Auburn Senior Understands Rivalry Quite Well

Ben Grubbs, a veteran of Auburn-Alabama showdowns, comments on this week's Iron Bowl game.

Auburn, Ala.--Ben Grubbs understands the Auburn-Alabama rivalry quite well having grown up in Eclectic and being recruited by both the Tigers and Tide.

On Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, he will look to put his final personal stamp on the series with his third consecutive start in the game as an offensive guard. He also played in the game as a redshirt freshman tight end.

"This game means a lot to me, especially being from Alabama," Grubbs says. "I grew up around the Auburn and Alabama tradition. I knew a lot about it when I signed here. It means a lot to be 4-0 against the Roll Tide. Hopefully, we can keep it going."

Since he joined the Auburn program, first as a defensive player out of Elmore County High, Auburn has won all four games and is looking to make it five straight on Saturday.

A key to making that happen will be for the Tigers to bounce back from their worst performance of the year in a 37-15 loss to Georgia. That dropped Auburn to 9-2 this season. The Tigers are 5-2 in SEC games. Alabama is 2-5 in the SEC and 6-5 overall, but Tide players are predicting a victory this time.

"We will be alright," Grubbs says. "Just like we bounced back from the Arkansas game when we played Florida, we will do the same thing against Alabama. Having a big game next it is a great opportunity for us to do that."

Offensively, the Tigers have not been as effective as the previous two teams that Grubbs started on for the Tigers. He says the execution has left something to be desired. Crisp execution was a trademark of offensive coordinator Al Borges' 2004 and 2005 Auburn teams.

"Everybody needs to take it upon themselves to make their block every time whether it is a run play or a pass play," the senior says. "Sometimes it seems like we play well the first half and not the second one or we play well the second half and not the first one. For this game we need to make sure we go out and play well all four quarters."

Grubbs notes that he would like to see the Tigers get off to a fast start like they did in last year's game against an Alabama team that counted heavily on its defense.

"We didn't really think we would be up that many points at the half," Grubbs says. "We came out on cloud nine and I don't think anybody could have stopped us that day. If we stay focused and put all of the pieces back together, hopefully we can relive that moment."


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