Iron Bowl: Alabama players talk about Auburn

Here is a transcript of Alabama Crimson Tide football players as the Iron Bowl game against Auburn approaches. Topics include the Auburn pass rush, having home field advantage, defending Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and much more. Alabama Player Quotes (courtesy of UA Media Relations):

Greg McElroy
On the Rhodes Scholarship interview: 

“I felt really confident about the way I went in there. I thought I gave a great interview. It was a great experience just meeting everybody and participating, and I think more than anything it was just a really special moment for me. Obviously I came up a little bit short, but there is no shame in that. I loss to a couple of winners that are very, very worthy of the scholarship and will definitely make the most of it. They had a Harvard graduate, a Yale graduate, two M.I.T. graduates, a Naval Academy graduate and an Alabama graduate, so I gave it my best shot and I was proud. I was just glad to go up there and represent the University the best way I know how.”



On the Auburn pass rush:
“They have a great pass rush, a lot like last year. They have some good players on the front line and they make things difficult for you. They have a lot of strength and a lot of speed and that is a tough combination to try to go up against. We’ll do our best this week to be ready for it, and we’ll do the best we can to simulate it the best way we know how in order to be ready for Friday.”


On what makes Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley so effective:

“Real similar to Marcell Dareus, just a good blend of speed and strength and quickness. He’s got a great first step, he really penetrates well and it makes it tough for the offensive line, they’re kind of sitting back on their hills a little bit and trying to sit a guy down that is that big. He’s just a good player. We have a lot of respect for him. We’re definitely going to have to keep an eye out for where he is on the field and how we’re going to try taking care of him.”

On the importance of scoring with Auburn’s high-scoring offense:
“They have a great offense and we have a great defense, so we feel real confident in that match up. They have a great group of guys over there and they score a lot of points. We have a lot of respect for them. I’m looking forward to seeing our defense be challenged by the best offense in the country in a lot of peoples mind. I think they’re looking forward to it. As far as our approach, we just need to be methodical, score points and make the most out of every opportunity. Every time we get in the red zone we have to try to get points out of it, whether it’s a touchdown or a field goal, we have to walk away feeling positive about that drive. That’s something that we have not done as well as we want, finishing in the red area.”

On playing for the state championship this year and not a SEC or national title:
“We’ve done pretty well over the past few years, and we have obviously walked away with a lot of trophies and a lot of rings and things of that nature, but this year we are obviously playing for something a little different. We understand that, but what we’re playing for is still something very impactful on the season. We can walk away feeling very good about ourselves with a 10-2 regular season. That is no easy task in the SEC. We’re going to try to do our very best this weekend and try to get a victory. Hopefully that will put us in contention to go to a great bowl game.”

On having extra motivation to ruin Auburn’s perfect season:
“We’re not really worried about them. Obviously they’ve had a great year, but we are not out for revenge or anything of that nature. We’re just trying to make the most of our opportunity, regardless of what Auburn’s record might be. If they are 11-0 or 0-11, we’re still going try to play him to the best of our ability, because it is our rival and a team we have a lot of respect for. Hopefully we’ll go out and execute to the best of our ability and make it a very competitive game.”

On this being his last game in Bryant-Denny Stadium:
“It is strange. It goes by very fast. It feels like just yesterday I was on Fox Sports Southwest saying that I was going to the University of Alabama and here I am five years later. I’ve had a lot of great memories and a lot of special moments in Bryant-Denny. This being my last game I want to make the most of it and walk out of there with my head held high. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished not only as an athlete here, but also as a student.”

On the new up-tempo style on offense being an advantage against Auburn:
“We have an explosive offense I think to a certain extent. We do a really good job of mixing up tempos and just keeping defenses guessing. Last week we really tried to make them make their checks and calls at the line of scrimmage, which is difficult for defenses. We’ll probably do all kinds of things this weekend, I’m not sure exactly because we haven’t installed the game plan yet, but I think that is definitely something that we use to our advantage and hopefully it is something that we’ll continue to use to our advantage.”

