The more than three-touchdown spread in the Iron Bowl is not going to deter Alabama coach Nick Saban from taking Auburn seriously.

Saban at his press conference on Monday described the Tigers as a top 20 team and a team that plays well in all three phases of the game, including being second in the SEC in scoring defense.

“Got some very active linebackers, very athletic on defense, make a lot of big plays, Kevin Steele does a great job with them,” Saban said. “Bo Nix is a very effective quarterback in every regard. He’s a very good passer, they’ve got some very good skill guys at receiver. He can extend plays, he can run quarterback runs when they need him to. They have some really good running backs, they have great balance. … This is going to be a very challenging game for us in a lot of ways.”

Last year, Saban said the Crimson Tide didn’t play well in the Iron Bowl and made a lot of mental errors.

“Taking nothing away from them, they played well in the game,” Saban said. “They deserved to win, we couldn’t make plays when we needed to make them. … We’re going to have to execute a whole lot better to have success in this game.”