‘I'd love to go out and have the best game of my career against Auburn and go out with a bang," he says. "That's what I expect to have Saturday. For us to score points, everybody has to help, but I have to play my best game."
Croyle split time under center with Tyler Watts his freshman year in 2002 and guided Alabama to a 10-3 record. During injury-plagued sophomore and junior years, the Crimson Tide struggled to 4-9 and 6-6 seasons. However, as a senior, Croyle has stayed healthy and led his team to a 9-1 record heading into the Iron Bowl.
Through it all, Croyle has had a solid career at Alabama, but has yet to beat Auburn.
"You can't totally be where you want to be if you haven't beaten Auburn, if you play at Alabama," he says. "You can't say you had a great season if you don't beat Auburn. You could go 10-1 and lose to Auburn and everybody will still wonder why you didn't have a good season. We know what we have ahead of us. Now it's a matter of going out and doing it."
Growing up as the son of a former Tide player, Alabama football is something Croyle has known since he was a youngster. And the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama has always been a big game.
"There wasn't much cheering for Auburn around my house," he says. "I didn't have any friends that were for Auburn. This is for bragging rights for the rest of the year. This is the game. This is what everybody looks forward to all year. At either school you can go 1-10 and if you beat Auburn you're all right with everybody. Forget the other 10 losses. You beat Auburn and that's all that matters.
"That's what makes it special," Croyle adds. "If somebody on our team doesn't know about the rivalry yet, they're going to find out in a hurry. When we go on that bus ride through Auburn's campus and then step on that field Saturday it's going to be electric."
Unlike the last two seasons, Alabama heads into the Iron Bowl with more than just its pride at stake. The Crimson Tide still has an outside shot at playing for the SEC Championship and earning a bid to a BCS Bowl and can maintain those hopes with a win at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.
"Everybody realizes what we got in front of us," Croyle says. "We know that we have a huge game this week. The reason you signed at Alabama to play is for this game and us seniors, it would be a fun game to go out for us 10-1 and you beat three of your top rivals in one season and you're going to have a chance to play for a BCS bowl. That would kind of ease the pain of not reaching our initial goal (of an undefeated season).
"There is a big difference between 10-1 and you beat Auburn and 9-2 and get a pat on the back and you had a good season," he adds. "There is a big difference there."