To some, it appeared to be a run-of-the-mill quote from an opposing quarterback. But to Alabama players, it was all the motivation they needed.

Auburn QB Bo Nix was asked earlier in the week to discuss Alabama QB Mac Jones. From an Alabama perspective, it had a negative connotation.

“He does a great job managing the game, getting the ball to his players around him,” Nix said, per Bama OnLine. “Obviously he’s got a great running back, great offensive line, great receivers. That helps a lot. But he does a good job of managing the job, taking completions and knowing what to do with the ball.”

Alabama WR DeVonta Smith got wind of the quote, and passed it along to Jones. Smith said Nix’s labeling Jones as a “game manager” provided the Crimson Tide with motivation during its 42-13 win over Auburn.

“It was just funny just seeing that,” Smith said after the rivalry game. “But I mean, at the end of the day, people are gonna talk, they’re gonna do what they want. At the end of the day, we’re just gonna show up, execute the game plan and do what we’ve gotta do.”

Sitting beside Smith in a postgame Zoom call, Jones nodded in agreement, Charlie Potter reported.

Even though Alabama won big the week before, Jones looked for more.

“Last week, I feel like I didn’t play as well as I could have and just tried to improve on the little things throughout the week,” Jones said. “But all that other stuff just goes to my teammates. They’re always gonna do their jobs, so I have to match them and do my job, as well. They make it easy. And you’ve just gotta keep improving each week, and that’s how we have to look at it.”