VAUGHT: Dixon ready to go back home

He was the Alabama Class A Back of the Year in 2003 when he ran for 2,298 yards and 36 touchdowns and set a state record with 43 touchdowns. Since his hometown of Parrish was less than 30 minutes from the University of Alabama football stadium, it was no surprise Tony Dixon had thoughts of playing for only one school — Alabama.

Saturday he'll finally get his chance to play at Alabama, but it will be wearing the blue and white of Kentucky. It's a game he's been waiting for all his life.

"I did go to Alabama games, but mostly as visits when they were recruiting me," Dixon said.

"But as a kid, I watched every game. I grew up wanting to go to Alabama to play football. I was a big Alabama fan my whole life.

It is definitely a big deal to go back. It is exciting to go home for once to play." He won't even try to downplay what this game means to him.

"It is different. It is almost like you want to win for a revenge type of thing fo me. It is more than going to play in a big stadium for me. It is about going home to play against a team I grew up wanting to go to and playing against and hoping to beat them. It is all about going home to play and win," Dixon said.

"If you don't play football or watch football in Alabama, there is nothing else to do. That is Alabama for you. Alabama is football from little league to college. Alabama is based around football. That's why winning there would be so special."

He's already told teammates what UK's Southeastern Conference opener will be like since no one on the UK roster has played at Alabama.

"It is going to be loud, it is going to be red. Red and loud," he said. "When you go in there, all you hear is Bear Bryant's voice. It is a big thing there. It is going to be a tough road game for us, but it is something I have been looking forward to my whole life."

Other than wanting to win for his personal pride, the UK senior running back knows what a win in the SEC opener could do for the Wildcats.

"It is definitely big. It could give us a lot more confidence than we have if we win. But to win, we have to get the offense rolling," he said. "There is pressure on me and everybody on offense to do that. I think we will eventually get it going, and there's no better time for that to happen than at Alabama.

"Growing up as a big football fan, this is what a player would dream of. Go away from home, come back home to play against the school you grew up wanting to play for, and winning. That would really be special."

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