Players from Saban, Alabama discuss the scale of Iron Bowl

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The last Saturday of November is reserved for college football rivalry games.

Among the most famous rivalries, the annual in-state match between Alabama and Auburn is arguably one of the sport’s finest. The teams have met 86 times since 1893, with games played across the state including Montgomery and Birmingham, while in recent years the rivalry has been played in Tuscaloosa and Auburn.

The game’s story and boasting implications have made the game a must-play. On Monday, Will Anderson spoke about the importance of the rivalry and winning the final game of the season against Auburn.

“Ever since I’ve been here as a freshman, even with the COVID season and all, it’s like one of the biggest games,” Anderson said. “It’s one of those games where people … it means something. Coach Saban always says you remember what you do in that game. No fan will remember any other game you play in. They’ll remember the Auburn game. It means a lot to the people of this town and it should mean a lot to you.”

As both teams compete to beat the other, this has resulted in some incredible college football games that are etched in the memories of college football fans. There’s “The Kick Six” in 2013 to “The Cam-Back” in 2010. And who could forget “The Drive,” directed by Greg McElroy in 2009’s Plains?

Young reenacted his own version of “The Drive” last season as he led Alabama to a four-time overtime win at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2021, putting ‘Corey Brooks’ into Iron Bowl lore for their performances.

If there’s one thing players understand about this game – play well and you’ll be remembered forever.

“It’s a big game for us and for me individually,” said Young. “I understand and I don’t shy away from it; it’s a huge game, a big rivalry game; it means a lot. I understand that. But with that I also understand my responsibility to do what I have to do during the game, before the game to put myself in the best situation that I can, to put our team in the best situation, us as a team in the best situation to be successful.”

Alabama head coach Nick Saban carries a 10-5 record against Auburn. While this year’s game may not have the playoff implications or conference championship ambitions usually associated with that game, the 16-year-old coach noted the matchup will still be just as dramatic as it has been in years past.

“This is one of the greatest rivalry games in college football,” said Saban. “Almost every team in Rivalry matches is part of their legacy in terms of how they did in Rivalry play. And this is one of the biggest, and it means a lot to many people in our state. It means a lot to us, our players and our fans and we will do our best to prepare for this game.”