When Gene Chizik coached our defense, they normally looked a lot like they did last night. I didn’t hate the guy in ways that were unhealthy, but Scipio and Chris Applewhite certainly did.
In any event, it is farfetched to think about his defense positively impacting us today, but I still find it interesting.
Chizik has a slavish dedication to shutting down the run. He did it to our detriment on multiple occasions, such as KSU in 2006. Meanwhile, any offense that can throw the ball and run play action effectively against normal defenses can go absolutely insane against a Chizik defense. I expect him to pack as many as 8 in the box today in an effort to keep Ingram from beating him. Of course, I also expect him to wear weightlifting poof pants to a formal steak dinner on Saturday night, so it isn’t like I am typing about someone dependable or critical in his day to day thinking.
So what is it with Alabama? Is there offense good enough throwing the ball to light up Auburn? I don’t really think so. I think McElroy has a lot to learn, but right now, he’s a below average D-1 QB. He has a superb option at one of the WR positions in Julio Jones. That’s a given. He also has a standout TB in Ingram. The OL is excellent. This offense has some tools, but the leader taking the snaps is subpar. On top of that, the playcalling is atrocious. The OC does a poor job of mixing things up in the passing game and doesn’t take many risks at all. Further, the red zone playcalling and execution has been stunningly horrific all season. People that talk about Bama being the most complete team have simply not watched them play.
Can Auburn pull off the upset? It should be a fun game. I doubt they do it, but it won’t stun me. The Auburn offense is imaginative and is built around risk taking. The Alabama defense is good enough on most days to punish Auburn for that, but nothing says today can’t be one of those days where everything clicks for Malzahn and the Auburn O. Conversely, the Alabama offense could very well struggle if they are forced into obvious throwing downs. They’ll further exacerbate the problem if they don’t effectively mix in play action early in this game.
I’ve watched both plenty this year and I like Bama as a top 10 team. I am not sure they’re a top 2 team. Going undefeated for 12 games is hard. I bet on Bama to cover today, but I am not convinced that an upset isn’t there for the taking today.
Speaking of undefeated for 12 games being hard, I expect one of the undefeated teams to go down this weekend. If it isn’t Bama, my money is, literally, on Boise State stumbling. I don’t see it happening for UF and I would be stunned with Cincy or TCU going down.
Should be a fun two days.