Tide, Tigers Have Different Motivations
"They haven't had the season they expected," said junior Alabama linebacker Cory Reamer of the Auburn Tigers. "But they still have a good team. Their goal is to destroy our season. We know that.
"We have goals, too. It's a big game for our state and for our university."
Alabama is 11-0, including 7-0 in Southeastern Conference play, and a national surprise as the Tide is ranked first in the nation. Auburn, a pre-season top ten team, has been one of the national busts with a 5-6 overall record including 2-5 SEC mark.
Alabama hosts Auburn at 2:30 p.m. CST Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. CBS will televise the game.
Reamer said Alabama is not looking ahead. The Crimson Tide has already clinched a berth in the SEC Championship Game from the GeorgiaDome on December 6. That will be against Florida. Wins over Auburn and Florida would send Bama to the BCS national championship game in Miami on January 8.
Reamer said, "Go back a few years when Auburn was undefeated and we wanted to win and thought we could Records don't matter. Both teams have motivation to win. Both teams are playing for pride."
One thing Reamer is sure of is that it will be a close game. "You don't see blowouts in this game," he said.
One reason for Alabama success this year is the Tide staying healthy.
Reamer said, "We bought into a system and went through the workouts with intensity. We want to get better every time we work out and we really focused on that. A big change for us is everyone wants to go in and get stronger. That definitely helps out. It's not just the beginning or the off season, it's during the season too. That's a big key to staying healthy the entire season, getting in there and attacking the weights real hard."
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the surprising Crimson Tide has been linebacker play. Alabama uses four linebackers in its base 3-4 defense and only one—sophomore Rolando McClain—returned as a starter this year.
Reamer said, "Everybody talked about how we lacked depth at the beginning of the year and it was true. We had a true freshman starting. He (Dont'a Hightower) was able to step up and play real well for us. He was able to learn the system real early. Now we've kind of grown as a corps. We've added some depth to each position. We have guys who can go in and fill in spots whenever we have people go down. Rolando got hurt last game and Prince Hall was able to step in. Earlier in the season we didn't have that as much. We have grown as a unit and been able to feed off each other and play well with each other."
Reamer, 6-4, 218, was a defensive back who saw most of his playing time on special teams until this season. The Hoover native is the starter at strongside linebacker.
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