Monday The Crimson Tide began preparation for the biggest game of the year in the state of Alabama, the Iron Bowl. Nick Saban addressed the media Monday to assess the state of the Alabama/Auburn rivalry and what he sees as the most challenging aspects of this years Auburn Tigers.
Auburn is an outstanding team. Gus has done a really, really good job there since he’s been there, but especially this year and how this team has developed and improved throughout the season. They’ve made adjustments throughout the year relative to issues that they’ve had on their team, whether it be injuries or whatever. They’ve been able to score a lot of points, run the ball very effectively. They’ve been able to make explosive plays in the passing game. Their defense has been probably as good as any defense that we’ve played against all year long. They’re very good up front. They’ve got good pass rushers. They create negative plays. They play good in the back end. They’re very well coached.
Kevin’s done a really good job with them. I think Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams are especially a handful up front.
I think they do what they do on offense, regardless of who plays quarterback, and they’ve been able to do that pretty effectively all year long relative to how they’ve been able to run the ball on people and make explosive plays in the passing game.
They’ve got probably one of the best placekickers in the country in Daniel Carlson. It’s just a very, very good team.
On Auburn’s pass rush:
“I think this is probably the best front that we’ve played against. I tried to allude to that in my opening comments. This may be the best defense we’ve played against all year. This is one of Auburn’s better defenses — not to make comparisons — that we’ve played against since we’ve been here. I think it starts with the up front guys because they’re very dominant up front. They’re really in all areas on their team and they play very well. They don’t make a lot of mistakes and they’re coached very well. They have a lot of ability and it’s going to be a real challenge for us to control their front people.”
On Auburn’s quarterbacks:
They’re all a little bit different, but all very effective in terms of their style and how they play. Sean White probably was the most effective guy throwing the ball consistently to go with their running game but also pulled the ball on some quarterback runs and made plays and was very efficient and effective. The other two guys are very athletic and very capable of running at any time, scrambling at any time, making plays with their feet at any time. Running the quarterback runs that they have in their offense, as well as making plays passing. I don’t see a whole lot of difference in the guys. I don’t like to compare people but we all think that we all respect each and every one and their abilities to make plays at their position.