What Bryce Young said about his strength, (probably) the last Iron Bowl

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama quarterback Bryce Young missed a game and a half with a shoulder injury sustained in Week 5 and wasn’t a full practice participant until after the week.

Is Young back at full strength ahead of the Crimson Tide’s final regular season game?

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Young said Monday. “We have an amazing training team, a coaching team that manages everything related to training and the game. They do a great job of keeping track. I owe a lot of that to the gym alone. They do so much down there to make me healthy and feel good. yes i feel good I am blessed to be in the circumstances that I am. I’m ready to move on. Now I feel good.”

Young will lead the Alabama offense against Auburn on Saturday, November 26 in what will be his second Iron Bowl start. Last year he orchestrated a comeback in the fourth quarter to send the rivalry game into overtime and eventually win away at Jordan-Hare Stadium. With the 2022 matchup taking place in Tuscaloosa, Young will look to earn another win against the Tigers.

To do this, however, the offensive line must better protect the signal caller. A season ago, Young was sacked seven times while the Tigers defense had 11 tackles for loss and eight quarterback rushes. All of those stats need to come down for UA to win a third straight Iron Bowl, and Young said the improvement was emphasized.

“I think we’ve definitely grown a lot as a unit, as a group,” Young said. “Last year… it’s the Iron Bowl. It’s always competitive, it’s always going to be tough. We have tremendous respect for them as a program and we know it will take everything. It was obviously a tough game, it depended on the wire. But it’s the Iron Bowl. There were countless of them. We understand a rivalry game like this, things like that can happen.

“There are things that we’re obviously looking at in the film that we’ve wanted to improve on and we’ve gotten better across the board, but we understand it’s going to cost everything. So we take things to improve them, but we are ready. We know it will be a war.”

Young has thrown for 2,664 yards, 24 touchdowns and just four interceptions while completing 63.8 percent of his passes this season. He is currently third on Alabama’s career passing lists for touchdowns (72) and yards (7,692), requiring six touchdown passes to pass AJ McCarron (77) and 233 passing yards to John Parker Wilson (7,924). to overtake and finish second on both.

Young has reached that mark in just 34 games, including 25 as a starter on the Crimson Tide. But this weekend’s regular-season finale could be not only his last home game, but also his last game in an Alabama uniform should he decide not to play in the bowl game and focus on the NFL draft. Young, a predicted top 10 pick, did not comment on what he will do after the Iron Bowl.

“I was just focused on being one day at a time,” Young said. “I didn’t think about anything in the future. All I care about now is this program. My job is to do my best throughout the day to prepare and put myself and us as a team in the best circumstances. That’s all I thought about, my whole head was on.

“Again, I understand how much this means to us as a team, everyone in the state. This is a huge game. I have to do everything I can to put myself and ourselves as a unit in the best possible position to be successful on Saturday.”

As for whether Saturday will be the last time Alabama fans will see Young play for the Tide, Young has represented the university in a first-class manner, which head coach Nick Saban pointed out during his radio show when a young fan asked how Young was doing against AU to play.

“I think Bryce has been getting better and better, especially after his injury in the Arkansas game,” Saban said Thursday night. “It took a while for him to get back where he could train and do the things he had to do to prepare for the game. And I think he’s going to play really, really well. I think Auburn has a really good defense. They’re doing a good job, especially up front. So it will be a challenge but I think he will do extremely well.

“He did a great job, not only in terms of playing for us in Alabama and winning a Heisman Trophy while he was here, but you couldn’t ask for a more stylish guy to represent your organization than Bryce Young and his family was in Alabama.”

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Contact Charlie Potter via personal message or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).