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November 22, 2012

Notebook: Square focused squarely

TUSCALOOSA | Damion Square can hardly believe Saturday's Iron Bowl will be his final home game with the Crimson Tide, but the University of Alabama senior is trying not to think nostalgia with rival Auburn up next, and standing in the way of an SEC West title.

So what makes the 3-8 Tigers dangerous?

"That it's Auburn," Square said succinctly. "It's a rivalry and it's important to them just like it's important to us. I know that they're going to come play some big-time football. Those guys get recruited like we get recruited."

Square is part of a small senior class that, even with fifth-year and fourth-year seniors combined, has shrunk to less than 10 scholarship players. Virtually all of them, however, have made major contributions. Square has been a three-year fixture on the Alabama defensive line since missing most of the 2009 national title season while recovering from an injured knee. Now, he is looking at the end of his college career.

"I just go home everyday to my wife and we just talk about it. Just the amount of time that I've been here and how great these people have been to me around here. Just trying to leave on a good note," Square said. "Unfortunately, I can't stop time, because if I could, I would. But I've got to do what I've got to do and move on to the next part of my life."

Jones joins revelers
When students swamped the University Strip Saturday night after the upset losses of Oregon and Kansas State placed Alabama back in the national title hunt, Barrett Jones made his way there to witness the spectacle.

"I live right beside there. Like I live within a quarter of a mile. So after it happened, everyone was just like running around the streets and everyone started running to The Strip," Jones said. "So I was like, I mean, I'm in college, I gotta at least see what it looks like.

"I was probably down there for 5 minutes total and I ended up on every video."

UA warns of counterfeits
In an effort to thwart counterfeit ticket sales to Saturday's Iron Bowl, the UA ticket office is offering fans the opportunity to verify the authenticity of their tickets. Fans can verify their tickets on game day beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the stadium by reporting to Gate 3 or Gate 32. Officials will be available at those gates to examine any tickets.

Thanksgiving favorites
Favorite Thanksgiving goods for three Crimson Tide players ...
Christion Jones: Turkey.
Damion Square: Stuffing.
Barrett Jones: Sweet potatoes with brown sugar.

Tidebits
Quarterback AJ McCarron said he gave the game ball with which he threw his school record-breaking 21st touchdown pass against Western Carolina to his parents. Receiver Christion Jones caught the pass. "When you play this game, you don't play for those things. But when those things happen that's a very special moment," Jones said. ... UA players within a close driving distance of home return to their families for Thanksgiving, while those far from home celebrate Thanksgiving in Tuscaloosa with coaches.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.

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