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Tigers excited, focused as historic Iron Bowl looms

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AUBURN, Ala. -

It's the "Mother of All Iron Bowls."

It's the biggest game in the rivalry's history.

It's the biggest game of the country.

Whatever "it" is, it's coming to Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday afternoon, as no. 1 Alabama takes on no. 4 Auburn with a spot in the SEC championship game on the line.

"We're not going to hype up things," said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. "It's already big enough. We're going to do exactly what we've done to get here, and we're going to prepare."

The business-like attitude extends to the players as well, though there is some hushed talk of "destiny" bandied among the guys on the field.

"Definitely," is what senior defensive end Dee Ford said when asked if he felt like this team was a team of destiny. "We want to take advantage of that and not takes this moment for granted. We definitely have an opportunity and everything is falling in place. All we have to do is continuing to do what we've been doing."

Junior running back Tre Mason describes it more succinctly:

"As Coach Malzahn said, we started in the outhouse. Now we're in the penthouse."

A win puts the Tigers in the SEC championship game in Atlanta on Dec. 7, and from there, the national championship game is definitely in play. That sentence was unthinkable this time last year, days before Auburn stumbled home with a 49-0 loss to the Crimson Tide, capping a horrendous 3-9 (0-8) season. But this year's team knows they haven't done anything yet.

"We have a job to do," Malzahn said. "We'll pat ourselves on the back at the end of the year and we'll see what happens and all, but we can't let anything distract us. You can't let your mind go there."

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT on News 3 on Saturday. You can also stream the game live on WRBL.com.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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