac Myrick is in his first year with the Plainsman. He is from Talladega, Alabama.

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Iron Bowl predictions: Can the Tigers pull off a major upset?

Auburn Daily Staff
~3 minutes

Auburn is a three-plus touchdown underdog against Alabama this weekend.

That does not matter.

Despite the large spreads, blowout predictions, and "it's not even close" statements thrown out by both fans and media alike, the Iron Bowl is never simply normal.

So, do the Tigers have a shot despite being outmatched in Tuscaloosa this weekend?

Here are our predictions:

Zac: Alabama 34, Auburn 20. I think this game is close for most of the 60 minutes. I think Alabama gets a score late to make it look worse than it was.

Lindsay: Auburn loses, but covers. Caddy's never not covered, so either I jinxed it or it's magic. Either way, this game is closer than it has any business being on paper because it's the Iron Bowl. If there's anything we've learned the last three weeks, it's that this interim coaching staff has figured something out with this offense, this defense, and these players.

Lance: Part of me thinks something weird is going to happen. Part of me thinks Alabama should blow Auburn out of the water. For fun, I'll lean into the weird. Auburn 23, Alabama 20

Jack: Reality tells me Alabama 35-13. But Coach Caddy and the energy he gives me as a fan - combined with the unity of this team due to his leadership - makes me feel like it’ll be much much closer. The caddy effect makes me say Auburn 21, Alabama 20 because Auburn will put their kicker voodoo back on the Bammers.

Cooper: Alabama 35 - Auburn 10. I know Alabama isn’t playing as well as they have in years past, but I don’t see a way Auburn wins this one.

Jeremy: I could optimistically see this being a close low scoring game. I think it would have to be for Auburn to win. I just don’t see us scoring 20 points despite Bama having a more porous defense than usual. I think there would have to be some very inspired play by Auburn up front. I have seen us struggle to run all season in years past and then get a push up front due to the adrenaline of the Iron Bowl. A turnover or trick play could change things, but I have Bama winning 20-10.

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Auburn vs. Alabama by the numbers

Published: Nov. 26, 2022, 6:30 a.m.
10–12 minutes

Auburn (5-6, 2-5) at No. 7 Alabama (9-2, 5-2)

2:30 p.m. CST Saturday (CBS)

Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa

0 Teams have played a tougher schedule this season than Auburn, according to the NCAA’s rankings. The Tigers’ opponents so far in 2022 have a 73-37 record against other NCAA FBS programs (minus their result versus Auburn). That winning percentage of .664 is tied with Georgia at the top of the toughest-schedule list. With Auburn playing 9-2 Alabama and Georgia playing 5-6 Georgia Tech on Saturday, the Tigers will finish the regular season alone at the top of the toughest-schedule list after this week’s game.

1 Victory in 27 games for unranked Auburn teams against ranked Alabama teams since the AP Poll began in 1936. In 2002, the unranked Tigers upended the No. 9 Crimson Tide 17-7. Alabama has won seven straight ranked/unranked games against Auburn since then. The Tide enters Saturday’s game at No. 8 in this week’s AP Poll. Alabama is carrying its lowest ranking for the Iron Bowl since 2010, when No. 2 Auburn defeated No. 9 Alabama 28-27.


· TOP 10 FOR WEEK 13


2 Tackles for loss are needed by LB Will Anderson Jr. to move into second place on Alabama’s career list. Anderson has 59 tackles for loss. With 68 from 1985 through 1988, Derrick Thomas holds the school record, with Wallace Gilberry second with 60.5 from 2004 through 2007. Anderson already is second on the Crimson Tide’s all-time sacks list with 32.5. Thomas holds the record with 52. In two games against Auburn, Anderson has 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

2 Auburn players have recorded at least 20 sacks and 30 tackles for loss this century – Quentin Groves with 26 sacks and 37 tackles for loss from 2004 through 2007 and Antonio Coleman with 24.5 sacks and 46.5 tackles for loss from 2006 through 2009. Auburn LB Derick Hall needs 0.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss to join the group. Hall had three sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss against Alabama last season.

2 Of Auburn’s 10 coaches since the Iron Bowl’s return in 1948 have won their first game against Alabama. Terry Bowden’s Tigers defeated the Crimson Tide 22-14 in 1993, and Gus Malzahn guided Auburn to a 34-28 victory over Alabama in 2013. On Saturday, Carnell “Cadillac” Williams will be in his fourth game as Auburn’s interim coach.

2 Players in Alabama history have more passing yards than QB Bryce Young, who has 7,692. AJ McCarron holds the school record with 9,019 passing yards, with John Parker Wilson second with 7,924. Young passed Tua Tagovailoa on Alabama’s career passing list in last week’s game. Young threw for 317 yards against Auburn last season. Young also ranks third in total offense with 7,816 yards – 7,692 passing and 124 rushing. McCarron holds that record, too, with 8,969 yards of total offense with Wilson second at 8,099.

