Max Wolberski of Tide Illustrated caught up with AuburnSports publisher JJ Tate to discuss this week’s Iron Bowl between No. 7 Alabama and Auburn.
What’s the difference with Auburn under Carnell Williams?
The former Auburn quarterback has brought passion back into the sidelines that, frankly, he’s had very little over the past few years. Williams, who served as an offensive assistant before being promoted to interim head coach in October, doesn’t call plays and isn’t a key component of his plan. The game. He really pushed the idea of ’serving,’ which he interprets as being available to his players and keeping their backs at all times. This may seem like a rudimentary thing for a head coach to do, but it’s basically the opposite of what Brian Harsin did.”
What counts as a hit for Auburn in this game?
Auburn will enter this game as a 22-point underdog, give or take a few points. The Tigers rarely enjoy much success inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, so I’d say a reasonably close game would be a successful outing. Can Auburn win the game? There’s a chance. It’s Not a big chance.
“The important thing from Auburn’s perspective is that Williams has created an energy and a level of accountability that wasn’t there a month ago. That’s worth something.”
Alabama has seen an improvement in its running game lately. Will Auburn be able to slow that down?
Speaking from the perspective of Auburn’s defensive front, things have been better lately. Defensive coordinator Jeff Schmieding uses ‘fresh’ players more often – guys who haven’t played much before – and many of them play up front. Owen Pabu is playing at a much higher level now after He was mainly used as a forward defender rather than a read-and-response linebacker.
“When you talk about slowing down the Alabama running game, it’s really about being able to occupy blockers at the point of offense. I’m not sure Auburn can do that well against a great front like Alabama, but the second level tackle has been much better lately. This gives the Tigers a chance.”
Quarterback Robbie Ashford has the second most rushing yards on the team. How could it affect Saturday’s game?
“The Auburn quarterback is a good runner, though he’s best with the ball in his hands. He’s not a great reading option man in his own right. He’s also a poor passer who simply couldn’t be asked to carry a tackle himself up in the air. Ashford commits a lot.” The Tigers have choked traffic expectations over the past few weeks and things have run a lot more smoothly.
“If Auburn can get Ashford into space, he’s dangerous. Getting him out there is the trick; the Tigers haven’t yet figured out how to do it consistently without destroying other aspects of the offense.”
This is Tank Bigsbys III Iron Bowl. Alabama was able to limit him to 102 combined yards on 40 carries over its past two meetings against him. How can he make a bigger impact this year?
He’s a great tailback, but the Tigers’ unorthodox problems on offense under now-fired coordinator Eric Keso left Bigsby untapped and untapped. He looked to the walkers. Since Williams took over, Bigsby has been a major focus on offense. Area chart and things were working much more fluidly.
“Is that enough to significantly damage the Alabama defensive front? Yes, it makes sense. Bigsby is good, and this line is playing better than it’s been in years.”
Who are some of the other playmakers in Auburn’s offense that could make some plays this weekend?
Tailback Jarquez Hunter is a great one-of-a-kind runner who would be an even bigger star if he wasn’t playing behind Bigsby. Tight end John Samuel Shenker is a satisfying receiver who’s also a slightly above-average blocker. Freshman Camden Brown has some real acrobatic ability, but his mediocrity maybe He doesn’t go over 15 times a game. He doesn’t play enough to make a real difference, though I think he’s very talented.”
How does Auburn contain Bryce Young this year?
I think the pass rush is the most consistent way to disrupt a quarterback in general, though Young’s runaway makes things very difficult for the defense. You can’t take big risks. For me, the key is to bring pressure in from the outside and play things conservatively at the defensive tackle and linebacker. Do not lose sight of the integrity of the gap. All of Auburn’s top-ranked defensemen play in the secondary; These guys need to create a few more transitions. Of course, that’s easy to say. Young people in general are not prone to circling.
Auburn can pull the rage if…
“Auburn can’t let the sight of Bryant-Deney’s play—in which the coach’s situation is still in flux—ruin his majesty. Alabama is a great football team. The Tigers must approach the problem methodically, stay in tune with personal responsibility and play with the kind of passion that they Williams shows it along the sideline.Transfers are key.Auburn will need at least two to have a chance on Saturday.
“As for offense, the ball has to be run effectively and not ask Ashford to work miracles in the air. That’s just not who he is, and he’ll aggravate Auburn if need be.”
Is Lane Kiffin coming to Auburn?
I will not answer this now. It is in constant flux.