Preview capsule: No. 1 Alabama at No. 4 Auburn - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Preview capsule: No. 1 Alabama at No. 4 Auburn

Posted: Updated:

Matchup:  No. 1 Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC) at No. 4 Auburn (10-1, 6-1)

Time:  2:30 p.m.

TV:  CBS

Line:  Alabama by 10 1/2.

Last meeting:  Nov. 24, 2012 -- Alabama 49, Auburn 0 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)

Series Record: Alabama leads 42-34-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Bragging rights, the SEC West title and a spot in the league championship game are on the line. Alabama and Auburn are both also trying to keep their national title hopes alive in a state that has claimed the last four BCS championships.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn's running game versus Alabama's run defense. The Tigers rank second nationally in rushing, averaging 320.3 yards on the ground with 37 touchdowns. Tre Mason is the SEC's No. 2 rusher and quarterback Nick Marshall ranks sixth and keeps defenses guessing with the zone read. Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley leads a run defense that is fifth in the nation, allowing 91.3 rushing yards per game with five touchdowns.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alabama: QB AJ McCarron. The Heisman Trophy candidate doesn't post gaudy stats — except for the 36-2 career record. McCarron does have 23 touchdowns against five interceptions. He faces a defense that just yielded 415 passing yards to Georgia's Aaron Murray but has been effective at harassing quarterbacks. Alabama has allowed two sacks in the past 29 quarters.

Auburn: Marshall. Much of his production in the second half of the season has come on the ground, but Marshall is actually averaging more yards total offense in SEC games (277.7) than McCarron (244.9). All four of his 200-yard passing games have come against SEC defenses, and he will almost certainly have to have some success through the air in his toughest test yet.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is only the second top-five Iron Bowl matchup. No. 3 Alabama beat No. 5 Auburn 31-7 in 1971. The last time the teams had one combined loss or fewer was 1994 when Alabama was 10-0 and Auburn 9-0-1. ... The Tigers are the highest ranked opponent Alabama has faced in the regular season when ranked No. 1. The previous high was No. 5 LSU last season. ... Auburn is 3-8 against No. 1 teams and 1-2 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. ... Alabama hasn't given up an offensive touchdown in the last two meetings, winning 49-0 and 42-14 while allowing one special teams TD and a defensive score. ... This is the first season Auburn has played both Georgia and Alabama at home.

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Northern California wildfire burns 100 homes

    Northern California wildfire burns 100 homes

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:41 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:41:20 GMT
    Two raging wildfires in California forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes, including one near a lakeside resort town that burned nearly two dozen structures.More >>
    A fire driven by fierce winds raced through a small town near the Oregon border on Monday, burning a church to the ground, damaging or destroying 100 homes and prompting evacuation orders for at least 1,500 people,...More >>
  • Anniston appoints new school board member; discusses school consolidation

    Anniston appoints new school board member; discusses school consolidation

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-09-16 01:13:45 GMT
    The Anniston City Council named a former mayor of Weaver as the city's newest board of education member. Ed Kimbrough will replace Donna Ross, who submitted a letter of resignation two weeks ago as she and her family move out of state. Kimbrough was one of three candidates interviewed by the council for the position, along with former Macon County board of education member Ernest Washington, and Andrew Hatley, who previously served on both the Anniston City Council and Board of Education.More >>
    The Anniston City Council named a former mayor of Weaver as the city's newest board of education member. Ed Kimbrough will replace Donna Ross, who submitted a letter of resignation two weeks ago as she and her family move out of state. Kimbrough was one of three candidates interviewed by the council for the position, along with former Macon County board of education member Ernest Washington, and Andrew Hatley, who previously served on both the Anniston City Council and Board of Education.More >>
  • Wounded Warrior Project releases large veterans survey

    Wounded Warrior Project releases large veterans survey

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-09-16 01:12:12 GMT
    Wounded Warrior Project has released the results of their 2014 Annual Alumni Survey. It is based on the responses of more than 21,000 wounded veterans, it includes the largest sample size of service members injured since 9/11. The results indicate the recent passage of sweeping legislation to improve care at the Department of Veterans Affairs comes at a time when more and more injured veterans are seeking care.The two most common problems in accessing healthcare were difficulty in scheduling ...More >>
    Wounded Warrior Project has released the results of their 2014 Annual Alumni Survey. It is based on the responses of more than 21,000 wounded veterans, it includes the largest sample size of service members injured since 9/11. The results indicate the recent passage of sweeping legislation to improve care at the Department of Veterans Affairs comes at a time when more and more injured veterans are seeking care.The two most common problems in accessing healthcare were difficulty in scheduling ...More >>
  • Corporal punishment: How far is too far?

    Corporal punishment: How far is too far?

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:18:11 GMT
    Corporal punishment is legal in the state of Alabama. But, too many parents go too far. Child abuse investigators in Jefferson County answer several calls each week reporting what is believed to be child abuse.More >>
    Corporal punishment is legal in the state of Alabama. But, too many parents go too far. Child abuse investigators in Jefferson County answer several calls each week reporting what is believed to be child abuse.
    More >>
  • Five teens with masks & fake guns stopped in Hueytown

    Five teens with masks & fake guns stopped in Hueytown

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:50:27 GMT
    Halloween masks, even the scary ones, are meant to be fun. Pair a mask with a gun and you've got a formula for disaster. That's why a tipster called police over five teenagers in Hueytown. Turns out the "guns" weren't real. But the police chief is convinced this tipster stopped a crime and perhaps saved lives. Hueytown police chief Chuck Hagler believes these five teenagers will not be charged with any crime. They should be thanking police. Hagler is convinced they were headed for trouble....More >>
    Halloween masks, even the scary ones, are meant to be fun. Pair a mask with a gun and you've got a formula for disaster. That's why a tipster called police over five teenagers in Hueytown. Turns out the "guns" weren't real. But the police chief is convinced this tipster stopped a crime and perhaps saved lives. Hueytown police chief Chuck Hagler believes these five teenagers will not be charged with any crime. They should be thanking police. Hagler is convinced they were headed for trouble....More >>
  • Griffith says he will give up salary like Bentley if elected

    Griffith says he will give up salary like Bentley if elected

    Monday, September 15 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-09-15 19:28:31 GMT
    Democrat Parker Griffith says he will give up his salary if elected governor and redirect the money to public education.More >>
    Democrat Parker Griffith says he will give up his salary if elected governor and redirect the money to public education.More >>
  • Miss America: More to worry about than red cup

    Miss America: More to worry about than red cup

    Monday, September 15 2014 2:41 PM EDT2014-09-15 18:41:07 GMT
    The new Miss America followed in the footsteps of her predecessors and posed for pictures in the Atlantic City surf.More >>
    The new Miss America says there are more important things for people to worry about than her little red cup.More >>
  • Bentley creates Small Business Commission

    Bentley creates Small Business Commission

    Monday, September 15 2014 2:28 PM EDT2014-09-15 18:28:05 GMT
    Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is creating a commission to recommend ways the state can help small businesses get started and expand.More >>
    Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is creating a commission to recommend ways the state can help small businesses get started and expand.More >>