November 23, 2022 1:00 pm CT
Neither team has had the season they were hoping for, Alabama already has two losses and has an outside shot at making the College football Playoff. Auburn suffered a five-game losing streak and fired Bryan Harsin in the middle of the season.
Despite this, both programs come in with plenty to play for. Auburn has new life under Cadillac Williams and would secure a bowl birth with a win. Alabama is looking to keep its dominance at Bryant-Denny Stadium going and to end the regular season on a high note. Here are six things to know about the Crimson Tide.
They have a slim path to make the playoff
A two-loss team has never made the College football Playoff and Alabama has a slight chance to change that this season.
They were ranked No. 7 in the latest poll and if TCU, LSU, and South Carolina all lose in either of the next two weeks, they could make a move into the top four. No. 8 Clemson will have a chance to win the ACC and with just one loss could certainly jump the Crimson Tide in that scenario.
Is this scenario likely? No, but it’s possible, and it should not surprise anyone if Alabama is the first two-loss team in the playoffs.
Bryce Young is still a problem
His numbers are not as good as last year’s but Young is still playing great football. The reigning Heisman winner has completed 63.8% of his passes for 2,664 yards, 24 touchdowns, and just four interceptions.
While Auburn lacks the dominant receiver they’ve had over the past several seasons, he is still great at keeping plays alive and making something happen.
They have two great running backs of their own
Auburn fans are familiar with the benefits of having two great running backs and Alabama also relies on two backs.
Jahmyr Gibbs transferred in from Georgia Tech and has made an immediate impact. He is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and leads them with 815 yards and six touchdowns on 119 attempts. Gibbs is also a great receiver, leading the team with 40 receptions, and will have to be accounted for at all times.
Jase McClellan is their No. 2 back but is more than capable of taking over a game. He averages 6.1 yards per carry and has five touchdowns of his own.
Will Anderson Jr. and Dallas Turner are an elite tandem
Anderson has not been as dominant as he was last season but is still a player that opposing offenses have to account for on every play and is capable of ruining a quarterbacks day. He has 8.0 sacks and 14.0 tackles for loss to go with 10 quarterback hurries.
Anderson is not just an elite pass rusher though, he is great against the run and will affect Auburns in both phases of the game.
Turner is not far behind Anderson in his ability to wreck a game. He has 4.0 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss, and six quarterback hurries.
Their run defense has been great at home but against weak competetion
Alabama has been great against the run this season, allowing just 107.82 yards per game. However, when you dig into the numbers it is interesting. They’ve allowed just 60.33 yards per game when at home but that was against Utah State, Louisiana-Monroe, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State.
When they’ve played better teams that have a mobile quarterback who can hurt them with their legs they have struggled, Arkansas (187), Tennessee (182), LSU (185), and Ole Miss (191) all gashed them on the ground.
Auburn has two great running backs, a mobile quarterback, and is by far the best running team they have played at Bryan-Denny. This matchup will likely determine the outcome of the game.
They have dominated Auburn in Tuscaloosa
Auburn has upset Alabama plenty of times inside Jordan-Hare Stadium, but that is not true when they travel to Tuscaloosa. Auburn has lost its last five games in Bryant-Denny and most were not close, they have lost by 29, 31, 18, 11, and 49 points.
The last time Auburn was in 2010 when Cam Newton led Auburn back from down 24 points to win 28-27.