Saban, players say Auburn poses offensive, defensive challenges

The Alabama Crimson Tide are getting ready to play in-state rival Auburn with the winner going to the SEC Championship Game.

Posted: Nov 20, 2017 7:14 PM

We've seen plenty of rivalry games this year -- Alabama-LSU, Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia -- but none of them hold a candle to the Iron Bowl, college football's biggest rivalry.

The numbers back that statement up. Seven out of the last eight years, the winner of the Iron Bowl has played for the national championship, and that's what brought us to Tuscaloosa today to catch up with the Tide ahead of the 82nd meeting between #1 Alabama and #6 Auburn.

Nick Saban addresses media Monday before the Iron Bowl

"Growing up in the south this is one of the games you look forward to around this time of year. Being able to play in it is like a dream come true and it's a whole bunch of fun," said Alabama senior DL Da'Shawn Hand.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban knows what's on the line in this game. Auburn will have one of the better defensive units Alabama will have faced all season, especially after they held previously-unbeaten Georgia to only 46 yards rushing.

"They have a good defensive unit, secondary, front seven, wherever it may be, they're going to pose some challenges for us and we're gonna have to overcome those things and come out and execute the best way we can," Saban said.

Senior linebacker Rashaan Evans, who attended Auburn High School, says he believes Auburn's offense will try to test the banged up front seven on the ground, but he believes his team's defense is up to the task when he returns home Saturday.

"Every team, I feel like from here on out is going to kind of expect to run the ball," Evans said, "I'm pretty sure they were looking at our depth chart as far as guys being injured and stuff, and that's something we all expect but like I said, all we can do right now is do all the right things and just play disicplined."

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and players are expected to address the media Tuesday.

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