The titans tumble

  Alabama defeated Georgia Southern in the final home game of the 2011 season. /CW | Mitchell Hughes

Friday night the Crimson Tide was handed back something it lost almost a month ago at home – control. When Iowa State running back Jeff Woody found his way into the end zone to knock off then - No. 2 ranked Oklahoma State 37-31, the team knew it would have control of its own destiny.

“I wasn’t with the guys at the time,” linebacker Courtney Upshaw said. “But from what I heard, they all went crazy and celebrated when [Iowa State] scored that touchdown.”

Later on Saturday, Oregon and Oklahoma also became victims of a wild night in college football, as Oregon fell to USC 38-35 and Oklahoma fell to Baylor 45-38. With both teams out of the BCS championship picture, Alabama may only need a win on Saturday against Auburn to secure a spot in the title game.

“I watched the [Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State game] last night,” running back Trent Richardson said. “It just means we have to keep playing and keep fighting. You never know what can happen for real. Teams like that, Oklahoma State has a really good football team, but you got to be on your P’s and Q’s.”

Head coach Nick Saban stressed to his team that just because an opportunity was presented to them, players must not forget to handle their own business.

“What happened happened, alright,” Saban said. “We told everyone this morning that hasn’t changed. We asked everybody, ‘Do you know what your best is? We need your best the rest of the season.’”

Though many expect Alabama to handle Auburn without much difficulty, Saban reminded players of last year’s Iron Bowl, where Auburn came back from a 24-point lead to beat the Tide.

“He said he didn’t forget about last year,” Upshaw said. “He said he didn’t want to be in the state another year and have that happen again.”

Auburn limited Trent Richardson to only 24 yards on 10 carries during last season’s Iron Bowl. The Heisman candidate will be looking for redemption this time around.

“It’s on my mind, yeah,” Richardson said. “But at the same time, you have to have a chip on your shoulder just knowing that Alabama and Auburn are out there playing.”

Previously it was thought that the Tide would not have to only beat Auburn, but also beat them in an impressive manner, in order to impress voters. However, with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Oregon all going down, style points do not appear to be an issue heading into Saturday’s Iron Bowl.

“We are just going to go in and try to win the game,” Upshaw said. “We don’t really think about style. Of course we want to whoop these guys. It’s a rivalry game, and everybody is going to be hyped about it, but we are just going to go in and try to win the game.”

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