Alabama head coach Nick Saban says Crimson Tide will need to play at their best to beat Auburn in this year's Iron Bowl.
Not only is this game one of the biggest rivalries in college football, it also comes with tremendous opportunity for the winning team. Alabama comes into the game ranked at #1 and undefeated while Auburn is bringing their 10-1 record and newly-gained #4 ranking. The winner of the game will be given the SEC West nod and play in the SEC Championship.
Alabama winning the SEC title would let them continue on to a BCS Championship berth. Auburn would need to win big enough to jump Ohio State and they could also be looking at a national championship scenario.
"The Iron Bowl is a great rivalry game," said Saban at the beginning of his news conference. "If you're a competitor, it's a great opportunity to compete, to play in a game that means a lot to people."
Coach Saban says his team will need to be at their best to get past Auburn. He says the game will come down to basics and mechanics.
"I think the focus needs to be on playing your best football. Try to do your job, the best you can against a very, very good team," he said.
Saban has nothing but praise for the Auburn team. He notes their tough offense, their returning starters and their ability to score points as obstacles in the game. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall, according to Saban, stands as a particular challenge for the Tide.
"Nick Marshall does a very good job of implementing their offense. He's very athletic and makes a lot of rushes," said Saban.
Saban feels similarly about the Auburn defense. The coach says the Auburn defense knows how to pass rush and has the ability to create negative plays in the passing game.
"Defensively, they play really, really well," said Saban. "They're hard to score on. That's the most important thing about a good defense."
The Iron Bowl kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. CBS will broadcast the game.