Nov. 21, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The second-ranked Alabama football team held a two-hour practice on Monday in shells at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields as it begins preparations for the 76th installment of the Iron Bowl against Auburn. The Crimson Tide and Tigers will meet on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff.
"We have a very, very big game this weekend," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "This is one of the greatest rivalries in college football. I certainly have a tremendous amount of respect for Auburn and their team and what they've been able to accomplish this year."
Both teams stepped out of Southeastern Conference play in their last outings as the Tide topped Football Championship Subdivision powerhouse Georgia Southern, 45-21, while the Tigers posted a 35-16 victory over Samford last week. Alabama leads the series 40-34-1 over Auburn, but was edged in last season's meeting, 28-27. Prior to that, the Tide had won two in a row, including a 36-0 decision in 2008 and a 26-21 victory in 2009.
"I played against their defense the last couple of years, and it's the most physical game you are going to play in every year," said senior offensive lineman William Vlachos. "I remember last year I came off the field just bleeding out of my mouth and my hands were bleeding. It's just one of those games where I'm not worried about statistics, honestly, because it really isn't going to matter. Alabama vs. Auburn - it's a whole different deal."
Saturday's game will be broadcast on nationally on CBS with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson calling the action.
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