In just a few days, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers will battle in the 87th edition of the rivalry matchup known as the Iron Bowl.
Before the two programs take the field inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban would speak to members of the media on Wednesday evening following Alabama's practice.
Coach Saban would begin by wishing everyone a "Happy Thanksgiving". Then, he would reiterate that the key to Alabama's success is to maintain the right focus and emotion heading into the matchup with Auburn.
Saban would also update on several injured Alabama starters. Here is everything coach Saban had to say:
"I think the most important thing for our players is to be able to stay focused and have the kind of energy and enthusiasm day in and day out in preparation for this game. Obviously, everybody knows it's a big game for a lot of people and our players certainly would like to finish strong and have a lot of pride in what they've done and, playing a very good team. The best chance for us to play well is to stay focused and prepare right all week long.
"I'd like to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving. This is a time of the year where we give thanks of gratitude and appreciation for all the things that we have. I know most of the time we think about what we don't have, but this is a really good time to think about what we do have and be thankful and have a lot of gratitude for that.
"One of the things that we'll do with the team tomorrow is move up practice so that we can finish a little earlier, so that guys that either live local or their family is here, they can have Thanksgiving dinner with them. For those who can't do that, we have players at our home, as well as some of the other coaches have players at their home. We try to make this as family oriented as possible as we can for the players, so they have a good feel for Thanksgiving.
"Then Saturday being Senior Day we're honoring 17 seniors that have contributed amazingly well to this program. Not only in winning 46 games but a national championship and two SEC titles but the class that they've represented the university with, as well as how they've grown and develop as people, which we're very, very proud of. Almost all of these guys have graduated or on track to graduate, so we're also very proud of them for their accomplishments and how they made an investment and created value for their future by what they've been able to accomplish while they've been here at Alabama."
On Auburn's run game
"They're playing really well. They do a great job running and they have really good schemes. They've got you know, good players, good backs, quarterbacks a good runner, so he kind of adds to that as well. I still think they're very capable of throwing the ball, but they have played and tried to win on the line of scrimmage and have been pretty effective doing it these last couple of games."
On the status of OT Tyler Steen
On the emphasis of stopping the run
"They play a lot of different personnel groups and most of the time we play against three wide receivers and a tight end, sometimes four wide receivers. They do have three wide receivers formation, but they play a lot of tight ends and a lot of play a lot of personnel groups. You've got to try to match that as much as you can, but they do a very good job, using formations to try to create advantages for them. You've got to be able to adjust all those things as well."
On the status of Jahmyr Gibbs, Eli Ricks, and Cameron Latu
"They've all practiced."
On coaching the Iron Bowl in Bryant-Denny for first time since 2018
"I was here in 2020. (You had COVID.) Yeah, but I was here. I watched the game. (Looking forward to being back in the stadium?) Hell yeah. You're acting like I went to the moon or something. I was watching the game. The interesting thing about watching the game at home is I never realized that the TV copy is like a couple of seconds behind the real copy. So I have a real film shooting and I have the TV on so I could watch the play and I could see it again. It was a pretty effective experience and for the little bit that I was able to communicate, I could contribute to some degree."
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Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire