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Alabama football vs. Auburn: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Tigers battle Crimson Tide in 2018 Iron Bowl

Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the offense against the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. CoxGetty Images)
Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the offense against the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. CoxGetty Images)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Top-ranked Alabama appears headed toward a College Football Playoff berth and must avoid the upset attempt when it hosts Auburn in Saturday's Iron Bowl. The defending champion Crimson Tide are atop the CFP poll and have already sewn up a berth in the SEC title game against Georgia.

TV: 3:30 ET, CBS. LINE: Alabama -24.5

 

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The Tigers posted a stunning 26-14 victory over Alabama last season and coach Gus Malzahn sees no reason why his club can't pull off another upset. "It's the Iron Bowl," Malzahn said during a press conference. "We don't have to bring anything up. This is a game our guys look forward to, their guys look forward to. When we beat them the last two times, we probably weren't the favorite, so we'll see what happens." Alabama coach Nick Saban made it clear his players don't need a reminder of what occurred. "They didn't feel good about last year, and they've had to live with it for 365 days," Saban said at a press conference. "I don't necessarily think that the revenge factor is the best form of motivation out there, but I think it certainly plays into a guy that's a good competitor who wants to come back and do well if he didn't perform well the last time he played someone."

ABOUT AUBURN (7-4, 3-4 SEC)

The Tigers have been solid on defense while allowing an average of 16.6 points and received good news when sophomore defensive end Nick Coe (team-best 7.5 sacks) was cleared to play after a one-game absence due to a wrist injury. Junior quarterback Jarrett Stidham has thrown just 12 touchdown passes while limiting mistakes (four interceptions) and he was a solid 21-of-28 passing for 237 yards in last season's win over the Crimson Tide. Redshirt freshman running back JaTarvious Whitlow (716 yards) has rushed for just 90 total yards over the past three games since gaining a season-best 170 against Ole Miss.

ABOUT ALABAMA (11-0, 7-0)

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (31 touchdown passes) broke the school mark set by AJ McCarron (30 in 2012) and Saban is ecstatic over the sophomore's production in his first season as a starter. "We're pleased with the way Tua has played," Saban told reporters. "I think that any player that you talk about, no one is perfect. I do think that Tua has sort of the mindset of trying to make every throw a good throw, make every read a good read. I think he hopes for that. I think he is a perfectionist to some degree." The defense is allowing 13.1 points per game and sophomore nose guard Quinnen Williams is enjoying a big campaign with a team-leading 15 tackles for loss.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Alabama is 7-4 against Auburn during Saban's tenure.

2. Crimson Tide senior RB Damien Harris (concussion) cleared the protocol Wednesday and is expected to play.

3. Tigers senior WR Ryan Davis (school-record 169 receptions) has caught 60 passes this season without scoring a touchdown.

PREDICTION: Alabama 34, Auburn 19

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