Iron Bowl Week Has Different Feel

Coach Tommy Tuberville and two Auburn players talk about the different feel surrounding the Iron Bowl.

Auburn, Ala.—-This week is unlike any other in the state of Alabama. It's Iron Bowl week and for fans that means constant talk between the schools for bragging rights until next year. For the players it's a much different story. This is the quietest week for them. Now it's all business coach Tommy Tuberville says.

"You don't think you can work any harder for a game, but everybody finds a way to work harder for this game than any game we play," Tuberville says. "I'm sure they do the same thing."

Coming off an emotional victory over Georgia Saturday night, some might wonder if the Tigers have enough in the tank to get up for the Crimson Tide this weekend. While the physical nature of having the games back to back is tough, Tuberville says that's also one of the advantages.

"That's the reason, when you look at this game and having these two at the end of the year it doesn't make any difference," Tuberville says. "They're two rival games and we don't have to fire them up for either game win or lose. We've played good in both situations. We talked today about how that one is over with.

"We don't see the players now for two days until Tuesday. They'll get all the pats on the back and told how great they are, but it depends on how mature you are as a player if you can handle it or not. That's what we talked about today."

Tailback Kenny Irons says he's looking forward to playing in his first Iron Bowl this season.

Tuesday the Tigers will get back to work for Alabama and on offense that means getting ready to face the nation's top-ranked defense. Coach Joe Kines' unit leads the SEC in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing defense, a clean sweep of team categories. Tailback Kenny Irons says that's the challenge for Auburn's offense this week is to have success against the SEC's best.

"Alabama is a great team," Irons says. "They have a great defense, great offense, a bunch of great players. It's going to be a great game. We've gone against some great defenses and this is another test for us going against another fast defense that is physical. They come ready to play every down. Those guys can really play. They have some talent on that defense. We just have to step it up and try to bring something extra to the table."

Offensively Alabama comes in struggling, having scored just two offensive touchdowns in its last 17 quarters in league play. While that should be good news for the Tigers, Will Herring says that no matter how Alabama is supposed to play Auburn will always get their best and this week is no exception.

"This is the game that you come to Auburn for right here," Herring says. "This is what it's all about. The stakes have gotten bigger every week and they're as big as they'll ever get this week. Alabama is not a mediocre team like we've played the last few years and even when on paper they've been like that it's a dogfight regardless. We expect nothing less Saturday."


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