I highly doubt there is a player on Alabama's football team that wants to face a Cam Newton-less Auburn. As controversy surrounds Newton, who has been the best player in college football this year, several Tide players have stated that they want to win against a complete Auburn team.
This sends a message to the rest of the nation: Alabama won't back down from No. 2 Auburn, with or without Cam Newton.
In the 2009 SEC championship showdown, Alabama faced Florida and "Superman" Tim Tebow. Tebow looked unstoppable at the time, but after the game, instead of circling the stadium waving a Gators banner, he sat on the bench with tears streaming down his face. Alabama had just won 32-13 by keeping Tebow bottled up all game.
The Alabama players looked far from intimidated by Tebow, and I expect the same attitude toward "SuperCam" Newton.
This isn't the same defense Alabama had in 2009, however. The losses of key players like Terrence Cody, Rolando McClain, Kareem Jackson and others stung this season. McClain made several solo stops on Tebow, but now the Tide has junior Dont'a Hightower and freshman C.J. Mosley. Both have had good seasons, but neither is a ferocious headhunter like McClain.
Hightower and Mosley must be relied upon heavily to guard the middle of the field and keep Newton from dashing into the open field for a 70-yard run. The linebackers must contain Newton in run support, because it is doubtful that 6'1", 182-pound corner Demarcus Milliner or 6'3", 190-pound corner Dre Kirkpatrick will be able to take down the 6'6", 250-pound Newton in the open field.
With that being said, the Alabama coaches have been brainstorming for ways to stop Newton for at least a month. There are some great defensive minds among the Alabama coaching staff, with Coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart both renowned for their skill at coaching defenses.
The bottom line is: Tim Tebow didn't scare us, and neither does Cam Newton.
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