The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 23, 2012

No. 2 Alabama welcomes struggling rival Auburn

(Continued)

The Tigers will try to do that with tailbacks Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb — who returned a kick for a touchdown in last season's meeting — and wide receiver Emory Blake, easily Wallace's most reliable target.

Alabama tailbacks Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon bring the SEC's No. 2 rushing offense against a defense at the bottom of the league in defending the run. Making things even more interesting, Yeldon was a longtime Auburn commitment before signing with the Tide in January.

The freshman has already racked up 809 yards, just 61 behind his backfield mate Lacy.

"I'm happy he's on our side," Tide guard Chance Warmack said.

McCarron, meanwhile, faces a secondary that has had six different starting combinations and only produced one interception.

McCarron was getting Heisman Trophy buzz two weeks ago before a two-interception game against No. 9 Texas A&M.

Wallace was making his first SEC start that day in a 38-0 defeat to Georgia and might be one of several freshmen starting for the Tigers.

Auburn's Blake is hoping to get a chance to test the message he's heard from fans since arriving in the state from Texas.

"Even my freshmen year, I had some fans tell me, 'It doesn't matter if you lose every game. As long as you beat Alabama at the end of the year, we'll be happy,'" Blake said. "That's just how much impact this game has on our fans."

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