2018 Iron Bowl Game Preview: Everything You Need To Know Before Kickoff
Bragging rights. Pride. Passion.
All of that will be on display this weekend in Tuscaloosa as the entire state turns its eyes to the 2018 Iron Bowl. Top-ranked Alabama has a chance to complete another undefeated regular season while Auburn looks to disrupt that mission for the second straight year.
It's been eight years since the Tigers knocked off the Tide in Tuscaloosa and this series has been draped in crimson over the past decade. Alabama has taken seven of the last Iron Bowl matchups but each of Auburn's wins have shaken up college football.
Can Gus Malzahn's teams do it again? Here's everything you need to know about this weekend's game.
No. 1 Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC) vs Auburn (4-5, 4-4 SoCon)
When: Saturday, November 24 at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL
Weather: Temperatures should be pretty comfortable this weekend and it looks like we'll avoid any rain in Tuscaloosa. Expect it to be in the low to mid-60s during the game and dropping into the 50s after the sun goes down.
TV: CBS (Play-by-play: Brad Nessler, analyst: Gary Danielson, sideline reporter: Jamie Erdahl)
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Play-by-play: Eli Gold, color analyst: John Parker Wilson, sideline reporter: Rashad Johnson). Listen on 95.3 the Bear and Tide 102.9/100.9 in Tuscaloosa or download the station apps to stream the game for free.
Spread: The Crimson Tide opened as a 24-point favorite and that moved up a little to 24.5. This is the second-largest spread in the past 40 years of this rivalry. The only one that can top this one is 2012 when Alabama was a 34-point favorite.
Series History: This will be the 83rd Iron Bowl played and just the 12th in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama holds the all-time lead with a 45-36-1 record but Auburn has won 7 of 11 in Tuscaloosa. This rivalry dates all the way back to an 1893 meeting at Birmingham's Lakeview Park, where the Tigers claimed a 32-22 victory. This series took a 48-year hiatus after disagreements over per diems and officiating but resumed again in 1948 with the a 55-0 win for Alabama, which still remains the largest defeat in the rivalry. Both schools played the majority of these games in Birmingham through the years, but the Iron Bowl began being played on Auburn's campus in 1989 and later at Alabama's in 2000. The Tigers have a 16-9 record in games played on-campus.
Last Meeting: Some people say last year's Iron Bowl didn't matter, but there's no doubt that Alabama will remember the outcome. Auburn jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter but Alabama would eventually regain the lead on a 21-yard run by Bo Scarbrough to start the second half. From that point on, however, the Tigers' defense kept the Tide in check and wouldn't give up another point. Auburn closed out the 26-14 victory on the Plains, which wound up being Alabama's only loss of the season on its way to another national championship.
Last Week: Surprisingly, last week's first half against The Citadel was the most competitive of the season for the Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs limited Alabama to just one first-quarter possession and went to the locker room even with the nation's top-ranked team, 10-10. After fumbling the opening kickoff of the second half, Alabama's defense would rise up and the offense would begin humming. When the dust settled, the Tide claimed a 50-17 victory to move to 11-0 on the year.
Auburn had no trouble in its final non-conference game of the year against Liberty. The Tigers dominated every statistical category and cruised to a 53-0 win at home. Auburn held Liberty to fewer than 100 yards passing and rushing while forcing four turnovers on the afternoon.