Defense Rides The Tide Down To Victory

Senior defensive end Reggie Torbor and Coach Gene Chizik talk about Saturday's win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

Auburn, Ala.--The emotion for the Auburn players was evident in the postgame following a 28-23 victory over Alabama that secured a winning season for the Tigers and their third win over the Crimson Tide in the last four seasons. Senior defensive end Reggie Torbor said the win is something that was important for not just the players and coaches, but every Auburn fan everywhere.

"It means a lot to go out and beat those guys," Torbor said. "For 364 days you just have to deal with it and they're on you. Basically it's the only game that really matters. People's families are in Alabama and they have to go to work and their parents have to hear about it. We were kind of fighting for our pride and fighting for our family for this game. This is the only game that's more than a ballgame."

Torbor pressures Brodie Croyle Saturday night.

Facing an offense that featured the SEC's leading rusher and a dangerous quarterback, Auburn came out swinging early and jumped all over the visitors on both defense and offense, setting the tone for the victory. Coach Gene Chizik said he was proud of the overall effort of the defense and particularly the front four for what they were able to accomplish by getting pressure on Croyle without blitzing.

"Going down the stretch I didn't want to give up anything too easy," Chizik said. "If they were going to score we were going to make them earn it and drive it. They stood in there and the front four got pressure and we didn't have to blitz a whole bunch there at the end."

All week long the talk has been not about the game, but about the coaching situation with the Auburn staff. While the fans have been able to talk and discuss things, the players have been forced to block everything out and concentrate on winning the most important game of the season. Chizik said they did a great job of keeping their minds on football this week when everything around them was going haywire.

"We talked about it all week," Chizik said. "We said ‘let's put everything else behind us'. This game is the one you play for every year and they had a great week of practice. They prepared and they were into it mentally. We didn't do everything right today, but in the end we won the game and I'm proud of them."

Now the Tigers turn to a bowl game, likely the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn. on New Year's Eve against a Big 10 opponent. Before they do many things may have changed within the program, but Torbor said they're not going to worry about those things just yet. Not after beating Alabama for the third time since he's been here and in his last game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"It means the world," Torbor said of getting the victory Saturday night. "I could talk to you all night and I couldn't tell you how much it means to me. This one is for our fans. Down the road when we're old we're going to still talk about this one with our kids. This is real big."

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