Freshman Discusses His First Iron Bowl

Comments from Auburn safety Erique Florence are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Despite Alabama's 42–14 win over Auburn on the Tigers' home turf, the Iron Bowl was a memorable one for safety Erique Florence.

The Valley, Ala., native, who was recruited heavily by the Tide and other colleges before choosing Auburn, said his first Iron Bowl was a great experience.

"It was like a different feeling from any other game I've ever played in," Florence said. "Going out on the field, it just hit me that I was in the Iron Bowl, where last year I was just watching it."

Even though he had never played against Alabama, Florence said he knew one thing for sure--that the Iron Bowl would be physical.

"We felt like we were going to have to fight all four quarters, and that's what we did, pretty much," he said.

Florence had one tackle in the game, giving the true freshman 23 tackles, a sack and one forced fumble on the season.

The Auburn defense once again struggled on third downs with the Tide converting seven of their 13 opportunities. "If you win third down, then you pretty much win," the safety said. "There were a couple of times we couldn't get off the field on third downs. Next year, hopefully we can do a better job."

Florence tipped his hat to Alabama receiver Brad Smelley, who caught four first-down passes during Alabama's run of six straight in the first half as the Tide built a 24–7 lead.

"We knew coming into the game that number 17 was a playmaker," Florence said. "He played a really good role on third down."

With a team stocked with freshmen and sophomores this year, Florence said he is optimistic about the group's potential next season.

"Next year, we'll come back and we'll have pretty much the same team on defense and pretty much on offense, so we're looking forward to a great season," Florence said. "We're going to try to go into this bowl game and do everything we can to get momentum."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories