MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The collision course is set. Auburn and Alabama will collide on Friday. They're both practicing for the biggest game of the year.
The No. 2 Auburn football team resumed workouts for Friday's game against Alabama with a 90-minute practice in full pads Sunday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It marked the first full practice for the Tigers since Thursday evening as the team enjoyed its first off week of the season over the weekend.
Sunday's workout consisted largely of work against the scout team units as the squad prepares to face the Crimson Tide. The workout began with special teams drills and included individual and position drills as well.
Following the practice, head coach Gene Chizik said that he was pleased with the enthusiasm shown by the squad during the workout.
"It was a good practice tonight," said Chizik. "I really felt like there was a lot of energy and a little bounce in their step. We had a day and a half off, so we wanted energy. We wanted practice to be crisp and I thought they were really focused."
Chizik also stated that having an off week prior to the Iron Bowl for the second year in a row has helped the team be more prepared this year.
"Having the week unfold the same way is really big," said Chizik.
"Our guys know what to expect. We're going to stay on basically the same schedule that we did last year. Maybe tweak it a little bit, but for the most part the same."
Auburn (11-0, 7-0 SEC) will travel to Tuscaloosa to play No. 9 Alabama (9-2, 5-2) on Friday. The game will kick off at 1:30 pm CT and will be televised by CBS.
The No. 9 Alabama football team began preparations for Friday's Iron Bowl on Sunday afternoon with a 90-minute practice in shells at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility.
The Crimson Tide welcomes the undefeated and second-ranked Auburn Tigers to Bryant-Denny Stadium for a nationally televised game on CBS the day after Thanksgiving. Alabama brings a 20-game winning streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium into the contest. The Tide's last loss at home was on November 17, 2007.
"This is obviously one of the greatest rivalries in all of college football," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said before practice on Sunday. "The Iron Bowl has been going on in this state for a long, long time. It's kind of unique in that everyone in the state is on one side or the other. We have two great schools with great football histories, and obviously pretty good teams this year.
"A lot of players have played against each other in high school, knew each other, played in good programs and were developed well. I think it says a lot for football in this state to have two teams of this caliber playing in the Iron Bowl this particular year."
The Crimson Tide have won two straight over the Tigers after a come-from-behind 26-21 victory a season ago in Auburn that helped UA complete an undefeated national championship campaign in 2009. UA leads the series 40-33-1.
"The focus this week is on the Alabama-Auburn game," Saban said. "It's not about anything that's going on outside. It's not about what happened last year. None of that really matters. It's about this week, this time, this game, and our focus is going to be on the preparation for our team to play the best football and give our guys the best opportunity to be successful against a very good team. The culmination of your season sort of gets judged by how you do in a game like this, so we want to play our best football and do our best job of executing."