Bret returns for the biggest game of the year as he, Jeris, and Cole talk about their favorite Iron Bowl, what the game meant then and now, and how they see this year’s version of the rivarly panning out.
1. Of the Iron Bowls you played in, what was your favorite moment?
Bret: My favorite moment was probably my sophomore year in Tuscaloosa. We were a pretty banged up team that nobody was giving a chance to win. We put together a great game plan and played as a unit on defense, and were able to hold on at the end to win the first of six Iron Bowls in a row.
Jeris: My favorite moment out of the four Iron Bowls I played in has to be on the first play of the 2003 Iron Bowl. On that play, Cadillac Williams broke 80 yards for a touchdown as I escorted him down our sideline and into the endzone. It was a night game on ESPN and it was my last game in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The crowd was electric and that was a very memorable moment.
Cole: Starting at center the last Iron Bowl at Legion Field. Growing up in Homewood that place was the center of the college football universe! Was a lifetime dream of mine to be a part of that game in that stadium.
2. What did this rivalry mean to you as a player, what does it mean now?
Bret: Growing up a huge Auburn fan it always meant a lot to me. It was that focus point when I was tired at workouts or when it was so hot during two-a-days. Once the game came around it was a very intense week for me. Being from Alabama and growing up in the rivalry it was something that I understood very well, so when the game came around I knew what it would mean to me years down the road and what we were really playing for.
Jeris: Everbody in America knows about the Iron Bowl, but the people from the state of Alabama live and die for the Iron Bowl. I am from Florida, but my family is from Alabama and my father, Secdrick McIntyre, played for Auburn in the early 70’s, so I have known about it since the day I was born.
As a player you hear all about it, but when you’re on the field it’s another game and you have to do your job on each and every play just like you have if you were playing Georgia, Florida, or South Carolina. Now as a former player I always want Auburn to win this game badly. As time goes on and I learn more about the rivalry, I get into it even more than I did when I was playing.
Cole: It was the most important game of the year. As a player it usually had SEC championship implications or could save your season. Now it’s more about bragging rights and next 364 days.
3. What do you see happening this Friday?
Bret: I expect it to be a high scoring Iron Bowl. I expect Alabama to throw a lot of short passes, screens, and rub routes as well as trying to run off tackle plenty. They will play-action the deep ball and possibly try to run some hurry up offense to throw our defense off a little.
I think Auburn’s offensive line will do a good job of picking up the Alabama zone blitzes and twists which will open up some big play opportunities for Cam and our offense. I think in the end Auburn will be able to slow down Bama’s offense more than Auburn will be slowed down, and Auburn will be able to pull away late with runs by Cam and Michael Dyer.
Jeris: Tigers wins 12-0 … heading to the ATL …. I think the D steps up this week and the offense has another monster game.
Cole: I like Auburn to win. The turnover ratio that Alabama brings to the game is impressive. Auburn will have to protect the ball, and having success on the ground can do that. More points than usual, but I think the Tigers outscore the Tide.