One of the Auburn players who grew up following the rivalry at an early age, Grubbs visited Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State before committing on a cold day in Eclectic back in January of 2002. Since that time Grubbs has played defensive end and defensive tackle before making the switch to offense as a sophomore.
That proved to be one of the biggest moves of both his and Auburn's futures as Grubbs has been a mainstay at guard and is now one of the SEC's top offensive line prospects heading into next year's NFL Draft. Even with that Grubbs says he couldn't have enjoyed his holidays and the rest of his Auburn career without a win on Saturday.
"It means a lot," Grubbs says. "Being a native of Alabama I hear a lot about this rivalry. To be 5-0 is big. It's huge for us as seniors. It was a long road for us. We had some great memories. This game will go down in the books and will be another memory for us to dwell on."
Grubbs gives a "High Five" following Auburn's win.
The memory of Grubbs' last victory over Alabama will be one of purely guts and determination from an Auburn team decimated by injures to several key performers on both sides of the ball. Grubbs says with Courtney Taylor injured and quarterback Brandon Cox limited in his mobility due to injuries the offensive linemen realized they had to get the job done to keep the winning streak going vs. the Tide.
"We came into the game knowing we were going to run," Grubbs says. "They put a lot on our shoulders. We had opportunities and we took advantage of them. We had to get into our groove. As an offense you feed off momentum. It was kind of hard at first, but once we got the ball running it opened up the pass and gave Cox some time. When you give Cox time he's a great quarterback. We know he's banged up so we just had to do our best to hold the blocks for him."
Perhaps the toughest part of the game for Grubbs was seeing Taylor on the sidelines knowing he couldn't play because of a strained hamstring. The two came in together as freshmen along with Duckworth, Jonathan Palmer, Will Herring, Karibi Dede and several other Tigers. He says that Taylor's presence on the field gave the team strength to pull off the victory without him.
"It was tough because I know how much he wanted this game," Grubbs says. "I knew if he could go he would. He's done a great job for us. His four and a half years here he's been a great leader and a great receiver. I have learned a lot from Courtney. I wanted to go out there and play this game for him because I knew he would do the same for me."
Leaving his career having never lost to Alabama and having been on campus for three victories in Tuscaloosa, Grubbs was asked if they should request a name change for Bryant-Denny Stadium. Going along with the joke Grubbs says that wouldn't be a bad idea at all considering Auburn's record in games in Tuscaloosa.
"That would be good," Grubbs says. "We haven't lost a game here. It's a hostile environment and it's not easy to come in here and beat a great team like Alabama is or has been in the past. We might have to think about putting up a sign."