News & Analysis

To cement his Heisman candidacy, Tua Tagovailoa needs a statement game against Auburn in the Iron Bowl

Nov 10, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) celebrates a touchdown against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the first quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa has been the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy for some time, yet, has seemingly been overtaken by the extremely strong play from Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. Tagovailoa and Murray will undoubtedly be the frontrunners from here until award week for the majority of the individual top offensive honors but for Tagovailoa to cement his spot atop the board, he'll need a statement game against the archrival Auburn Tigers.

The Iron Bowl this season pits together two of our top 15 teams in the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn as Alabama has been our No. 1 team every week this year. Tagovailoa will go against a tough Tiger defense that has done a great job all season long at limiting opposing offense's passing attacks.

This preview is brought to you by Eckrich, the Official Smoked Sausage of the College Football Playoff.

The keys to the matchup between Alabama and Auburn:

– Tagovailoa is the nation's second-highest graded quarterback

– Jarrett Stidham's highest-graded game of his career came against Alabama in 2017

– Auburn's coverage grade as a team is No. 1 in the SEC

– Tagovailoa holds the nation's third-highest passer rating (134.4) on deep passes in 2018

– Jamel Dean allows a passer rating of just 49.1 when targeted, the 11th-best mark in the SEC

– Quinnen Williams is the nation's highest-graded defensive player at 95.8

– Jaylen Waddle sees a 144.9 passer rating when targeted, leading arguably the nation's top receiving group

 

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Oklahoma vs West Virginia | Washington vs Washington State | Michigan vs Ohio State | Georgia vs Georgia Tech | Alabama vs Auburn | South Carolina vs Clemson | Notre Dame vs USC

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