TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The rain stopped and the sky cleared up just in time for the University of Alabama football team to practice at the Thomas Drew Practice Facility for the second straight day in preparation for Auburn.
"I thought practice went well," said head coach Mike Shula. "We moved things up and still got our work done. Guys are moving around good. The best thing we can do as coaches is make sure our guys know what to do. It is going to be emotional, especially the start of the game. You just have to be poised and play with confidence in this game. You need to believe that you can play each play like it is going to make a difference in the game. We talk to our players about that each and every week. In games like this it is important to stress that to these guys."
This game will feature two of the top-five rushers in the Southeastern Conference. Kenneth Darby comes into the game ranked fifth in the SEC with 70.18 yards per game. He has 772 yards on 184 carries with a long of 37 yards. He is averaging 4.2 yards per carry and is third on the team with 17 receptions for 94 yards and one touchdown. He recorded a 29-yard catch last weekend at LSU for his second career touchdown catch and has two 100-yard rushing games this season against Duke (115 yards) and Ole Miss (162 yards). Darby has accounted for 55.9-percent of Alabama's rushing yards this season.
Kenny Irons leads the Auburn rushing attack with an average of 81.78 yards per game to rank him third in the SEC. He has 155 carries for 736 yards and three touchdowns. He is averaging 4.7 yards per rush on the season. He also has nine catches for 76 yards. Irons has not been relied upon as much, making up for 42.4-percent of Auburn's total rushing yards.
The game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday will be televised by CBS for the third straight year and sixth time since 2000. Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter) will call the game, which is slated to begin at 2:34 p.m. (CT).