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Shane Writes from Beyond
Posted by Bama Mike on Thursday November 28 2013 @ 04:53PM CST
[ 2013 Season ]
The following story is the one written by Shane before the Cam Newton game of 2010. I have asked for spiritual guidance from him to make a few changes to fit it to this Ironbowl.

Ironbowl 2013 by Shane from Centerpoint

When it comes to naming the “ultimate” gridiron contest, no battle better defines sheer toughness and courage better than the annual Alabama-Auburn game. These two SEC powerhouses will converge on the field this Friday to settle the score and establish next year’s bragging rights for the state of Alabama. Without a doubt both teams will field “game-changers”, guys that can light up the scoreboard every time they touch the “rock”. The atmosphere will be electric.

Auburn enters the contest with one lose, riding the “Gus” bus, while defending national champion Alabama’s hasn't tasted the agony of defeat. The only real advantage for Auburn in this game will be that it’s being played in the "house that Lowder built". But they will be up against the fact that Nick Saban has amassed some of the very best talent in America.

Yes, it’s been a long time since the Crimson Tide has been beaten. In fact it’s been 15 games since that embarrassing November 10th 2012 loss to Texas A&M. The final score was 24-29. In fact, no team has scored more than 20 points against Alabama on its home field since except A&M in the 49-42 win by Bama.

It’s pretty amazing that in this modern era of high-octane offenses, Alabama has been able to bring many of them to a grinding halt. In its last 9 games, since A&M, the Crimson Tide has given up only 49 total points. That’s roughly an average of 5 points a game! The best effort to date was accomplished in the loss by LSU in a game where they mustered 17 points. No other team has produced more than one touchdown in any game since A&M.

Alabama has produced some impressive defensive stats this season as well. The Tide has a total of 11 interceptions for 253 yards and has only allowed 102 total points all year(42 of those were to Little Johnny Football). The Tide also has 57 tackles for a lose with 195 yards given up by the opposition. That alone proves that Saban’s defenders have great talent.

Nevertheless the Malzahn-driven Auburn Tigers are sporting one of the nation’s most potent scoring machines. Auburn's offense is going to be the best the Crimson Tide has faced since A&M.

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is not a Cam Newton. At 6’1” and 210 lbs he can run but is still unproven as a passer against a ranked team. He’s done well running with several games against weak opponents of over 100 yards.

Alabama’s DC Kirby Smart collaborating with Coach Saban will devise a plan to stop Marshall and company. They will not overlook the fact that Marshall has some very good play makers surrounding him. Auburn’s offense can score points really fast and Alabama's defense will be prepped to stop the big plays.

And the Tide does have a lot of assets that will help them slow down and stop the Tigers. Linebacker C.J. Mosley has become Saban’s next great defensive signal-caller. He has mastered Saban’s complex scheme, much like Rolando McClain and Donta Hightower did in their careers at Bama. Many say he is better than both of those former stars. Also the Tide’s defensive backfield is playing “lights-out”.

As long the Tide defense plays their A game, Alabama will be in good shape to win the game.

I believe that the combination of AJ, TJ, Mark, Coooooper Christion Jones, Kevin Norwood, Kenyan Drake, etc. have too much firepower on offense for an average defense like Auburn’s to stop. Under AJ's guidance Alabama’s will benefit from clock-eating, sustained drives and score points at will because the Tiger defense hasn’t stopped anybody from scoring all season. 7 teams have scored over 20 points against Auburn this year. Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has had a difficult time trying to teach his players how to tackle.

Speaking of tackling, realistically, this game – the biggest rivalry game of the greatest sport known to man – will probably come down to the plays where C.J. Mosley, Alabama’s (6’2”, 238) and his defensive team will crush Marshall and company. In the 4th quarter they will be wondering from where these new fresh defensive groups keep coming.

Finally, after everything else is said and done, I believe now that this storied contest will be affected most by one aspect over all others – AJ McCarron. He is the field general that will lead the Alabama team to relentless score after score.

Buckle your seat belts boys and girls. I’ve got an iron-clad feeling that we’re all about to go for one wild ride.

< Chattanooga Grades | Auburn Grades >

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