What can Alabama do to contain Auburn’s Newton?

It’s Thanksgiving week so let’s do our Five Burning Questions a day early:

1. What can Alabama do to contain Cameron Newton?  Seven SEC opponents have tried to come up with a game plan to slow down Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton. Newton, however, will enter Friday’s Iron Bowl as the first player in SEC history to pass for over 2,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season. This much we know. Alabama head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will have a plan. I’ve talked to a bunch of coaches about how to defend Newton and they all said it would require discipline, constant pressure, and an exceptional day of tackling. It would help a lot  if Rolando McClain and Terrence Cody were still on the Alabama defense, but they are not. But I’ll bet linebacker Dont’a Hightower will never be far from No. 2 on Friday.

2. Do Georgia and Georgia Tech REALLY have anything to play for on Saturday night? Absolutely. And if you’ve ever played for or attended either school, you know there is a helluva lot at stake on Saturday night.  Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson has a chance to go 2-1 against Georgia. You think that’s not big? Georgia has a chance to get bowl eligible. The difference between 6-6 and 5-7 is huge!!!! I am reminded of the 1976 game when Georgia was set to face Tech and had already clinched the SEC championship. Quarterback Ray Goff was asked where Georgia Tech ranked among Georgia’s rivals. Goff suggested it was down the list behind Florida, Auburn and maybe a few others. “Coach (Vince) Dooley set me straight on that right away,” said Goff. “If you think that Georgia Tech isn’t Georgia’s biggest rival, then try LOSING the game. You’ll find out in a hurry.” Georgia needed a field goal from Allan Leavitt at the buzzer to beat Georgia Tech 13-10 in Athens. Yep. This one matters a lot for both sides.

3. Can LSU find one more way to win? It looks like LSU is vulnerable when the No. 5 Tigers (9-1) go to Little Rock on Saturday to play Arkansas (9-2). With Ryan Mallett, the Hogs can pitch it and catch it with anybody. LSU needed a touchdown with 44 seconds left to beat a struggling Ole Miss team, 43-36, last Saturday in Baton Rouge. But how in the world are you going to bet against Les Miles? Every week except one (a 24-17 loss at No. 2 Auburn on Oct. 23) the Mad Hatter has dialed something up and found a way for his team to win. A win all but guarantees that LSU will go to a BCS bowl.

4. Can Tennessee make it 26 straight over Kentucky? Granted, the competition in November (Memphis, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt) was nothing like October, when Tennessee went winless. But the Vols (5-6) can qualify for a bowl if they can find a way to extend their current streak of 25 consecutive wins over Kentucky. I’m looking for a shootout. Kentucky has been so close to a very good season under first-year coach Joker Phillips. They are due to win a close one. Will this be it?

5. What’s the over and under for Marcus Lattimore against Clemson? I asked this question a week ago when South Carolina played Troy State with the SEC East championship already in hand. I said the number was 10. Lattimore carried the ball seven times for 102 yards and three touchdowns against Troy, and then he took the rest of the day off. I still say the magic number for Lattimore is 10 this week on the road against Clemson. The state championship is important because of recruiting. But for Steve Spurrier SEC championships are everything. He’s won six of them and would like a seventh. Lattimore won’t get a lot of work at Death Valley.

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402 comments Add your comment

Saint Simons

November 24th, 2010
6:49 am

(((( 49 – 31 ))))

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Ed

November 24th, 2010
6:56 am

@kegreene1

November 24th, 2010
6:57 am

JB

November 24th, 2010
7:00 am

38 – 24 Daaaaaaaawgs!

9 of the last 10.

It’s only a matter of time and everyone knows it.

HBTD!!!

Steve

November 24th, 2010
7:01 am

If Lattimore is limited to 10 carries against Clemson, South Carolina has no chance. Apart from the game against Troy, South Carolina has looked awful when Lattimore hasn’t been in the game.

OkefenokeeDawg

November 24th, 2010
7:03 am

“The difference between 6-6 and 5-7 is huge!!!!”
*******************************
To who?

To Bobo and the rest of the asistants, maybe.

