Nov. 24, 2011
Auburn, Ala. - The No. 24 Auburn football team spent 70 minutes on the practice fields Thursday morning as the Tigers wrapped up preparations for Saturday's game against No. 2 Alabama.
The Tigers began the practice at 9:30 a.m. and practiced in shells. The players were then given the afternoon off to be with family for the Thanksgiving holiday.
At his weekly media conference, Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said the Tigers face a stiff challenge in the Alabama rushing attack which leads the Southeastern Conference averaging 220.5 yards per game.
"They have a stable of running backs, and they have an offensive line right now that will knock you off the ball," Chizik said. "They're very physical up front, and they're very deep up front. It's no secret. They want to run the football, and they want to play-action off the run, and they're really good at it. This is a game when it just comes down to being physical and holding your gaps and coming off blocks and just being a very aggressive defense when it comes to being able to stop the run. There's no secret to them. They're going to do what they do."
Chizik added the Tigers will face an Alabama defense ranked first in the FBS, allowing 8.4 points per game.
"I think it is what it is," Chizik said. "It's real simple. You're not No. 1 in the SEC in virtually every category without having really good players and a lot of them and being coached really well. They're physical, they get off blocks, they love to play the game, and they play really hard. Big challenge. Huge challenge. People have had a real hard time, doesn't matter who they are, people have had a real hard time running the ball and throwing the ball on them. We definitely, I'll say it again, we have to find our best game out there.
Auburn (7-4, 4-3 SEC) and Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC) kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will air on CBS.
Additionally, Auburn hosts ESPN College Football GameDay for the Iron Bowl. It is the seventh time GameDay has visited Auburn and the second time for the Iron Bowl. Overall, it is GameDay's fourth on-site visit to the Iron Bowl.