Behind Enemy Lines: Auburn Wire previews 2021 Iron Bowl

·2 min read

The state of Alabama literally worships college football. If you don’t believe me, simply stop by any coffee shop or small-town gas station and listen to the conversations had between the people of this fine state. More times than not they will be conversing about the Tide and the Tigers.

The dialogue will intensify this week with the Iron Bowl looming on Saturday. Unranked Auburn will look to upset No. 3 Alabama as the Tide travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium.

With the rivalry being renewed in just a few days, I wanted to get a closer look at the 2021 version of the Auburn Tigers. Here is what Zac Blackerby of Auburn Wire had to say about the pending matchup.

1. How would you grade T.J. Finley’s play so far?

He had a game-winning drive against Georgia State earlier in the year. In his first start last week against South Carolina, he was serviceable. Auburn needs to do more to help him out.

2. What does Auburn do that could cause Alabama the biggest issues?

I think Auburn’s running game could move the ball on most teams but this coaching staff refuses to let Tank Bigsby become a workhorse and give him plenty of touches.

3. Can Alabama establish a solid running game against the Auburn defense?

I think Alabama will attack Auburn through the air but over the course of the 60 minutes, Auburn’s defense is going to be on the field a ton. Over time, the Alabama rushing attack may take over.

4. How will Auburn attack the Alabama offense?

I think Auburn will have to run the ball to be successful but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo really wants to pass the ball with this roster. So my guess is that they will attack through the air but I don’t expect it to work.

5. Which player has to be at their best for the Tigers in order to pull the upset?

I’ll give you two. T.J. Finley has to play out of his mind on offense. On the defense, any of the cornerbacks outside of Roger McCreary need to have the game of their life. If Jaylin Simpson can play like he’s capable of, I think it could keep Auburn in the game for a little while.

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