Behind Enemy Lines: Iron Bowl preview with Roll Tide Wire’s Stacey Blackwood

The most wonderful week of the College Football season has arrived… it is almost time for the Iron Bowl.

The No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide welcomes the Auburn Tigers to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the 87th edition of the Iron Bowl. Anything goes in the Iron Bowl, and this season’s matchup could be another memorable affair.

The Crimson Tide have had a strange season to this point, as they enter the game with two losses.  It marks the first time since 2010 that Alabama has had two or more losses prior to the Iron Bowl.

As for Auburn, the Tigers have won two games in a row after snapping a five-game losing streak, which involved the dismissal of head coach Bryan Harsin. The attitude of Auburn football has changed drastically over the last three weeks, and the Tigers need just one win to earn bowl eligibility.

Stacey Blackwood of Roll Tide Wire recently sat down with us to talk about Saturday’s Iron Bowl. Blackwood shares insight on the Crimson Tide’s uncharacteristic season, the strong rushing unit of Jahmyr Gibbs and Jase McClellan, and he shares his final score prediction.

Without further delay, here is this week’s Behind Enemy Lines with Roll Tide Wire’s Stacey Blackwood.

Getting back to normal

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama enters the game with two losses, which has become a rarity under Nick Saban. What have been the key factors that have led to such an uncharacteristic season to this point?

Bryce (Young’s) shoulder injury really hurt the offensive chemistry of this team, but even more so penalties have just absolutely killed this team.

Two-headed monster

The Knoxville News-Sentinel

Jahmyr Gibbs has been a great addition to the Tide from the transfer portal. But, as of late, Jase McClellan has been productive in the backfield as well. What makes each back so special?

Both Gibbs and McClellan are great out of the backfield in the passing game, so the defenses always have to know where they are lining up at. Gibbs has incredible quickness which allows him to make a ton of explosive plays while McClellan is more of a downhill runner but also has the ability to hit the big play. 

Running through Bryant-Denny

Michael Chang/Getty Images

Is there an aspect of Auburn’s game that you see as a concern for Alabama?

Auburn’s ability to run with Bigsby, Hunter, and Ashford might be the biggest concern. But Derick Hall has the ability to beat the tackles and get to Bryce and that is also concerning.

Hitting a wall

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter have rushed for over 100 yards each in two straight games. How has Alabama’s defense fared against the run this season?

Alabama has been pretty solid against the run this season. They held Ole Miss to their second-lowest yards-per-carry average of the season a couple of weeks ago and also did a good job against a physical Arkansas team. 

Final prediction

The Daily Advocate

What is your final score prediction for the game?

I think this is a tight game for about 1-1/2 to 2 quarters, but Alabama just has too much for the Tigers and gets the win 37-17

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire