Auburn tailback Ben Tate, who carried 11 times for 77 yards and a touchdown, says the 365-day reminder paid off in the Tigers' 17-10 victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
"We'd be doing 15 or 16 110s (yard dashes) and you're dead-tired," he says of off season workouts. "Then all of a sudden ‘Oh we need a Bama rep. That's one extra.' Then, ‘Oh, they hired a new coach. A Nick Saban rep.' Those extra reps paid off.
"The coaches take this game very seriously and they were definitely smiling." Tate adds. "They're glad to get to six."
In a game that usually comes down to veterans butting heads in the trenches, Tate picked up his 77 and Brad Lester racked up 98 on the ground behind a pair of juniors and three freshmen.
"They played pretty good tonight," Tate says. "They came of the ball, they fired off the ball and they out-physicalled Alabama's D-Line. They weren't ready for those young freshmen up there. They out-played them definitely.
"We could have run the ball any way we wanted to," he adds. "Our line was creating big holes and there wasn't too much not going our way tonight as far as running the ball."
The Tigers finished with 165 yards on the ground compared to 112 for Alabama. It's the sixth consecutive Iron Bowl that Auburn has out-rushed the Tide.