Tuberville: "Proud Of Every Dang One Of Them"

Comments from Auburn's head coach are featured following Auburn's Iron Bowl victory over Alabama.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville didn't have much to say after his team's 28-23 victory over Alabama, but it was obvious that the victory was an emotional one for a coach who's job security is in doubt.

"What a game," Tuberville said. "I am proud of these guys. Three of the last four against Alabama ain't bad. We played hard. We dominated the game--both sides of the line of scrimmage. I am proud of our team. They fought through a lot this week and they laid it on the line for the fans.

"This one is for the fans. This is for the people who back us every day and stay with this football team. I truly believe that. This is for the fans...I want to thank those who stayed with us."

The Tigers ended the recent trend of four straight victories in the series by the road team. They did it with the help of 519 total yards. Included in that big offensive day were 146 yards on the first five offensive plays, including an 80-yard run by Carnell Williams to start the game.

"The thing we had been doing most of the season is running it strongside and using play-action," Tuberville said when asked about the first play. "We decided to come out in this game and play a little smash-mouth football. It worked pretty good."

Williams put on a show with 2104 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.

The head coach also had praise for his team's defense. "Defensively, we gave them 290 yards and that is just unbelievable," he said. "We played good, solid defense. We didn't blitz a lot. We forced them to make turnovers. We knew we were going to bend a little bit on defense, but that is what you call a game plan. It worked.

"The opening second half kickoff kind of knocked the air out of us a bit, but we regrouped and got back into the game," Tuberville added. "The guys just weren't going to be denied. It was a great effort by this football team. This one is for the fans."

Tommy Tuberville celebrates the victory over Auburn's archrival.

Tuberville was also emotional before the game, which was evident during the team's Tiger Walk through a massive throng of Auburn supporters. When asked about that, the coach said, "We fought all week long to fight off frustrations and rumors--all those things. This game is tough enough. When you are walking down Tiger Walk and see the people's faces about how much they want to win this game it is emotional. It is not just emotional for the players. The coaches get into it just as much as anybody else. We pour our heart and soul into this game.

"I know we haven't played a great season, and we've lost some games. We've played a tough schedule. Our guys have played hard every snap, every game, for four quarters, win or lose, and I proud of every dang one of them for it. And I know our fans are, too."

Tuberville was asked if he thought the victory made it more likely he will be the head coach at Auburn next season. "This is the game we were supposed to win," he said. "We went out there and won it. I am going to go home tonight and sleep good tonight--I promise you."

Tuberville was originally scheduled to meet with Auburn University President Dr. William Walker on Monday, but that has been postponed until after Thanksgiving. With no classes at the university this week and no game on the horizon until Auburn's expected trip to the Music City Bowl, Tuberville is giving the players the week off from practice.

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