Alabama Football Three Keys: Auburn

Alabama football Three-keys

With the 5-6 Auburn Tigers looking for a new head coach and the 9-2 Alabama Crimson Tide out of the SEC Championship Game this year, the Iron Bowl has a very different set of storylines to recent times.

By Steve Wright

Here are the three keys for Alabama to make the game all about the Crimson Tide.

1 – Is Jahmyr Gibbs Healthy?

Coming into the season, it wasn’t clear who would step up on offense to help quarterback Bryce Young. The player that has taken on that mantle is running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Gibbs leads Alabama in rushing with 774 yards and six touchdowns at 6.5 yards per carry. He also leads the team in receptions with 40 and is third in receiving yards with 370. His all-purpose play gives Young a player he can rely on, and he will need to be healthy after sitting out the game against Austin Peay.

2 – Bryce Young Takes Over

This will (almost certainly) be the last time we see Bryce Young wearing Alabama colors in Tuscaloosa. The current Heisman Trophy holder doesn’t have the numbers he has in 2021, but this has been a more impressive season in many ways. Young doesn’t have anything like the talent around him he did last season, and he has played for the majority of the year with a banged-up shoulder. Even so, he has willed Alabama to wins, and he would love to finish undefeated against Auburn to add to his list of accolades.

3 – Don’t Keep Auburn in This

Auburn wants to run the ball and shorten the game. They want to be hanging around entering the fourth quarter, putting pressure on Alabama and making the crowd nervous. If Alabama plays this right, they don’t let that happen. Players like Will Anderson – eight sacks and 14 tackles for a loss – must stand out on defense and stop Auburn drives early. Doing so will allow Young chances to move the scoreboard in ‘Bama’s favor, making this a non-event down the stretch. Auburn would love to make Alabama a three-loss team for the first time since 2010. They can’t be allowed to have any chance of doing so.

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