#57 Marcell Dareus, DL
On trying to defend Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton:
“Cam is very athletic running the ball. Every little crease you give him, he will take it. He has deceptive speed where he can just get out and then get away from people. He has some moves that he can get away. We are just going to have to try our best to contain him. It’s hard to just stop Cam, so we’ll just have to do the best we can and contain him.”

On the importance of staying focused on individual assignments against Auburn:
“That is what we have to try to work on. Maturity is something we’ve been working on all year. We have to focus in on the play and the play you have right now. We’ve really been trying to work with our younger guys on that. We really have to buckle down and play assignment football. If everybody does their assignment, there is nothing they can do. We have to do everything we can to play our assignments, play your man and contain them.”

On this week being different knowing many of the opposing players:
“No, I don’t think it is that different. Auburn is a big rivalry of course in this state and a lot of players that haven’t played against Auburn; they’re going to feel the wrath of how intense the game is and how emotional the game is, especially with how good Auburn is. We really have to buckle down and get our emotions together to be focused in on the game.”

On what this game does for the Crimson Tide legacy:
“You just want to keep it going. The legacy of the Crimson Tide runs deep in the state of Alabama and we have to keep it going. I don’t think we want to be the ones to stop it, just do the best we can to keep the spirit going.”

#8 Julio Jones, WR
On whether or not he followed the Iron Bowl growing up:
“I never followed it. I didn’t even follow Alabama coming up. I didn’t really start watching college football until like my 10th or 11th grade year in high school.”

On what it’s like now being a part of it:
“It’s bragging rights, you know. It’s just competition.”

On what he remembers about the game-winning drive from last year’s game:
“I can’t really remember. They called my number and I had to step up and make plays. (Greg) McElroy did a great job of dishing the ball out to me.”

On how this game impacts an Alabama player’s legacy:
“Alabama wins games and Auburn wins games. We can’t focus on what the legacy will hold for us, we just have to go out there and play for 60 minutes and give it our all. You can’t be disappointed if you go out there and give it your all.”

On whether or not things change with not having the SEC Championship game to look forward to:
“Not at all. Every game we supposed to go out there and let it hang out. It’s just the Alabama way. We have to go out there and play for 60 minutes.”

On playing the role of spoiler:
“We’re just trying to go out there and win. It’s going to be great game. I don’t know what to tell you about trying to spoil their season or whatever, but it’s a competitive sport and everybody wants to win.”

On how much he’s watched Auburn in his spare time:
“Not at all. I’ve caught glimpses of them before we get ready to play a game when they have an early game or something, but other than that I haven’t really watched them at all.”

On why the offense seems to click more when using a no-huddle attack:
“We practice like that all year. Our practices are up-tempo. We try to get in and out of the huddle and play fast at practice, and we weren’t utilizing that in the game the way we practiced. We usually get to the game and tried to slow it up some. Coach McElwain and everybody noticed everybody was clicking well when we go hurry up and we’ve been doing a good job the last couple of weeks.”

On how much pressure to score an offense like Auburn’s puts on Alabama’s offense:
“Like I said, I haven’t been watching Auburn. I don’t know what they’re offense does. We just have to go out there and put up points. When the opportunity is given for us to make big plays and put points on the board, we’re going to have to capitalize.”

On how much pride the receivers take in blocking:
“I love blocking more than I like catching footballs. Those other guys too, they’re coming along with it and blocking well. We’re not trying to be selfish. Receivers are usually selfish guys and we’re not trying to be that way. We are trying to make an identity for ourselves as a receiving corps, to go out there and block on every play even if we’re not getting the ball.”

#30 Dont’a Hightower, LB
On how important it is to finish off tackles against Cameron Newton when given the chance:
“Oh yeah, that goes without saying. First off let me say that Cam is a great player. That’s why he’s here. That’s why he’s in the SEC is because he’s able to make plays. He’s a big playmaker. He’s probably their best player on offense. As far as making plays, we’ve actually got a highlight reel of the way to tackle Cam. You don’t really want to come in low on him. He’s a big guy. He likes to stiff arm, he likes to cut back so you’ve got to be aware of that.”

