Sims and AU D-Line Drown the Tide

Auburn defensive tackle Pat Sims talks about No. 6.

Auburn, Ala.--The Iron Bowl is generally won in the trenches, and Auburn's 17-10 victory of the 72nd edition of the rivalry was no exception. Alabama's offensive line once again didn't stand up to the challenge of the Auburn defensive front of Pat Sims, Josh Thompson, Quentin Groves, Antonio Coleman and Sen'Derrick Marks.

"We came on every play," says junior tackle Pat Sims. "Every play we played, we gave it our all. Somebody would have had to have carried me off the field."

The Auburn pass rush was a big reason for limiting the Tide's offense and holding them to just three of 15 on third downs. Sims, known better for his play against the run, had a pair of sacks that were big in the complexion of the game.

"We had to," Sims says of getting pressure on Wilson. "We had to get back there in the quarterback's face. You can't just let him sit back there. If you let him sit back there he'll pick us apart. We had to get pressure on him."

His first sack came on the second series of the game on a third and eight, as Sims came up the middle and Marks came from the outside. The duo hammered Wilson and forced the punt, which led to an Auburn field goal and a 10-0 lead on the next possession.

After an Alabama touchdown early in the second quarter, the Crimson Tide had a chance to tie or take the lead. However, on second and eight from the AU 25-yard line, Eric Brock came off the corner and got to Wilson. He wasn't able to take him down, but Sims broke through and cleaned up the mess.

It forced Alabama into a third and long, in which it ran a draw, and Leigh Tiffin missed from 44 yards away.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet," Sims says. "It's probably going to sink in later tonight. It was great win for us. We gelled together and we came out with the victory. We started out slow (defensively) and we finished on the right track."

After Jerraud Powers' interception in the end zone at the end of the first half, the Crimson Tide didn't make it back inside the Tigers' 40-yard line until their final possession, which ended in a 49-yard field goal.

Sims' sidekick at defensive tackle, Thompson, had perhaps the best game of his career.

The "Textbook Five" was back in action and the offensive line went mostly with (left to right) Andre Smith, Marlon Davis, Evan Cardwell, Mike Johnson and Antoine Caldwell.

However, Alabama was held to 112 rushing yards and 225 total for the game. Sims had a solid game with his six tackles, but Thompson had 12.

"He played great," Sims says of Thompson. "That's a great way to go out. He played great tonight and I'm real proud of him.

"It was a great win," he adds. "Not too many people that come through here get to do, going undefeated against Alabama."

Sims, who will be a senior next season, is looking forward to a possible lucky No. 7 in 2008.

"There was great emotion in (the locker room)," he says. "It was great. Everybody was so happy to have never lost to Alabama. We did this for the seniors and they came out on top. This is one of the groups that has never lost to Alabama. Hopefully we can do it next year, too."


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