Iron Bowl predictions: Former players break down Alabama-Auburn – al.com

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban, center, watches warm-ups before an NCAA college football game against New Mexico State, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)AP
No. 3 Alabama travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium to face rival Auburn on Saturday, Nov. 27 in the annual Iron Bowl. The game will be live streamed on fuboTV.
The Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1 SEC), as much as a 19 1/2-point favorites according to FanDuel Sportsbook, has already locked in an SEC Championship Game matchup with No. 1 Georgia, with designs on making the playoffs.
The Tigers, meanwhile, are trying to avoid ending coach Bryan Harsin’s first regular season with four consecutive losses.
Auburn has won the last two Iron Bowls played on the Plains and three of four.
With that said, it is still the Iron Bowl.
Here are what some former Alabama and Auburn players shared with me over the past week during “The Opening Kickoff” on WNSP-FM 105.5 about Saturday’s game:
“My prediction is the best team will win. They are ranked No. 3. We are not a good ballclub right now, but when it comes to Auburn-Alabama, it doesn’t matter.
“At the end of the game, one team will win, and I hope it is Auburn.”
“There’s something about this Iron Bowl. Even though Auburn lost to South Carolina, there’s something about the Iron Bowl that brings out a whole different animal. I’m going to say Bama by two touchdowns.”
“Alabama has a quick-strike offense that can pile up the numbers pretty quick. Auburn’s offense is good enough to take advantage of Alabama’s immature defense. If both teams play how they played all year, Bama should cover the 21 easy. Alabama 48-24.”
“I’m nervous about the game because of Alabama’s defense this year. They are very inconsistent. It looks like the offense is getting better whether it is the way they are running the ball the last couple of weeks or, obviously, Bryce (Young) is throwing the ball and receivers are catching it. Because it is the Iron Bowl, you just never know. Auburn’s going to play Alabama with everything they got. It’s going to make the game competitive. If Alabama plays tough on defense, it could be a long one for Auburn. Losing Bo (Nix) was huge. Alabama 42-21.”
“I think Alabama wins by two or three scores. I think they’ll probably tack one on late. I do think being at home – the emotions of that and what’s happened in that stadium historically will show things – will make it more competitive than we believe. I think if Tank Bigsby can get going, that’ll help. Once again, Alabama’s a more talented team. They are playing better ball. There’s more on the line. This Auburn team has looked gassed, especially in the second half the last three or four games. It’s been trending that direction since mid-season and its begun to show up. I don’t know how you change that in one week of practice. I don’t think Auburn gets it done.
“I think it will be by 14 or 17 points. Alabama wins the Iron Bowl.”
“I’m not a prediction guy, but I will tell you this: In order for Auburn to win this game, they are going to have to start strong, but they have to finish. It is as simple as that. I’m talking about doing your job. Bryan Harsin breaks it down simple: Just do your job. Do it every day to the best of your ability and they’ll be OK. They’ll have to play a four-quarter game. They’ll need to get some breaks to go their way. That’ll have to get a turnover or two.”
“I think Alabama’s the better football team, I don’t know enough about – Oh, I don’t know – Auburn’s psyche and how they will respond after three straight losses. Alabama has a lot going. They’ve secured the SEC West and they want to roll to get ready to play the Georgia Bulldogs next weekend. I think Alabama is a far better team.”
“Alabama’s the better team overall. They are dynamic on offense. They don’t run the ball as good as they have in years past, but they are making big plays. Bryce is one heck of a quarterback. A young guy who can distribute the ball, sees blitzes, scans the field well.
“Defensively, we all know, it’s been a bit up and down for what we’ve been used to over the years. We’ve been spoiled by the defense they have been putting out there. They aren’t quite as good. They are still a very good football team. Alabama should win, but you never know about that game down in Auburn. Auburn’s got some ghost flying around the stadium that can make some things happen. Never count them out, but I would gamble on Alabama.”
Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.
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Alabama head coach Nick Saban, center, watches warm-ups before an NCAA college football game against New Mexico State, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)APNo. 3 Alabama travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium to face rival Auburn on Saturday, Nov. 27 in the annual Iron Bowl. The game will be live streamed on fuboTV.The…

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, center, watches warm-ups before an NCAA college football game against New Mexico State, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)APNo. 3 Alabama travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium to face rival Auburn on Saturday, Nov. 27 in the annual Iron Bowl. The game will be live streamed on fuboTV.The…

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