Auburn Football 2010: Cam Newton Visits Alabama in Tuscaloosa

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Auburn Football 2010: Cam Newton Visits Alabama in Tuscaloosa
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It is Iron Bowl week for Auburn and Alabama fans. This year, the nation will have their eyes on the game as well.

This is always a game that is hard to predict. To make as accurate a prediction as possible, there were more parameters studied and twice as much simulation work.

Before the prediction, let us take a look at some of those factors that might be important to the outcome of the game this year.

 

Rushing

Joe Adams of Arkansas, Alshon Jeffrey of South Carolina, and A.J. Green of Georgia combined for 443 receiving yards against Auburn this year. Alabama does not have three receivers of that caliber, and 443 yards might not be enough to win this game if they did.

Alabama does not have a perimeter rushing game that will be successful against Auburn. They simply do not have an offensive line that is nimble enough to get out front and block for that type of scheme. They will have to produce some yards out of their three-tight-end, power-rushing attack.

To gain yards inside, Alabama will be going against the same defensive line that held them to 73 total rushing yards on 35 carries only one year ago. The Auburn defensive line has improved, but the Alabama offensive line has yet to gel 11 games into the season this year.

Prediction: Auburn will severely impede the Alabama rushing attack. Reverses and gimmick plays by Julio Jones and Marquis Maze will likely gain more ground than Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson on the ground.

The Alabama rushing defense gave up 225 yards rushing to LSU and 149 yards rushing to Mississippi State since their week off. These were their last two SEC games. The majority of these yards were surrendered to an inside rushing attack. They also gave up 133 yards rushing to Mississippi’s perimeter rushing attack.

Auburn is better in the inside and perimeter rushing attack than any of these teams. It is likely that Auburn will at least keep alive their string of six consecutive SEC games where they rushed for 300 yards or more.

Prediction: Auburn will move the ball on the ground very effectively.

 

Passing

Julio Jones had 221 yards receiving in his best game this year. Marquis Maze had 89 receiving yards in his best game this year. Darius Hanks had 66 receiving yards in his best game this year. That is a total of 376 yards and will not be enough to beat Auburn.

Alabama must produce at least as many passing yards as Auburn has rushing yards to stand a chance in this game.

Auburn does not pass the ball often. When they do it is usually successful. Auburn scores a touchdown for about every 10 pass attempts. That compares to about one touchdown for 14 attempts for Alabama.

Alabama’s three top receivers have 11 touchdowns between them this season. Auburn’s top three receivers have 12 touchdowns between them this year. There is not much, if any, advantage in the passing game for Alabama.

Prediction: Auburn will be able to pass the ball when needed and Alabama should have some success passing the ball. This area of the game could tilt toward Alabama as they try to keep up with Auburn by passing the ball.

 

Seasonal Comparison All Opponents

Statistic

Auburn 

Alabama 

Rushing Offense Per Game

307.91 yards

184.91 yards

 

 

 

Passing Offense

197.27 yards

249.73 yards

 

 

 

Pass Efficiency

182.07

166.83

 

 

 

Total Offense

505.18 yards

434.64 yards

 

 

 

Scoring Offense

42.82 points

35.67 points

 

 

 

Punt Returns

6.7 yards

14.22 yards

 

 

 

Kick Returns

25.23 yards

25.17 yards

 

 

 

Turnover Margin

.27

1.09

 

 

 

Sacks Allowed

1.55

2.45

 

 

 

Third Down Conversion Percentage

53.33

44.8

 

 

 

First Downs Per Game

24.64

21.73

 

 

 

Fumbles Lost

7

7

 

 

 

Interceptions Thrown

6

5

 

 

 

Tackles For Loss Allowed

4.91

5

 

 

 

Time of Possession

29.01 minutes

30.25 minutes

 

 

 

Red Zone Offense

89 percent

83 percent

 

 

 

Rushing Defense

111.55 yards

124.73 yards

 

 

 

Pass Defense

244.18 yards

168.73 yards

 

 

 

Pass Efficiency Defense

130.58

96.02

 

 

 

Total Defense

355.73 yards

293.45 yards

 

 

 

Scoring Defense

24.91 points

12.82 points

 

 

 

Net Punting

33.69 yards

37.03 yards

 

 

 

Sacks

2.27

1.64

 

 

 

Tackles For Loss

6.73

5

 

 

 

Kick Returns Allowed Each

19.82 yards

21.43 yards

 

 

 

Punt Returns Allowed Each

7.33 yards

7.13 yards

 

 

 

Third Down Conversion Percentage Allowed

38.19 percent

33.95 percent

 

 

 

First Downs Allowed Per Game

21.18

15.36

 

 

 

Penalty Yards Per Game

56.73 yards

38.64 yards

 

 

 

Red Zone Defense

88 percent

69 percent

 

 

 

Fumbles Recovered

8

3

 

 

 

Interceptions

8

21

 

There are some advantages for Alabama in this game. First, there is the home field advantage. Auburn has won six of seven games in Tuscaloosa, but clearly Alabama has done better there lately. We will give Alabama a touchdown advantage for their home field.

Alabama +7

Alabama has a certain advantage in scoring defense.

Alabama +12

Alabama has a definite advantage in punting.

Alabama +3

Alabama has an advantage in first downs allowed.

Alabama +7

Alabama has an advantage in penalty yards.

Alabama +3

Alabama has an advantage in pass defense and interceptions.

Alabama +7

Total: +39 Alabama

 

Auburn has a huge advantage in total offense.

Auburn +7

Auburn has an advantage in scoring offense.

Auburn +7

Auburn has an advantage in sacks allowed.

Auburn +3

Auburn has an advantage in third down conversion percentage.

Auburn +7

Auburn has an advantage in sacks.

Auburn +3

Total: Auburn +24

Total Advantage points lean toward Alabama: +15.

In simulations, this match is not close, with Auburn winning over 70 percent of the time. Of those wins, 58 percent are by more than 15 points.

 

What to Expect

This will be a great game with Alabama pulling out all the stops with gimmicks and trickery. They will begin this type of play early in hopes of catching Auburn flat-footed. Auburn will come out and give Alabama some of the same early. They will use some well-planned routes to pull the Alabama secondary out of position and pass the ball some.

As the game moves along, the Auburn defensive line rotation will begin to wear down the Alabama offensive line and they will begin to get massive penetration. This will impede the Alabama passing attack as the game moves along.

Auburn will severely impede the Alabama rushing attack for the entire game. There will be some success, but it will be very limited.

Auburn will come out and use misdirection to catch inexperienced Alabama players out of position. If they are successful, there will be some big plays both passing and running the ball.

Alabama will try to counter this with blitz schemes; this will result in huge rushing numbers for the Auburn quarterback toward the end of the game. Auburn will have a huge day both rushing and passing.

Alabama will gain close to 400 yards of total offense and score around 30 points. Auburn will gain over 500 yards of total offense and over 40 points. 

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