Hugh Freeze addresses Iron Bowl rivalry, Nick Saban

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New Auburn Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze hasn’t been with the school for long, but he’s still had enough time for some rivalry banter.

Freeze had his introductory press conference on Tuesday after being hired by the Tigers, and it included a small warning to the team’s yearly Iron Bowl opponents and their head coach, Nick Saban.

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Here is what Freeze said about the challenge of taking on Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide:

“Well, you don’t take this job if you’re not built to want that. And I welcome that, I want it. I want to be in that arena. I really, really, really enjoy that type of game. have great respect for Nick. He and Mrs. Terry have been great friends to us too, but I hope they’re a little nervous today.”

Freeze can boast victories over Saban, having done it in back-to-back years when he was the head coach at Ole Miss during his first tenure in the SEC. Despite that, though, Freeze never took his Ole Miss Rebels to the SEC Championship, so he’ll pursue that feat in his quest to defeat Saban once against at the helm of the Crimson Tide’s biggest rival.

Freeze’s first game at the helm will be against UMass at home in Jordan-Hare Stadium in September of next year.

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