JB

November 24th, 2010
7:08 am

And to any self respecting Dawg fan.

HBTD!!!

Tom, Resident Georgia Fan

November 24th, 2010
7:08 am

How to stop Cam Newton? Easy Scatter laptops and $100 bills between the red zones.

Cheezy

November 24th, 2010
7:16 am

1. Block well. Tackle well. Maintain possession for long offensive drives. Win the field position battle. Win the turnover battle.

2. State Championship.

3. Do they play on natural grass?

4. Why not?

5. Who cares?

King Gator

November 24th, 2010
7:27 am

What can Alabama do to contain Cameron Newton? They could offer to pay his dad, that seems to work.

shane

November 24th, 2010
7:28 am

Saban has tipped his hand a bit in revealing you almost have to play zone against auburn so the DB’s are not running down the field with their backs turned when Newton runs. That however does not mean Newton will not see pressure. Expect a lot of Zone blitzes. Also hearing Hightower has been moved to the edge along with upshaw on the other side. They can afford to do this because of the development of CJ Mosely on the inside, who will be in Newtons hip pocket the whole game. Still Bama has to tackle well and get off the field on third down, which at times this year has been a big problem.

Cheezy

November 24th, 2010
7:28 am

All of you playoff aficionados need to consider the possible outcome of the SEC Championship playoff this year. If SC manages to win, then the SEC will crown the 5th best team in the league as their Champion based upon the outcome of a single game whose participants were determined by arbitrary geographical divisions established in the playoff rules before the season started.

Meanwhile, the best team in the SEC will need luck to wind up in a decent bowl game.

Be careful what you wish for. A single elimination playoff system among Conference Champions would turn the CFB National Championship into a lottery.

MURPHY

November 24th, 2010
7:34 am

Bama must get to Cam.He has yet to be roughed up per say in a game this year.I would ploy the S.Carolina strategy and bring the house every play.Make Cam beat you throwing the ball.Cam might be good but he cant throw from his rear!

UT beats UK to become bowl eligible.Great job Dooley.

Arkansas beats LSU

Lattimore has 15-20 carries.Carolina needs to jump on Clemson early,then rest Lattimore as much as possible.Big game for Palmetto State

AJ Greene

November 24th, 2010
7:35 am

I’m going to catch 20 balls against Tech, then sell my jersey to the highest bidder.

ATL is TigerTown

November 24th, 2010
7:35 am

1. Every coach he’s faced this season has had “a plan”. No plan has worked yet. The S and S plan will be no different. Auburn usually wins at BD Stadium. Friday will be no different. Cam and company take it to the house. Put that in your Pat Forde and drive it. War Cam Eagle!
2. Oh, them. Worse vs worser. Whiney vs whinier.
3. Arky wins.
4. WGAS.
5. If Lattimore only gets 10 carries Clemson wins.
6.. It’s Great To Be An Auburn Tiger!
7. War Damn Eagle!

Cheezy

November 24th, 2010
7:36 am

I’ll give you a quarter AJ… If you wash it first.

;-)

maroonseedymon

November 24th, 2010
7:41 am

I would suggest (and would bet that they already are) that Saban and Smart spend a lot of time with the film of MSU v AU from DWS on 9/9/10! BUT I HOPE that they don’t! Hope Newton eats their lunch and runs off with all their laptops!

Cheezy

November 24th, 2010
7:42 am

@shane

Many of Alabama’s interceptions this season have come while playing zone coverage. Seems like a viable plan. Plans come and go. Execution is what counts.

BAMA dude

November 24th, 2010
7:50 am

Cam hasn’t seen a 3-4 defense as talented as Bama’s. On running plays there is an extra defender standing up that is about his size and athletic enough to keep him in front. On 3rd and long you can bet that pressure will come up the middle, right in his face. There will be a player containing each edge and one spy. If Cam’s ability to improvise in the passing game/take off running after one read is diminished he will have a very difficult time.

