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November 24, 2012

ALABAMA FOOTBALL: Tide clobber in-state rival in near-perfect 49-0 performance

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TUSCALOOSA —

The Tigers' lone bright spot in the latest Iron Bowl was a fumble recovery coughed up by third-string running back Kenyan Drake in garbage time.

The struggling program is all but guaranteed to have a new coach at the helm next year after finishing 0-fer in SEC play for the first time in school history. Their three wins came against inferior foes in Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State and Alabama A&M.

Lester, a Bama senior who's been around for back-to-back beatdowns, as well as Auburn's historic 28-24 Iron Bowl comeback two years ago, chose not to add any salt to his in-state rival's wounds following their season-ending loss.

“Auburn is a great team,” the defensive back said. “They're very competitive. They play extremely hard, and they did tonight. The scoreboard just happens to be in our favor.”

The Tide, meanwhile, will head to Atlanta next week for the SEC championship game against Georgia. Saban never likes to take his foot off the pedal and doesn't plan to start as his team prepares for a top-three battle that will likely determine a spot in the BCS title game.

“It's great for our team that we won the West. This is a really competitive division with a lot of really good teams," he said. "I think our focus is on trying to get our team ready to play the best game that they possibly can against Georgia who has a really good team, a lot of good players and is solid all the way through.”

Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at robk@cullmantimes.com

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