Devonta Smith on Auburn: We expect “their best shot”

The 85th Iron Bowl will take place in Tuscaloosa this Saturday, as No. 1 Alabama (7-0) hosts No. 22 Auburn (5-2) in perhaps the most heated rivalry in college football

Tiki and Tierney
November 24, 2020 - 4:41 pm
Alabama Devonta Smith

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The 85th Iron Bowl will take place in Tuscaloosa this Saturday, as No. 1 Alabama (7-0) hosts No. 22 Auburn (5-2) in perhaps the most heated rivalry in college football. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET.

“It means a lot,” Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith said on Tiki & Tierney. “Being here, it’s something that’s been going on a long time. It means a lot to us, a lot to the people in this community and just everybody that’s affiliated with the University of Alabama.”

Alabama leads the all-time series 46-37-1, but Auburn has won two of the last three meetings. Auburn has not won in Tuscaloosa since 2010, when Cam Newton led the Tigers to the national championship.

“We’re expecting to get their best shot,” Smith said. “It’s a rivalry. They’re going to come in here treating it like it’s just another game for them and just going to come in and give us everything they got. So we’re expecting to get their best.”

The Tide have won every game by at least 15 points this season. In fact, they have won their last two games – against Mississippi State (2-5) and Kentucky (3-5) – by a combined 104-3.

Alabama quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Mac Jones has been superb this season. He has completed 77.1 percent of his passes for 2,426 yards, 18 touchdowns and three interceptions. 

“Mac just comes in, he works every day, he watches a lot of film – just does everything the right way,” Smith said. “I think it’s paying off for him just because of the way he handles himself.”

Indeed, Jones, who once shared a QB room with Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, has been more than steady under center this season. He’s been one of the best players in America.

“Just being behind those guys, just seeing the things they did, seeing the way they lead, it just rubbed off on him and made him the person he is today,” Smith said.

Smith, to his credit, has been Alabama’s top playmaker. He leads the team in catches (65), receiving yards (903) and touchdowns (10) and has shown big-play ability throughout his collegiate career.

“Sometimes you can kind of see it before the play, the defense that the other team is playing,” Smith said. “So you read a defense pre-snap and then you see things might be going the way you want it to and you’re like, ‘Okay, this is going to be the big play right here.’”

Smith helped Alabama to a national title in 2017. In fact, he caught a walk-off 41-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to beat Georgia in overtime in the national championship. 

It’s been a quite a journey for the Louisiana native, who would love to win another national title before heading to the NFL. Smith has enjoyed playing for Nick Saban, who kept “everything real” during the recruiting process.

“It made me feel like I have a family away from home,” Smith said. “Just being here, just being very comfortable with things around here, the university – not just football, [but] with school and things like that. So just making me feel [at] home."