TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s plenty of smack talk already, and it’s only Monday of Iron Bowl Week. That’s from the fans, though.
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and his team are keeping focused on Saturday’s game. WHNT News 19 blogged from the news conference Monday in Tuscaloosa. Read the details below.
We’ll be at Auburn’s news conference on Tuesday, too.
Hello Crimson Tide fans! WHNT News 19 Interactive Content Producer Drew Galloway here. WHNT Sports Director Ryan Cody and I are bringing you the latest information from Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban’s weekly news conference. Coach Saban’s conference is scheduled to start at noon. WHNT is your inside track for Saban’s thoughts leading into the Iron Bowl this weekend.
Here’s a little behind the scenes picture of Ryan Cody setting up in the University of Alabama press room.
With number one Alabama facing off with number four Auburn this Saturday, this will be an historic game, no matter the outcome!
You will be able to watch the game live here on WHNT News 19. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.
Coach Saban has entered the room and the press conference has begun.
The first thing on Saban’s mind is the Iron Bowl, unsurprisingly.
Saban says that he’s impressed by Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and their offense. Their pass-rushing team is particularly impressive, says Saban. He says that they are an all around good team and their record reflects that.
Saban says he never thinks of things in terms of results, either victory or defeat. He says his job as a coach isn’t thinking about how to celebrate, but how to put his team in the best possible place to win.
“When the game is over, it is what it is,” said Saban.
It’s clear that Saban isn’t thinking about Saturday night, he’s thinking about Saturday at 2:30.
On Auburn QB Nick Marshall: “I think he’s playing his best football of the season… He has a good touch and is a good deep ball thrower. That, in of itself, creates a lot of problems for defense players.”
On Auburn’s last minute win against Georgia: “In their case, they played a very good game. I don’t think they got lucky at all. I think they deserved to win.”
Saban said Auburn’s win against Georgia wasn’t very similar to Alabama’s win against Kentucky. The way he talked, he seemed disappointed at the way Alabama played that game.
Saban said he will host Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday for 10-15 players who will not go home for the holiday. Everyone will gather on Friday for a team dinner.
On AJ McCarron: “It’s really important that, in his position, he stays in the moment and on an even keel.”
According to Saban, AJ will have to keep emotion out of his decision making and not force any plays.
Saban says one of the keys to victory in the Iron Bowl will be not giving up big plays to Auburn.
On Auburn running back Tre Mason: “Tre Mason, to me, is a good inside runner who can make you miss, make plays on the outside, and really turn and get extra yards after the contact.”
Coach Saban has ended his press conference. Up next, we are expecting players from the team to take the stage.
Defensive back Landon Collins has taken the stage.
He says that he hasn’t heard much hype about the Iron Bowl from people this weekend. His head is completely in either schoolwork or training.
Collins called Auburn QB Nick Marshall “extremely dangerous.” He said that Marshall makes covering all your bases, including the backfield, very tough.
Alabama QB AJ McCarron has taken the stage.
He’s looking forward to the Iron Bowl. He says he loves the “pressure moments” that come from playing a tough team, especially one on the road.
“I play amped up and with a chip on my shoulder,” says McCarron.
“I think it’s just another Saturday. I think that’s what our team needs to realize. It’s just like any other game,” McCarron said when he was asked if he is doing anything special to prepare for the Iron Bowl.
McCarron said his plan for tonight is to watch Aurburn red-area tape tonight. He says his plan is to never be more that 3rd-and-7.
This will be a very exciting Iron Bowl. Never before in the history of the Iron Bowl have Alabama and Auburn had such a high combined ranking.
Wide receiver Kevin Norwood has taken the stage.
“There’s a lot more cameras here. That’s how you can tell it’s a big game,” said Norwood.
“AJ is a weapon for us. He has always done his job for us. He is a great leader for the offense and for our team,” said Norwood.
On being number one in the BCS standings: “We know that we are a big target. We’ve got to eliminate all other teams.”
Norwood says he has more confidence now, but his game is the same as it ever was. He says he works hard, he’s healthy, and he’s feeling good.
Norwood says he’s not surprised at all at Auburn’s record this season. He says they were good last year, but now have a great coach and quarterback to push the team forward.
Linebacker Trey Depriest has taken the stage.
Depriest says his approach to Auburn will be the same as his approach to any team, take things day by day.
“To me personally, it is just any other Saturday. You can’t live your life like that, always looking ahead to the future. You have to live now,” said Depriest about the Iron Bowl.
Depriest says Auburn will be a nightmare for Alabama’s defense to prepare for. He says Auburn has a solid offense and plenty of trick plays to pick from.
And with that, the press conference is over. The players have left the room, going off to prepare for their practice tonight. WHNT will be at the Crimson Tide’s practice tonight. Check back later for pictures from that practice.
WHNT’s Ryan Cody will bring you reports from Tuscaloosa at 6 and 10 tonight on WHNT News 19.
Tomorrow, we will live blog Auburn coach Gus Malzahn’s Iron Bowl press conference. Stay tuned to WHNT and whnt.com for the latest Iron Bown coverage.