Auburn Football: What Must Happen for Tigers to Upset Alabama

Justin Welton@JustinWeltonAnalyst IINovember 18, 2012

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 10:  Players from the Auburn Tigers walk out of their tunnel before their game against the Georgia Bulldogs on November 10, 2012 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. Georgia defeated Auburn 38-0 and clinched the SEC East division. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Michael Chang/Getty Images

Oh, how things can turn on a week's notice.

One week ago, Alabama's dream for consecutive BCS championships seemed all but shattered after it lost to Texas A&M at home. But now, the Tide find themselves right back in the thick of things with Kansas State and Oregon losing. 

Auburn is the next opponent for Alabama, and while it appears to be a mismatch on paper, there's a reason why they play the games.

Here is what must happen for Auburn to pull off a shocking upset of Alabama.  


Jonathan Wallace plays out of his mind

I'm sure Jonathan Wallace watched fellow freshman Johnny Manziel slice and dice Alabama's defense on Nov. 10, right?

Alabama's defense is the best in college football, but the Tide proved that they can be had through the air.

Manziel went for 253 yards and two touchdowns through the air against the No. 1 defense in the country. He proved that Alabama isn't clearly the best team in college football. He proved it they can be beaten by the right quarterback.

Can Wallace play that role? Probably not, but what does he have to lose? Auburn is supposed to get destroyed by the Crimson Tide. Wallace can lay it all on the line while taking risks down the field. 

There shouldn't be any pressure on the young quarterback because Auburn is 3-8. Let it ride, kid. 


Aggressive play

Think back to what Texas A&M did to Alabama: The Aggies came out aggressive with their play-calling. They jumped on Alabama and held on for the narrow victory.

For underdogs to pull upsets, they must take chances early and look to play with a lead.

Playing with a lead tames the crowd, putting them in a state of shock. Add another touchdown, and it gets worse. Add another one, and there is real panic.

That's what Texas A&M did, playing the "how you pull off an upset" role to perfection.

Run reverse passes, take a chance with an early onside kick, pull out every trick you have in the book, dive deep into your playbook.

Take risks. 

In the end, Auburn really has nothing to lose on Saturday. Why not roll the dice?  


Bounces, breaks, luck

Let's be honest here: Auburn needs nearly every bounce to go its way. The Tigers need nearly every call to go their way.

This needs to be one of those games where the announcers say, "Maybe this is just Auburn's day." That's the type of game Auburn needs to stay within distance of Alabama.

Auburn's talent is not even close to the level of Alabama. The Crimson Tide should be able to win this game easily, but Auburn could find itself within shouting distance with some breaks. 



Alabama 31, Auburn 10. 

Alabama has new life after watching Kansas State and Oregon choke away their title hopes. The Tide now sit in perfect position to get back in the championship game with two more wins to finish the season.

They are refocused and ready to roll on whoever is in their path. 

Consider Texas A&M their wake up call. And luckily for the Tide, it happened during the season, not in a bowl game. 


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