On how Cameron Newton compares to Tim Tebow:
“He always reminds a lot of people of Tim Tebow the way he was able to carry the ball and the way he had so much effect on the fan base as well as the team both offensively and defensively. Cam is a little bit different. Tim Tebow was able to throw the ball pretty well and was always a downhill runner. You see Cam making plays that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. He’s got two guys on his back and he’s stiff arming one guy and the next thing you know he breaks out with a 42-yard run. That’s when you just have to get in the film room and see the things he likes to do, like set you up for cutbacks, when he likes to use the stiff arm, what gaps he likes to run through on certain powers and counters and what he likes to do. It’s all about us getting in the film room and being able to slow him down. He’s a really good player.”

On Cameron Newton’s supporting cast and Auburn not being a one-man team:
“Oh no, they’ve got a lot of guys. Michael Dyer, the freshman, he’s pretty good. Ontario McCalebb comes in a lot. Mario Fanin is there too. They’ve got all kinds of weapons so you can’t just say, “let’s put 11 guys in the box,” because they have some really good receivers too so you have to be aware of that. We feel like he sets up pretty much their whole offense so you can’t just key on one player.”

On what a win in this game does an Alabama player’s legacy:
“A lot. That being said, it’s the Iron Bowl. There aren’t too many games that are bigger than the Iron Bowl other than maybe the national championship. Even people in this state would beg to differ that they would rather win the Iron Bowl than the national championship, so this game means a lot to us.”

On whether or not playing as the underdog makes the team looser:
“I don’t think so. Like I just said, you’re playing against Auburn. It’s always going to be a tough, hard game. Even if we were 2-9 and Auburn was like they are, 11-0, it doesn’t matter. It’s the SEC. It’s the Iron Bowl game. Everything is going to come out and it’s going to be tough, physical game.”

On Auburn being in the same position as Alabama was at this point last year and if he can offer any insight as to how they might be thinking:
“I don’t know. They’re set on playing in the SEC Championship, but like I said, it’s the Iron Bowl. Regardless of what goes on after this game, you want to be able to say that we won this year. This is basically the state championship. Who can say they won? Who can say who is the better team in the state this year? That’s what we’re thinking and I’m pretty sure they’re thinking the same thing.”

On how comfortable he feels alongside the younger defensive players:
“I feel very comfortable. At the beginning of the season we hit a couple of rough sides and bumps in the road going against Arkansas, having to come back in the fourth quarter and having some games that we came out and struggled a little bit in the first half. I feel like now, in the last couple of games, those freshmen and guys that didn’t get to play that much last year have stepped up and mature a lot.”

On how hungry he is to get back on the field for an Iron Bowl after having to sit last year’s out:
“I’m very hungry. Last year the Auburn game was one of the ones that I was most interested in. Not being a part of that victory last year, I’m hoping to get out there and get one this year.”

#37 Robert Lester, S
On how important it is to tackle Cameron Netwon the Auburn receivers on the edges
“It’s real important. We need to make sure we’re buckling down and using the right technique to tackle him because he’s a big guy. He’ll be hard to bring down so we have to make sure that we’re using the right technique to bring him down.”

On how much the Iron Bowl means to him:
“I was born in California and wasn’t really aware of the big rivalry between Alabama and Auburn. I spent six years in Alabama and as I grew up I learned a lot about it. Being from Foley, it’s kind of like a Foley and Daphne type of rivalry so I’m ready to play in it.”

On whether or not Cameron Newton is the best player he will have faced:
“He’s a great player. I can’t say that he’s the best. We’ve faced a lot great opponents and he’s going to be a player that we’re looking forward to playing against. He’s one of the best players and we’re ready to play against the best.”

On Auburn having a lot of playmakers on offense and not being a one-man team:
“Of course. I’m pretty sure other teams look at us and say we can’t just focus in on stopping Mark Ingram because we have other weapons like Julio. We can’t focus in on just stopping Cam Newton when they have other play makers as well.”

On Auburn’s passing game not getting as much attention because of Newton’s ability to run:
“He’s a quarterback. As a secondary we have to make sure that we look at the same keys that we would any other quarterback and see who his favorite receiver is and pick up on little things like that.”

On how deceptive their offense is from what he’s seen on tape:
“Technically we haven’t really started on them. We start on them today. Those are some things that I will have to sit down and look at.”