3 SEC players have scored more points than Alabama K Will Reichard and Auburn K Anders Carlson, who enter the Iron Bowl with 410 apiece. Auburn’s Daniel Carlson, Anders Carlson’s brother, holds the SEC record with 480 points from 2014 through 2017. Georgia K Rodrigo Blankenship scored 440 points from 2016 through 2019, and Georgia K Blair Walsh scored 412 points from 2008 through 2011.

4 100-yard rushing games for Auburn RB Jarquez Hunter. In each, Auburn RB Tank Bigsby also ran for 100 yards. In Auburn’s 41-17 victory over Western Kentucky last week, Bigsby ran for 110 yards and two TDs on 18 carries and Hunter ran for 109 yards and one TD on 13 carries. In a 60-10 victory over Akron on Sept. 4, 2021, Bigsby had 119 rushing yards and Hunter had 110. In a 62-0 victory over Alabama State on Sept. 11, 2021, Hunter had 147 rushing yards and Bigsby had 122. In a 13-10 victory over Texas A&M on Nov. 12, Hunter and Bigsby had 121 rushing yards apiece. Bigsby has 13 100-yard rushing games in his career. In this century, Auburn has produced seven 100-yard rushers in the Iron Bowl, including the Tigers’ current coach. Carnell “Cadillac” Williams ran for 204 yards and two TDs on 26 carries in Auburn’s 28-23 victory in 2003.

5 Common opponents for Alabama and Auburn this season – the other members of the SEC West. The Tigers posted a 1-4 record against those teams and were outscored 159-124. The Crimson Tide posted a 4-1 record and outscored the five teams 164-88.

7 First downs have been gained by the Auburn offense via a penalty against the opponent’s defense. Only Air Force, with six, has fewer in the nation this season. Alabama has gained 24 first downs through its opponents’ penalties.

12 Victories and eight losses for Alabama coach Nick Saban against Auburn – a .600 winning percentage. In his 16th season with the Crimson Tide after five years at LSU, Saban’s record in SEC regular-season games against all other teams is 127-22 – a winning percentage of .852.

14 Consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories for Alabama, tied for the major-college record for consecutive seasons with double-digit victories. Florida State established the record for consecutive 10-win seasons from 1987 through 2000, and the Crimson Tide would break the mark by beating Auburn. Alabama most recently failed to win 10 games in a season in 2007, when the Tide went 7-6. Alabama won 12 games in 2008, 14 in 2009, 10 in 2010, 12 in 2011, 13 in 2012, 11 in 2013, 12 in 2014, 14 in 2015, 14 in 2016, 13 in 2017, 14 in 2018, 11 in 2019, 13 in 2020 and 13 in 2021. The Tide needs two victories in 2022 to extend the longest streak of 11-win seasons in NCAA FBS history to 12.

16 Years since Alabama lost to a team that finished the season with a losing record. The Crimson Tide owns the longest such streak in the nation. Alabama lost to Mississippi State 24-16 on Nov. 4, 2006, a season in which the Bulldogs posted a 3-9 record. Since that defeat, Alabama has lost 30 games, and the Tide’s opponent in each of those setbacks went on to have at least a .500 record in the season in which it beat Alabama.

16 Iron Bowls since the winning team has been outscored in the fourth quarter. The Iron Bowl winner has had the most fourth-quarter points in 13 of the past 16 games, and in the other three games each team scored the same number of points in the final period – zero twice and seven once. In the 2005 Iron Bowl, Auburn did all its scoring in a 28-18 victory in the first half while Alabama scored eight points in the fourth quarter.

23 Consecutive victories for Alabama over Auburn when the Crimson Tide enters the Iron Bowl with a record at least three games better than the Tigers’ mark, which is the case this season. Since the rivalry resumed in 1948, only one Auburn team has won the Iron Bowl with a record at least three games worse than the Tide’s mark. In 1949, the 1-4-3 Tigers upended 6-2-1 Alabama 14-13.

47 Years since an Auburn alumnus led the Tigers in the Iron Bowl. Carnell “Cadillac” Williams is the first Auburn head coach who is an alumnus of the school since Ralph “Shug” Jordan worked the sidelines for the Tigers from the 1951 through 1975 seasons. In three Iron Bowls as an Auburn running back, Williams ran for 284 yards and three TDs on 46 carries, caught two passes for 13 yards and returned four punts for 27 yards and three kickoffs for 66 yards. The most recent Alabama alumnus to serve as the Crimson Tide’s head coach in the Iron Bowl was Mike Shula, who held the reins from 2003 through 2006.

48 Victories for Alabama, 37 victories for Auburn and one tie in the Tide-Tigers series. Auburn leads the series 7-6 in Tuscaloosa.

