AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Saturday will mark the 85th edition of the Iron Bowl.
“Our guys, they get extremely excited about this game. This is a game that we think about 365 days a year,” said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.
Malzahn is leading the number 22 ranked Auburn Tigers into his eighth Iron Bowl as the head coach.
Malzahn is 3-4 against the Crimson Tide, but for the past 12 months, the Tigers have had state bragging rights.
It is the Iron Bowl.
It splits the state right down the middle.
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix knows all about it.
“Probably, you play as hard as you’ve ever played in a game in your entire life just because of how much it means, and obviously there’s a lot of kids going to school on Monday that are going to have to put up with a lot of crap whichever way it goes,” said Nix.
Nix will be making his second career Iron Bowl start.
His first one was a success.
Nix led the Tigers to the 48-45 win in 2019 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
He passed for 173 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score.
“He made some big-time throws, made some plays. Outside of the system, he really played well. So I think that was really a growing point for him. He grew up Auburn, his dad was a great player here, so he understands. He fully understands what the Iron Bowl means and everything that goes with it. So we’re glad that we have Bo Nix leading us to the Iron Bowl,” said Malzahn.
Entering his second Iron Bowl, on the rival’s turf this time, he feels ready for the challenge.
“I think it gives me a lot of confidence just knowing that I’m going into a tough place with similar guys. Obviously we have a lot of guys coming back. A lot of the skill guys that I had last year, and then obviously a lot of the guys on the defensive side of the ball doing the same thing. So, I feel comfortable. A lot of the guys that made big plays last year are back and we are looking forward to Saturday,” Nix said.
Nix is fifth in the SEC in passing this season with 1,627 yards.
He has passed for ten touchdowns and rushed for another three.
The Iron Bowl is set for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.