NoAxeToGrind

November 24th, 2010
7:50 am

Point 1: Knock him out of cthe game early.
Point 2: Richt’s job.

shane

November 24th, 2010
7:51 am

Cheezy,

I agree. We had great plans versus SC and LSU but freshman busts in coverage in the secondary cost Bama the game. Hopefully by now they can focus and finish.

Goober

November 24th, 2010
7:52 am

Is anyone surprised that Ray Goff made a dumb #*$ statement to the press in 1976?

Cheezy

November 24th, 2010
7:56 am

The last time Auburn played Alabama with such a highly ranked team was in 2004. Auburn’s 2004 defense was superior to this year’s. This year’s Auburn offense is better than 2004’s. Overall, I’d give this year’s Auburn team a 1 TD advantage over the Auburn team of 2004.

Alabama went 6-6 in 2004. I’d give this year’s Bama team at least a 2 TD advantage over the 2004 squad.

Now, if I can just find out what the outcome of the 2004 game was, I could make an educated guess regarding the outcome this year’s game. Guess I’ll just go and Google it.

shane

November 24th, 2010
7:56 am

Bama dude,

You going to the game? Gonna be the last time we get to see Julio, Ingram, and Dareus in BDS as they will all be going in the first round. That’s if the lockout doesn’t keep them in school. It’s going to be an emotional game. Win or lose I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Dixie Redcoat Band

November 24th, 2010
7:59 am

We just don’t see anybody stopping $cam newton….this game could be over by half-time.

ga gator

November 24th, 2010
7:59 am

Bama will employ the same stategy they did against Tebow in 09; that seemed to work out ok.

Uh, Yeah

November 24th, 2010
8:01 am

@bamadude, is this the same 3-4 Alabama defense that allowed Marcus Lattimore to run all day? Or, is it the Alabama defense that didn’t stop LSU? Just curious. Maybe you should instead state, Alabama’s 3-4 defense hasn’t seen an offense as talented as Auburn’s.

Cheezy

November 24th, 2010
8:04 am

With all of the talk about Cam Newton, has anyone considered whether Auburn’s defense can handle Alabama’s no-huddle offense? I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be the highest scoring Iron Bowl on record.

shane

November 24th, 2010
8:04 am

Lattimore only ran for 93 yards against Bama. Stephen Garcia had his best game as a college QB and Busts in the alabama secondary lost that game.

Fan of the Game

November 24th, 2010
8:05 am

Give his dad $200,000, and he will have him blow the game and then he will be contained.

BAMA dude

November 24th, 2010
8:10 am

shane
November 24th, 2010
7:56 am

Bama dude,

You going to the game?

Nah, I live 900 miles away now.

Yeah, right

November 24th, 2010
8:10 am

BAMA dude – you said: “pressure will come up the middle, right in his face. There will be a player containing each edge and one spy.”

So, in addition to covering all the backs, receivers and tight end, having the d-line rushing in, you’re also going to have one coming up the middle, one on each edge and a spy.

How many players are you planning on having on defense? It’d take about 15 guys to do what you say!

Fan of the Game

November 24th, 2010
8:10 am

By the way, how much is a million percent? This is the first time I have heard a lawyer use those terms.

BAMA dude

November 24th, 2010
8:11 am

Uh, Yeah
November 24th, 2010
8:01 am

@bamadude, is this the same 3-4 Alabama defense that allowed Marcus Lattimore to run all day? Or, is it the Alabama defense that didn’t stop LSU? Just curious. Maybe you should instead state, Alabama’s 3-4 defense hasn’t seen an offense as talented as Auburn’s.

Both teams won with big plays in the passing game. I’ll take my chances with Cammie doing the same.

Robert

November 24th, 2010
8:11 am

Hey Cheezy, Auburn runs a no-huddle offense too, along with a quick-snap/line up scheme. They do it more than Bama. So the Auburn defense is more than used to that.

But yeah, could be a high scoring game.

BAMA dude

November 24th, 2010
8:14 am

Yeah, right
November 24th, 2010
8:10 am

BAMA dude – you said: “pressure will come up the middle, right in his face. There will be a player containing each edge and one spy.”

So, in addition to covering all the backs, receivers and tight end, having the d-line rushing in, you’re also going to have one coming up the middle, one on each edge and a spy.

