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5 Ways Alabama Fends Off Auburn In 2013 Iron Bowl

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5 Ways Alabama Fends Off Auburn In The 2013 Iron Bowl

2013 Iron Bowl
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, The Iron Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers is one of the biggest college football games of the season. Some years, however, it takes on even bigger meaning. This season, the Iron Bowl features the No. 1 overall team in the country, an Alabama squad looking to win its third-straight national championship and cap off one of the greatest runs in college football history.

Their challenger? Well, that just happens to be their bitter rival, Auburn.

Rejuvenated this year after falling off the college football radar the last two seasons, Auburn is back among the top teams in the land and would love nothing more than being the team that got in the way of Alabama’s title run. Both teams come into the game with something meaningful to play for, not that either ever needs outside motivation to get up for this game.

Alabama has made short work out of its opponents this year, including impressive wins against LSU and Texas A&M. Their offense has been its usually efficient self, and the defense is one of the best in the country. Auburn, not to be outdone by their rival, comes in with the second ranked rushing offense in the country, averaging over 320 yards per game on the ground.

The Iron Bowl is going to be a great matchup once again. But, in the end, the two-time defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide will be too much for Auburn. These are the five reasons why Alabama fends off Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. The Offensive Line Is Playing Well

Offensive Line
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The base of any good team is a strong offensive line, and Alabama is a really good team. The offensive line has been a work-in-progress this year, and is coming into the Iron Bowl playing the best they have all year. Good thing, too, considering Auburn has Dee Ford and his eight sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss on their side.

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4. Auburn Doesn't Pass Well

Pass Defense
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The Auburn offense is based on their prolific running game, but the passing attack leaves much to be desired. If there is anywhere the stout Alabama defense is vulnerable, it's in the defensive backfield, but the Tigers don't have the firepower to take advantage of the one small weakness in the Alabama armor.

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3. They Can Run The Ball Too

Run Offense
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Not to be outdone by the spread-rushing attack of Auburn, Alabama comes into the Iron Bowl with a classic power running game. This will be an old-school game where the best rushing team wins, and the Crimson Tide bring a talented group of backs to the table.

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2. They Have A.J. McCarron

A.J. McCarron
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. McCarron is quietly building a case as one of the best quarterbacks that college football has ever seen. What he lacks is a Heisman Trophy, and a big day against Auburn could be the signature game he needs to take home the award in his final college season.

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1. They Can Stop The Run

Run Defense
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

In the end, this game is going to come down to whether Alabama can stop the Auburn rushing attack. I'll take Nick Saban and his fourth overall rush defense any day.