The 2014 Iron Bowl, the highest scoring in the rivalry’s history, came a year after an unforgettable finish in Auburn.
And now, Alabama will have to face that finish – a 109-yard kick return for a touchdown off a failed game-winning field goal – this Saturday. No. 2 Alabama will head to Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on the unranked Tigers in the 80th meeting of the two teams.
The last time Alabama football played in Auburn – well, there’s no need to remind the players what happened. They know.
“Obviously, I’ve watched many of their games, and I know of the game with the field goal and how we ended up losing that game, and that really stands out to me at least, and I know it’s a huge rivalry,” wide receiver Richard Mullaney said.
Mullaney was playing for Oregon State when the infamous “Kick Six” happened.
As with any rivalry, the emotions surrounding it can be distracting.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said it’s about focusing – knowing that it’s going to be a dogfight and going into the game with the right mindset.
“You gotta expect that in these kind of games,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “But I also have seen these kind of games where guys get so sort of wired emotionally that they don’t do a good job of executing, or they run out of gas at some point in the game, so I really do think that you’ve got to focus on execution and just playing your best football and have the expectation it’s going to be a really tough game you’re going to have to fight for 15 rounds.”
It is one of the biggest rivalries in college football, magnified by the stakes in the past few years of national title hopes on the line.
“It is a rivalry game, so we know they’re going to try to spoil our season, but we’re just going to try to X out all the distractions that come with the Iron Bowl and Thanksgiving and all that and try to stay focused,” defensive back Jabriel Washington said.
Even though cornerback Cyrus Jones is from Maryland, he’s been around long enough to know what the rivalry means to the team and the people in the state.
“The Iron Bowl is just a game that means a lot to everybody involved with both Auburn and Alabama, and we already know what type of atmosphere it’s going to be going down there playing, and we just hope to come out with the W and just go in there and do our jobs, get ready for the next one,” Jones said.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports