Pat Dye guided the Auburn Tigers in 12 Iron Bowls, the most of any coach in the storied rivalry since legendary Alabama mentor Paul "Bear" Bryant coached in 25 before his retirement after the 1982 season.
Dye's Tigers topped Bryant's Crimson Tide 23-22 in 1982, snapping Alabama's nine-game winning streak in the series. Dye also was the winning coach when Alabama made its first trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 1989.
Earlier this week, Dye was a guest of "Press Row" on Chattanooga's ESPN 105.1 FM to discuss Saturday's Iron Bowl and more:
Q: What does Auburn have to do to take Saturday's game down to the wire?
A: "Don't let them score."
Q: Does Auburn have the defense to do that?
A: "Yeah, we do. Both teams have some offensive firepower, and I would say that Alabama has a little more than we do, but both of us have good defenses. They've got a better defense than we've got, especially when you throw in all the turnovers they get. I know we can't let them score on defense or run a kick back for a touchdown."
Q: Are you surprised this year's Alabama offense looks a lot like recent Auburn offenses?
A: "That's because of their quarterback. Last year, their quarterback (Jake Coker) was a throwing quarterback. All this stuff they're doing now is new to them, except for the fact that they've been defending it. (Nick) Saban knows what this offense can do, and he did a little bit of this two years ago when they had the quarterback (Blake Sims) who got them to the playoff against Ohio State."
Q: Does 1982 still top the chart for you as far as Iron Bowls?
A: "Yeah, because that was the first time we had beaten them in nine years. When Coach Bryant was there, he kind of dominated the series. He only lost five or six times in the 25 years he was there, and since I got to Auburn in 1981, the series is about even.
"Tommy (Tuberville) won six in a row, and I won four in a row and would have won eight in a row if we didn't miss a field goal in 1984 and they hadn't made one in 1985."
Q: Which one was your most painful?
A: "The one in 1984. The one in 1985 was just who had the ball last."
Q: Gus Malzahn led Auburn to the national-title game in 2013 but started to struggle until this season. Can he have a 12-year run like you had?
A: "Time will tell, but I think so. Right now, we've got a really good defensive coaching staff and have good defensive players. I think offensively that we'll be a much better football team next year than we were this year. We may not be quite as good defensively next year, but we'll still be pretty dang good."
Q: How does Pat Dye watch an Iron Bowl that's held in Tuscaloosa?
A: "I watch it in my den by myself. I don't want any company, because I don't want to have to answer any questions or try to explain anything about what's going on. I also don't want to listen to somebody who's trying to tell me what's happening and has got no idea."
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