Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Auburn at Alabama

Auburn's national title hopes are on the line when it faces in-state rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

Auburn offense vs. Alabama defense
• The running back typically handles the inside carries in the veer-option offense, but Tigers offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has wisely inverted Auburn's attack to better fit his personnel. At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, QB Cam Newton has the size and power to do the inside running while his running backs -- particularly sophomore Onterio McCalebb -- are fast enough to turn the corner as outside runners. McCalebb splits time with freshman Michael Dyer and senior Mario Fannin, but McCalebb is getting more run in recent weeks (21 carries for 170 yards and four scores in his past two SEC games). Alabama needs to account for McCalebb every time he steps on the field because he's the fastest of the bunch. Failing to keep containment on the perimeter, combined with poor pursuit angles by the linebackers and defensive backs, could lead to six points in a hurry when McCalebb is the ball carrier.