86th Iron Bowl kicks off Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium


ALABAMA (WDHN) — The rivalry continues.

Saturday the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers face off in the 86th Iron Bowl.

Whether you live in a house divided or a house united you know what this game means to the entire state.

The Crimson Tide are 10-1 but Tide Head Coach Nick Saban knows anything can happen when it comes to the Iron Bowl, especially going into Tiger territory.

“We’ve kind of been our own worst enemy when I think about the games that we’ve had down there or pick sixes on the one yard line, the kick six, there’s been a lot of things that we’ve contributed to that has made it difficult,” Saban said. “I think the big thing is being positive about how you’re going to execute and stay focused and not be distracted by all of the external factors.”

Last year Saban missed the big game because he tested positive for Covid-19.

Still the top ranked Tide rolled over the Tigers with a 42-13 victory at home in Bryant Denny.

This year the Crimson Tide goes into the matchup ranked third in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The Tigers on the other hand aren’t ranked at all.

Under new Head Coach Bryn Harsin the Tigers are 6-5.

“We’re always trying to play our best football each and every week and how we do that is we get ourselves prepared to go out there and play like that through a great week of work and having that attitude and mentality of proving yourself every day so when it’s time to do that on game day that’s just what you do,” Harsin said.

Auburn’s former starting quarterback Bo Nix won’t take the field as he’s out with a broken ankle.

LSU transfer T.J. Finley will make his second start for the Tigers in his place.

Alabama’s quarterback Bryce Young is having an incredible sophomore season and the Auburn defense knows containing him this week will be key.

“I think he’s really good on his feet,” Auburn linebacker Derick Hall said. “When he doesn’t have anything down field I think just trying to keep him contained in our pass rushing, get him out of the pocket just close him down and wrap him up. Obviously he’s had a great year so just keying in on the things we need to key in on to be successful.”

Alabama leads the series 47–37–1.

While history rules in favor of the Crimson Tide, Young says his team is creating its own identity.

“That doesn’t play any role in us,” Young said. “We have to go out there and play against a really, really good team in a really hostile environment and we have to create our own legacy and do it for us. Anything that’s happened in the past with whatever team you can take stuff and watch film and learn from stuff but that doesn’t have any bearing to what we have to do to improve.”

The Iron Bowl kicks off Saturday at 2:30 in Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.

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