50 Comments

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  1. 2
    almighty tmc1

    Back to reality.
    Nick Saban is a good coach with a good team.
    I see a lot of Aubus are crowing really loud. Good on ya Aubie.

    But before you get too confident…You still have to go into Bryant-Denny and Beat Nick Saban. And a hiesman trophy winner and a National Championship MVP. And a team with a bunch of National Championship players.
    You have to figure out how to stop julio from picking up 100 yards.
    You have to figure out how to stop Ingram and Richardson.
    You have to beat the best linebacking corps probably in the Nation.
    This aint Kentucky.

  2. 3
    Rick

    Great, smart quotes from the guys.

    As for the commenters, not so much. Both groups of fans need to shut up. Alabama’s not the team they were last year. Auburn’s not the team they were last year.
    Should be a great game. Glad it’s being played on the field and not in the blogs.

  3. 4
    Crimsonite

    If you don’t like what you read in the blogs, then there is a very simple solution. Stay the phuck off ’em. This is the site of a field of battle between Bammers and Barnies on Iron Bowl week. It is not recommended for children, ladies, Quakers, pastors, the sqeamish the thin skinned or the self righteous. KISS MY ARSE AWBREN! Bama 42 – Barnie 24. RTR!

  4. 5
    4G AU

    Auburn is shattering records faster than most fans can keep up. They are dropping so fast, that it’s easy to become numb to the craziness. Let’s remind ourselves that we are not talking Xbox here. They are all real…

    In Saturday’s beat down of Georgia, Cam Newton became the first player in SEC history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards in a season. Newton was 12-of-15 for 148 yards and two touchdowns through the air Saturday. He rushed for 151 yards on 30 carries. Stop and think about that for a moment. Regardless of what happens off the field, the Heisman Trophy race is over…

    Newton has broken Auburn’s all-time record for total offense with 3,335 yards. He has now thrown or run for 39 touchdowns, a school record. He has also broken the Auburn record for points scored in a season with 108. …

    Running back Michael Dyer broke Bo Jackson’s 28 year-old freshman rushing record with 60 yards on the day. He now sits at 859 yards on the season…

    With Saturday’s 49-point performance, the Tigers are the highest-scoring team in school history with 471 points, breaking the record of 438 set by the 2005 team…

    Auburn has scored in 21 consecutive quarters dating back to the fourth quarter of the Kentucky game on October 4th…

    Auburn has now rushed for more than 300 yards in six consecutive SEC games. It piled up 315 yards against Georgia, who ranks 13th nationally in rushing defense…

    Auburn will be making its fourth appearance in the SEC Championship Game. They lost to Tennessee 30-29 in 1997; lost to Florida 28-6 in 2000; and defeated Tennessee 38-28 in 2004…

    Auburn is 11-0 for the third time in school history. The Tigers finished the 1993 season 11-0 and went 13-0 in 2004…

    Auburn goes into the Iron Bowl with a perfect record for the fifth time in school history. They won 40-0 in 1957; lost 31-7 in 1971; won 22-14 in 1993; and won 21-13 in 2004…

  5. 6
    BPI

    Keep in mind that two of those incompletions absolutewly should have been caught. One for a touchdown of about 50 yards and the other at least a 30 yard completion…I fully expect Cam to beat Alabama with his arm Friday.

  6. 7
    BamaBrando

    And they will also set a record for probabation, the most money paid for a player, and establish themselves as the most corrupt football program of all time. Congratulations!

  7. 8
    BamaBrando

    Remember BP*, you get to kill yourself when Bama ruins it for you Friday. Maybe you can wear a bomb-vest and set it off in a room full of your closest Auburn fans. That would be even better.

  8. 10
    BPI

    Brandi….Do you even know just how big a peckerhead you are ? Seriosly man….You are as big of a bitter jackass as I have seen….

    That stuff aint cool. But, you are too big a jerk to even see it.

    And it will not help come the 26th.

  9. 13
    BamaBrando

    BP*, man up dude. Quit your crying and whining. It’s Iron Bowl week and time for your team to live up to your mouth. I don’t think it’s going to go down like you seem so sure of, you arrogant prick.

  10. 15
    BamaBrando

    Ahh, but thats just it…you know I am far from being a dumbass. I just know how to piss you off. And you are too scared to fight back, ’cause you already know I will put you in your place. SO keep running your big mouth, and I will keep firing it back. But you won’t see me whining and crying about it like you, BigPuss*

  11. 16
    BPI

    O.K. You’re right…You are the man. Intellegent too..Wow…How everyone wishes they were you….

    Now will you please leave me alone ?

  12. 18
    Crimsonite

    Cap can’t you do a little censoring? Did you have to let us be exposed to all that worthless Awbie statistical bullshite? I mean for Christ’s sake, this years stats were compiled against Ole Miss, Kentucky and Georgia which are 3 of the worst teams in the SEC, Clemson, one of the worst teams in the ACC, and 3 non-AQ teams. Uhh, I noticed the dunbarse didn’t quote any defensive stats. RTR!

  13. 20
    crimson hammah

    the spread has gone to 3 to 4 on bama meaning the money is on bama where is the money on the the 2 team in the nation and the best player in nation yuck

  14. 22
    BPI

    Lets look at what you just said Crimson…How many teams has Auburn played in the top 25 ?
    #6 LSU / WON
    #12 Arkansas / WON
    #18 South Carolina / WON
    #25 Mississippi State / WON

    Soon to play #9 Alabama….

    We absolutely lit up the two teams you lost to statistically in LSU and S. Carolina.

    We lit up a team that took you to the wire in Arkansas. If not for an interception by Mallett, they win that game.

    We POUNDED Ole Miss….A team that gave Bama problems AT HOME…….

    Clemson was a team who at the begining of the year , I thought would be good…I was wrong, but they are not a bad team either.

    I know this weeks game is gonna be an EPIC Iron Bowl. And I will tell you this..If Auburn loses to Bama…I will be the first one on this board giving credit where it’s due….

    But let me ask you this: If we win, will you do the same ? A possible win will propel us to the #1 spot in the BCS….And we will UNDOUBTEDLY be the favorite to win the SEC AND THE BCS …

    Will ANY of you FINALLY give some credit where it’s due should we win ??????????

  15. 23
    Denny Chimes

    BPI,
    It will be like watching a player run a kickoff back for a touchdown and seeing a big yellow flag back on the 20 yard line. Sure, the ref raised his hands in the air but we all know eventually it will be all for naught. After the NCAA is done with you guys, your record will be 0-0. If we win, we beat a professional team. If we lose, it won’t count anyway.

  16. 24
    crimson hammah

    no probation – no vacated win for au – will take away the utter shame of losing to a no defense no passing game in bryant-denny…no way that can happen – au happens

  17. 26
    Crimsonite

    Absolutely not! Because you are playing at least 1 ineligible player. Maybe 2 depending on what comes out with Dwyer. Lit up? You were seconds away from losing to both LSU and USCjr and also Miss St and Clemson all at your house! All that matters is how you finish the season and we did just LIGHT UP Miss St who should have beat you and just showed against LSU that they really are a very good team. Now let me boor you bastards with some stats that actually mean something. Bama has given up 2 td’s at home this year. Last year’s national championship team averaged 32.07 points on offense. This team is averaging 36.82. Last years best in the nation defense gave up 11.71 ppg. This team is giving up 11.27. That’s a difference of 25.5 points average margin of victory. Abarn with its AWESOME offense is only scoring 7 puny points a game more than Bama and only has an 18 point average margin of victory. I think that makes it pretty clear that Bama’s offense and defense are both as good or better than last (cont.)

  18. 27
    Crimsonite

    (cont.) years national championship team. It also indicates that Bama is winning by 7 points per game more than Awbren and now is favored by nearly 4 points. Seeing as how points are the only thing that counts in football, it looks as if playing Bama in BDS means Awbie doesn’t stand a snowballs chance in hell of winning. RTR!

  19. 28
    Crimsonite

    I agree Butt Plug. hammah seems to have toned it down a bit since even the Bama posters were pissed at him last week. However, either he’s the most illiterate redneck lost in the forest and just pretends to know all that stuff, or he’s doing a pathetic imitation of the Prophet. Cause everything he writes is either written without a clue as to how to spell or construct a coherent sentence or it is in code. Go figure. I usually don’t waste my time reading it, much less trying to undestand it.