61 Games for Auburn TE John Samuel Shenker, the most in school history. In the Tigers’ 13-10 victory over Texas A&M on Nov. 12, Shenker passed LB T.D. Moultry for sole possession of the record. Moultry played in 59 games from 2017 through 2021.

74 Years since Auburn had at least seven losses in consecutive seasons. The Tigers enter Saturday’s game with a 5-6 record after going 6-7 last season. Auburn had a 2-7 record in 1947 and a 1-8-1 record in 1948. The Tigers have had seven seasons with at least seven losses since then, but none back-to-back.

93 Rushing yards are needed by Auburn RB Tank Bigsby to record the 30th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history. Bigsby, who ran for 1,099 yards in 2021, already is one of the 22 Auburn players to produce a 1,000-yard season. Bigsby has run for 907 yards and 10 TDs on 164 carries in 2022.

128 Games have been played by Auburn since it was most recently shut out, the second-longest streak in school history. Auburn’s most recent shutout loss came 49-0 to Alabama on Nov. 17, 2012. Auburn’s record scoring streak lasted 149 games, starting with a 55-16 victory over Richmond on Oct. 4, 1980, and ending with a 17-0 loss to Alabama on Nov. 26, 1992. Auburn’s current scoring streak is the 10th-longest in SEC history, and its record streak is the ninth-longest.

294 Games have been played by Alabama since it was most recently shut out, a school record and the third-longest scoring streak in SEC history. Alabama’s most recent shutout loss came 9-0 to Auburn on Nov. 18, 2000. Florida has a 434-game scoring streak going, and Georgia has scored in its past 355 games. By scoring against Auburn, Alabama would tie a scoring streak by Ohio State from the 1993 to the 2016 seasons as the 14th-longest in major-college football history.

329 Yards on 19 punt returns for Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry, 11 more yards than any other player in the nation has in the 2022 season, even though in the past six games he has returned two punts for 8 yards. Auburn has allowed an average of 5.9 yards on nine punt returns in 2022.

586 Rushing yards for Auburn QB Robby Ashford, which ranks 10th on the Tigers’ all-time freshman list. Two other current Tigers are on the list – RB Tank Bigsby in second with 834 rushing yards in 2020 and RB Jarquez Hunter in ninth with 593 rushing yards in 2021.


Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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Expert picks: Auburn looks to shock the world on Saturday

Taylor Jones
3–4 minutes


Now that Thanksgiving dinner is officially over, it is time for everyone to begin preparing for the year’s most important day in the state of Alabama, Iron Bowl Saturday.

The No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide has an outside shot at making the College Football Playoff but will need to beat Auburn at home in order to keep those dreams alive.

Auburn enters the game with motivation, as they have won two straight games under interim head coachCadillac Williams. Williams has the team playing with an upbeat attitude, and now has confidence that they can pull off the upset at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.

Before enjoying their Thanksgiving dinners, the staff at Auburn Wire took time to share their predictions for the game, as well as the players that they feel will need to make an impact in order for Auburn to win on Saturday.

Here’s how writers Taylor JonesJ.D. McCarthy, and River Wells see Saturday’s game between Auburn and Alabama playing out.

Iron Bowl: Offensive X-Factor


John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Jones- Robby Ashford

After relying heavily on its’ runing attack the last two games, Auburn will need to find success throwing the football in order to have a shot at beating Alabama on Saturday. The Crimson Tide allows 195 yards per game through the air, so Ashford will need to take advantage and find success by passing.

J.D. McCarthy- Robby Ashford

Alabama has struggled against offenses that have running quarterback and this will be a chance for Ashford to show what he can do.

River Wells- Exterior linemen

Tackles Kilian Zierer and Brendan Coffey are going to have to step up big time when Will Anderson Jr. steps on the field. Anderson likes to wreak havoc on both sides of the line, so the two of them will have to do their best to keep the pocket clean and the running lanes open on the offensive side of the ball.

Iron Bowl: Defensive X-Factors


AP Photo/Butch Dill

Taylor Jones-  Jaylin Simpson

Outside of Bryce Young, the Crimson Tide’s top playmakers are running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and Jase McClellan. Jaylin Simpson is Auburn’s highest-graded player against the rush this season, so he will need to be instrumental in limiting Gibbs and McClellan’s production.

J.D. McCarthy- Derick Hall

Bryce Young is everything for Auburn’s offense and if Hall can generate some pressure then the defense will have a chance at slowing him down.

River Wells- Derick Hall

Derick Hall has to do his work on his side of the ball to disrupt Bama quarterback Bryce Young. Young is occasionally volatile under heavy pressure, and creating that is going to be the best shot the Tigers have of winning this one

Iron Bowl: The final score


The Montgomery Advertiser

Taylor Jones

Alabama 27 Auburn 20

J.D. McCarthy

Alabama 45 Auburn 20

River Wells

Alabama 31 Auburn 24

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire

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