Alabama vs. Virginia Tech Postgame Quotes
Sept. 6, 2009
ALABAMA VS. VIRGINIA TECH
ALABAMA POST-GAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH Nick Saban "This team responded better to adversity in this game then we ever have. We played a very mentally tough team. That is a trademark of Frank Beamer. I am especially proud of how the team played in the second half, especially the fourth quarter. I think offensively we played better, I'd still like to see us play with a little bit more urgency. Tonight is the first step in creating an identity for the team.
"I would open every season with the Ckick-fil-A Kickoff game if I could. I love coming here to play. It is great for our fans and great for the U.S. to see two great teams play. Anyone that liked competition liked the game that was played tonight. We have 11 more games to play and the most important game is the one we play next week. We still have a lot of good teams to play."
"The offensive line gained confidence during the game. I think we are a little bigger and stronger. In the beginning their quickness was a lot to handle, but we started to wear them down in the fourth. That was part of the plan tonight. You have to create six seconds of hell each play and we did that tonight."
RUNNING BACK Mark Ingram "We made the adjustments we needed to make and we executed. We didn't give up. (Greg) McElroy kept his composure and focus throughout the whole game. I just go out and work hard and do whatever it takes to help my team. Everyone talks about our defense, but our offense can do it, too. We just want to prove that to people."
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN Mike Johnson "We had some opening game jitters in the first half and we were making stupid mistakes. But we knew we could execute. Virginia Tech is athletic and they were bringing the pressure on defense. We refocused in the second half and we knew we could run on them. Greg (McElroy) was a leader for us. He stepped in and did a phenomenal job of making plays. We just did whatever it took to get it close and we played a great fourth quarter."
On his first start: "I have never faced at the college level before. With the first series, I wasn't the least bit nervous. I got more nervous as the game progressed but the guys rallied around me. We're still running strong and feeling good. I think the work we put in this offseason really paid off tonight."
On the Wildcat formation: "It's not something we're going to hang our hat on but it's a nice change of pace to pick up a chunk of yards. Our running backs were good tonight. We have emphasized ball control. I was not happy with the first half but I talked to myself at the half and the guys told me not to overthink. We are a really close team and that showed in the second half."