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Alabama players have full attention on Auburn for Iron Bowl matchup

Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr.
Photo by Robert Sutton of Alabama Athletics/ SEC Media Portal

Nick Saban’s fiery tirade was the icing on the turkey day cake, but Alabama players never broke focus for Saturday matchup.

The Crimson Tide takes on Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Iron Bowl for the eighth time under Saban. Alabama has been in some wildly entertaining games with its in-state rival; however, it is 3-4 all-time under Saban away from Tuscaloosa.

RELATED: Alabama players react to Nick Saban’s fiery tirade aimed at Tide fans

The Tide to show itself that it deserves to be in the College Football Playoff.

Despite an SEC Championship showing versus Georgia getting the attention, student-athletes for Alabama are not overlooking the Tigers.

According to Saban, the team had great energy during Wednesday’s practice. Hopefully, it carries into the game, and the Tide has a complete performance. On Tuesday, Brian Robinson told reporters his message to the team for the week.

“I let my teammates know how serious this game is,” the fifth-year senior running back said. “It is an important game for all the Alabama community, and I take it personally. The rivalry between Alabama and Auburn is one of the biggest in all of college football. I want the guys to know how important this game is for Alabama.”

RELATED: Nick Saban’s tongue-lashing of fans could be a major turning point for Alabama’s championship run

Robinson, a Tuscaloosa native, has a 2-2 record versus Auburn.

LaBryan Ray, a fifth-year senior, is a native of Madison, Ala.

He’s battled several injuries throughout his career, but he is ready for the Iron Bowl. Ray arrived in 2017 as a five-star defensive end from James Clemons High School. He said being in this rivalry is ‘special.’

“I grew up an Alabama fan, but being from Alabama every year around this time watching from a spectator’s point of view, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Ray told reporters he feels healthy and that he’s back. It is the strongest he has felt since his sophomore season in 2018. He wants his teammates to carry the pride with them for the game.

Jordan Battle, a junior, enters his third Iron Bowl contest. 

He was a freshman in 2019 when the Tide suffered a 45-48 loss to Auburn. As a South Florida native, Battle said Alabama is not overlooking the Tigers.

“We know Auburn is the biggest of the year,” he said. “This is one of the biggest rivalries, and it is a game you will be remembered for the rest of your life.”

The team knows what to expect from Jordan-Hare Stadium, but it has to conquer it. 

We shall see what happens, as CBS will have the call at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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