Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/20/12
What jumps out to me when you look at Alabama and Auburn is the turnover margin. Alabama is plus-12 on the season and Auburn is minus-10. If Auburn is going to have any chance in this game, its going to have to take care of the football. If the Tigers turn it over at all, I think theyre really at an even bigger disadvantage. I dont think they have a chance if they turn it over. I think another key is Tre Mason, their running back. I think he has to run the ball well. Hes been playing at a pretty high level; hes an explosive player. They have to get him going in the run game, because if they cant run the football, then obviously they cant get their play-action in their passing game going and that makes them one-dimensional and the last thing you want to do against Alabama and that defense is become one-dimensional. As an Auburn player, even with all the talk about your head coach, Gene Chizik, and all that, I think you put that to the side, especially in a game like this. Its a rivalry game Its Auburn-Alabama; its one of the biggest rivalries in all of college football. You go to Auburn, you go to Alabama to play in games like this. I think you block all the outside distractions of all the talk about your coach, you block out all the talk about how bad youve been all year and you really just focus on this one game and you think that you have a chance. Those Auburn guys, I guarantee you, theyre in their locker room and they believe that they have a chance because if you look at the recent history of this matchup, its been fairly close, its been really close over the last few years. Auburns had its fair share of success against Alabama. Those guys really feel like, I think, can go out in a one-game scenario and get a win. I think thats where their focus is going to be and not on outside distractions. Whats ailing Floridas offense is Early in the season they were running the football so effectively and the Gators really didnt have the deep-threat passing game and thats where theyre still lacking right now. Teams are adjusting to what theyre trying to do offensively and their getting extra people down in the box to try to load up against Floridas run game and theyve been successful. Theyve slowed that running game down with Mike Gillislee and those and at the quarterback position, Jeff Driskel has been banged up; Jacoby Brissetts been in the lineup. They just dont have that difference-maker at wide receiver and I think thats the biggest difference for Florida right now. When teams take away that running game, the Gators cant burn the teams down the field in one-on-one situations with their deep play-action passing game. I think Florida State is going to be a tough matchup for Florida. When you look at the Seminoles defensively, I think Mark Stoops, their defensive coordinator, is one of the best in the country. Their not very complicated in what they do, but they are very sound. Theyre not going to try and trick you. Theyre going to line up and their going to play their basic coverages but theyre really fundamentally sound in what they do. I think Florida State can take away Floridas running game and then on the back end, I just dont know if Florida can make the plays in the passing game, because all season long it hasnt shown the ability to hurt good teams down the field in those type of situations in one-on-one matchups.
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