It’s called a zone numbnuts. The “spy” will also have some short coverage responsibility. Plus you don’t blitz every play; pressure comes from the middle when you do.

Cheezy

November 24th, 2010
8:17 am

@Robert

The best defense against such an offense involves keeping the schemes simple, maintaining focus and minimizing substitutions. Which defensive squad will get winded first? That could be the key to the game.

jumbeauxtiger

November 24th, 2010
8:19 am

Newton will get his yards but the key is whether Saban can slow him down. You are correct Tony in that the Tide has to play discipline ball on defense and tackling is key. Newton is very talented and will be hard to stop. Don’t discount Auburn’s backs as they are good too. I believe this is Saban’s biggest defensive test since LSU’s national title game against Oklahoma. The Tigers successfully shut down Jason White and company to win the national championship.

Although Tech and Georgia have had subpar seasons, there is something to play for. It is much better to go to a bowl than to stay home with a losing regular season. Bowl games afford the coaches a chance for the younger players to get in reps which is important for the next season. For Tech, beating UGA would be a confidence builder going into their bowl.

If LSU plays like they are capable of, including having minimal turnovers, they should beat Arkansas. This is not taking anything away from the Hogs as they are a very good team. Tony, you have to give credit to Houston Nutt last week as they played their best game of the season. It was Masoli’s best game as well.

I’m pulling for the Vols as I’d like to see them get in a bowl.

I think Lattimore carries the ball more than 10 times. Spurrier wants to win this game.

shane

November 24th, 2010
8:21 am

Bama needs to find it’s running game. Control the clock and try to keep Cammie on the sideline as much as possible. Problem is we haven’t been able to do that this season like in previous. It’s going to be a good, close game.

shane

November 24th, 2010
8:25 am

Tell you this if Fairley cheap shots McElroy in BDS and continues his trend there may be a full scale riot.

ARdawg

November 24th, 2010
8:27 am

Tony is a Gomer

Fan of the Game

November 24th, 2010
8:28 am

Time of possession will be the key. Ala. running game and use of the short passes to Jones will also be the key. As good as Newton is, he can’t score from the sidelines. Pressure is on Ted Roof and stopping Ala.

Cheezy

November 24th, 2010
8:28 am

@shane

Bama’s O-line has been a disappointment this year. They need to give up on running between the tackles. They can do other things better.

AU Tigress

November 24th, 2010
8:31 am

Looking forward to another big win at Jordan-Hare West. War Eagle!!

Yeah, right

November 24th, 2010
8:32 am

BAMA dude – a “zone” with two guys just hanging out on the edge? What are they doing there, napping? That ain’t a zone. That’s called “let Cam run up the middle or pass deep with no defense in the area.”

What a stupid play. Get a clue – try learning Football 101.

ARdawg

November 24th, 2010
8:32 am

Cam is going to get yards. Bama should give extra emphasis in stopping the “big” play. He had 4 against the Dawgs and they turned out to be the game changer. Disguise the blitzes better and blitz very selectively. Do not let him him the secondary

shane

November 24th, 2010
8:33 am

Cheezy,

Yeah been my biggest disappointment in watching this team. In the past it didn’t matter how many people were in the box we could impose our will and pound it. I do feel however that with the backs we have, you just have to get them the ball. Maybe the offense will get creative and find some new ways to include them in the passing game.

Robert

November 24th, 2010
8:33 am

shane – cry you little baby UGA boy.

waaaaaa waaaaaa waaaaaa

Bunch of wimps. It’s called football. If you don’t like it, play badmitton.

shane

November 24th, 2010
8:35 am

Robert,

Huh?

Bunch of wussies

November 24th, 2010
8:35 am

Fairley is recognized by THE EXPERTS as one of the best in the country, that’s why he’s up for all the awards. They don’t nominate cheap shot artists for that. He had 1 against Georgia. He’s had 2 personal fouls all year.

If you don’t want him hitting your quarterback (and doing what EVERY good defensive lineman does), then block him. But quit crying and making excuses. Pathetic.