Auburn Defense "Comes To Play" In Win Over Bama

Defensive end Stanley McClover talks about Saturday's win over Alabama.

Tuscaloosa, Ala.-–Stanley McClover and his teammates had heard enough. While some of the talk this week centered around the BCS controversy, they couldn't seem to get away from reading or hearing about Alabama's defense. A strong unit, Alabama has been at or near the top of the defensive catagories for most of the year, but McClover said it's time people started paying attention to Auburn after the Tigers' 21-13 victory Saturday.

"We had been hearing a lot about Alabama's defense and how they were number one in the country," McClover said. "We just wanted to make a point today that Auburn was here to play. We've got a great defense. We're up there in the nation. We're trying to make our claim to be number one.

"I knew it was going to be crazy," McClover added. "We expected Alabama to come out there and play great ball. They've got a great defense and a good offense. We just had to come out there and execute."

McClover pressures Alabama quarterback Spencer Pennington in Auburn's win over the Crimson Tide.

Playing in his first Iron Bowl after watching the game from the sidelines, McClover said he thought he was prepared for what he would see, but that wasn't the case. Facing the most intense crowd the Tigers have seen this season and a fired up Alabama team, the sophomore said Auburn just had to suck it up and pull out the win.

"This game is nothing like a season game, it's like another championship game for us," McClover said. "It was great, great intensity. This is what you come to play for. You come to play for games like this just to see where your character's at and see where your faith is at. We just pulled through tonight.

"We knew it was going to be a good one," he added. "We knew they were going to play hard. We knew they would have a lot of emotion. You can throw away the records because it's Auburn and Alabama. They played real good the first half and we knew we had to go back in at halftime and get composed. We had to come back out and play our ball."

If you just looked at the stats from the first half of Saturday's game and didn't see the action, you would assume that Alabama would be feeling good about the game through 30 minutes, but the fact of the matter is that the Tigers were happy to be down just 6-0. Playing on it's own end of the field the entire half, Auburn survived three Alabama red zone trips with just two field goals. McClover said just keeping within striking distance after the slow start was important for Auburn's chances.

"We had a lot of confidence," McClover said. "We never thought we were out of this game. We just knew we started off slow and we had to pick it up after halftime and play hard. We knew once we accomplished that it would be downhill from there."

The victory gives Auburn a perfect 11-0 regular season record, the first for an Auburn team since 1993 and the first time ever for a non-probation Tiger team. McClover said that this is a team that deserves everything coming to them after the past year of hard work and sacrifice they've gone through to be successful.

"It just feels great," McClover said. "A lot of hard work paid off. It's always been a goal and dream and now it's a dream come true. We're just going to live it."

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