Tuscaloosa, Ala. – After the Tennessee game, Alabama’s first loss of the 2022 season, Nick Saban said he thought his team was tight before taking the field at Neyland Stadium.
On his radio show the Thursday before the Iron Bowl, a caller asked the Crimson Tide head coach how his team is preparing to take on an energetic Auburn team that has nothing to lose.
“I think our players have a lot of pride,” said Saban. “I think they want to finish the season. They have a chance and they understand that one of the things that’s always remembered about your team at Alabama is how you did in the Iron Bowl. I mean, I think that’s something everybody’s going to remember. All the ex-players here, when you talk to them, when they play with Coach Bryant or whoever, it’s always going to show, ‘How did they do in the Iron Bowl?’ And I think our players understand that. We have quite a few guys who’ve been in this game before. They know how hard this physical game can be.
“But I think the other thing is I think our players want to win 10 games. I think maybe our goal and ambition is to make it to the SEC Championship, win the West, see if we can make the playoffs and all that. But we also have a chance to win 10 games, Which I think we did a few years ago. I think they have a lot of pride in that. I think they have a lot of pride in the culture of the whole organization and how it represents it and how they want to represent it. And that’s part of their legacy in terms of how they finish the season.”
Saban also gave a brief but positive assessment of the Tigers’ three days of fielding.
“This game is very big for them, and they’ve been really good in training this week in terms of their focus, attention to detail, energy level and all that kind of stuff,” said Saban. “You have to keep at it until the job is done.”
Ranked seventh in the most recent edition of the College Football Top 25, Alabama will be looking to cap off the regular season with a win over their in-state rival. But Auburn (5-6, 2-5 SEC) has won its last two games under interim head coach Carnell “Cadillac” Williams and appears to be a motivated bunch after a mid-season coaching change. Saban said Williams did an “extraordinary job”.
“You look at the competitive personality of the team, and I think that’s a reflection of how someone influences the team,” Saban said. “…their players play really hard. They play good football. They play together as a unit. They have confidence. They believe in each other, which is why they’ve won two out of the last three games they’ve played and the one they’ve lost, they lost in extra time.” .
“They’re playing really well at the moment, and I think you have to give Cadillac a lot of credit for that because it’s not an easy situation and he’s inherited it for a changing of the guard mid-season. And to have the guys rally for him in a positive way speaks to a lot about the kind of competitive personality he has.” .
Iron Maiden #87 in Tuscaloosa will premiere at 2:30 p.m. ET on CBS on Saturday, November 26.
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