  20. 29
    crimson hammah

    IF AU BEATS BAMA IN IRON BOWL THERE IS NO AMOUNT OF PROBATION THAT AU CAN GET THAT CAN TAKE AWAY THE SHAME AND HUMILIATION OF BAMA LOSING TO AN AU TEAM THAT HAS A CRAPPY DEFENSE AND A CRAPPY PASSING GAME AND ESPECIALLY LOSING TO AU IN BAMA’A HOME STADIUM/BRYANT-DENNY.

  21. 31
    BPI

    But Crimson….All of your hard games were road games….Florida ???? They suck…Your most impressive win at home was Miss. St. AND they were the BEST team you played at home this year.

    Auburn is light years better than we were at the begining of the year.

  22. 32
    crimson hammah

    BS – U SUCK THEN U SUCK NOW…SC CLEMSON MS LSU BEEAT THEMSELVES…..WHY IS THE BAMASPREAD GOING UP – WILL THE BARNGOATS EVER GET ANY RESPECT…AND I HAVEN’T TONED IT DOWN ONE BIT

  23. 37
    crimson hammah

    BAMA – WILL BEAT THE SHEET OUT OF AU 52 6 WITH OR WITHOUT RAIN/CAM

    DAREUS HIGHTOWER SQUARE UPSHAW WILL BEAT THE HELL OUT OF CAM

    JULIO WILL HAVE A FIELD DAY VS LITTLE AU SECONDARY

  24. 39
    Crimsonite

    Spin it however you want. Fact remains you score very little more than us, give up a lot more than us, and win by less. Points are the only thing that matters and points say we are better than you. Also defense wins tough games, and if it comes down to the last posession, I’d rather have our offense against your defense than visa-versa. RTR! Oh, and I thought hammah did a nice job of clearing up that mumbo jumbo for you.

  25. 42
    crimson hammah

    bama will beat au and beat south carolina to win sec and beat ohio state in sugar bowl and finish top 3 in country but still a shameful season by bama standards

  26. 45
    crimson hammah

    SHERIDAN – CORRECTED HIMSELF – BOOKMAKERS MAKING THE SPREAD DESIRE HEAVY BETTING AND TRY TO HAVE IT HAVE IT EVENLY BET

  27. 46
    BPI

    Since you hang on every word Sheridan says, then explain why he said Cam was cleared by NCAA the Thursday before the Georgia game ?

  28. 47
    crimson hammah

    by clear he meant – ncaa said we will not stop u from playing him and if u do play him u will face harsher sanctions….

  29. 48
    BPI

    You’re incorrect. If there were ENOUGH PROOF , they would have sat him down and you know it. They do not know if ANY of the Cecil Newton claims are true…In fact, the media and the NCAA by all accounts seem to be backpeddling on the whole story….

  30. 49
    crimson hammah

    omg – they told ms that they believe the ms story ….they warned au (google it)…fbi wiretaps galore …ala politicians are in jail….the nc story broke in the summer and a bunch of players did not sit til 4th 5th game of season

  31. 50
    Crimsonite

    At the moment it doesn’t bother me how it turns out. I’m just glad we get to knock that stupid shite eating grin off Cumbucket’s face. However, nearly everybody on the accusing side has been interviewed by the NCAA, Miss Bureau of Investigation and the FBI. I can see lying to the piece of shite toothless NCAA, but I can’t see anyone who want’s to see the world from the loose side of steel bars, lying to the MBI and FBI. So if they told them the same story they told the press, your arse is fried. And as far as I can remember, there has never been an NCAA issue this wide spread, controversial and investigated that did not turn out real damn bad for the accused. To think that it will all go away like fog in a hot sun, is completely beyond reasonable thinking. Anyway, after Cumbucket is held to less than a 100 yards rushing and throws 4 ints of which 2 are pick 6’s, and Bama wipes your arse 42-24; ya’ll won’t care either. In fact you’ll probably lynch him on Toomers tree wraped in used toilet paper. Bwaa Haww Haww. RTR!

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