Sept. 12, 2009
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Alabama Head Coach
I think we did a good job the entire game offensively and I think we controlled the line of scrimmage and ran the ball effectively. Greg [McElroy] did a very good job of taking what they gave him. He was accurate and made good decisions. 18 of 24 is pretty good and 13 in a row or whatever he did at one point is outstanding. There were some guys that stepped up today. Mike McCoy had 100 yards plus day after Julio went down. Most of what he caught was what we had planned to go to No. 8, but he did an outstanding job.Nick Saban
Trent Richardson got more of an opportunity in this game like we knew he would. Mark [Ingram] had been sick all week, but Mark played well as well. Roy [Upchurch] got an ankle sprain early in the game and couldn't continue to play so Trent did a great job.
I think, defensively, we played a lot better in the second half. Special teams did a good job in the game except for the kickoff coverage and we need to continue to work on that to get that fixed. Two weeks in a row where you give up a kickoff return for a touchdown and then we do the alternative kicks and give up field position so that's something that we need to improve on.
I really wasn't happy with the energy and enthusiasm our team came out and played with in the first half. The focus in games like this is to improve. FIU's players played well in the game, they played hard. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the competitive spirit that they have. Mario's building a good program there and they really play like a true bunch of great competitive young people and I have a lot of respect for that. They played hard in the game today and they took it right to us.
I don't think our guys came out with the kind of energy, enthusiasm and intensity that we need to set the tone and we allowed them to stay in the game with some mistakes that we made and some things that we didn't do correctly. Giving up a big play on third and long when they've got the ball on the two yard line which changes field position. We got a pass interference which was a big play on what I think was second and long. There's a lot of things that we need to correct, there's a lot of things that we can correct and get better.
We got to play a lot of players out there today. I do think that Damion Square got knee injury that is probably pretty serious. We don't know yet until they do a MRI, but we're pretty sure that he probably has a knee injury that is going to require surgery.
On FIU’s offensive line:
“FIU played hard all night. They have a good team. Their offensive line made it tough for us against them with their blocks. We just had to get out there and do what we do.”
On Cory Reamer and contributing:Mike McCoy
“Those guys are seniors and they did their job. We look to them as leaders on the team. They went in there and handled their business.”
On :Mike McCoy
“He just found a way to get in there and had the opportunity to make some great plays. When they called his number, he was ready and did a great job.”
On still putting up offensive numbers without , , , etc.:Julio JonesRoy UpchurchMark Ingram
“I think we put up just over 200 yards last time against FIU so it’s huge for us to come out and put up big numbers. We’d like for that to transfer more onto the scoreboard. It was a struggle getting points actually on the scoreboard tonight, but the yardage was there and we just grinded it out. Everybody did a good job. Trent [Richardson] ran like he was possessed and we got it in the end zone right there at the end and were able to come out with a big win.”
On :Trent Richardson
“Trent is a magnificent player. I’ve been waiting for him to have a huge breakout day. Trent has so much talent, he’s a true freshman and just for him to step in like that and play so well. You hope for that to happen but when it does happen, it’s just a great thing for him and his family. I know he was battling some nicks and bruises and he was just hurdling people, pounding people. I was just proud to have him as my running back, especially when you have somebody explosive like that. It makes blocking a lot more fun because then if you block your man, then he hits the hole and houses it. He’s just such a phenomenal player.”
On FIU’s pressure:
“I got sacked once actually on play action, they blitzed from the back and there was just a little miscommunication so there was a little disappointed but what can you do? It’s a part of the game, we kept the momentum going.”
On difference between his game in week one and week two:
“I think I just felt the need not to pass, I settled into my game last week in the second half and just threw completions. The fact that that kind of carried over to this week, it allowed me to be more successful in the passing game and be more efficient. The fact that we did that, set those records, is amazing.”
Florida International Head Coach Mario Cristobal
"It was a real, real hard fought game and real good effort by our guys, particularly in the first half, but we have to hold up in protection a little more in the second half. Obviously, we're never satisfied with a defeat, but give credit to Alabama. The Crimson Tide really plays good football and they played good football again tonight when they had to win the football game."
On how much depth was a factor in the game:
"Well I think that's the difference in our program, one that's growing, versus one that's been established for a long, long time. You've got your second and third teams going in there and rotating. What happens with us being a young program, you have something happen like to Ashlyn Parker. It's play 75, 80 or 85 and now you have a foot get stuck in the ground and you hurt a knee. I think that's when it takes its toll, in the second half. Again, give credit to them. They were able to roll them in and roll them out, but it did take its toll on us in the second half."
On whether or not he was surprised by how much threw the ball in the first half: Greg McElroy
"Not really. I think he's a real good football player. He really is. I know he didn't get a chance to throw it much against Virginia Tech last week, but he's an accurate passer, he's got great feet, he's very mobile and has a great understanding for the game. We were impressed with him on film and I thought their offensive line did a great job giving him time. I thought their offensive coordinator did a great job mixing up the play action, the quick game and some other stuff to mix up our defensive line and keep us off of him. Of course his wide receivers are good football players and big guys that can run, and they find a way to catch the football."
QB Paul McCall
On how the team competed tonight:
“It’s nice to put up points against a defense like that. We hung with them for three quarters of the game, but that’s not going to do it. You don’t get too many chances to play the fourth-ranked team in the nation and get shots like we got tonight. They are a good team and they showed why they are ranked No. 4 in the country by the way they were able to finish tonight.”
On why Alabama was able to get more pressure on him in the second half:
“That’s my fault. My eyes came down from the coverage and I was looking at things I didn’t need to be looking at. That’s inexcusable and it hurt the team tonight. I need to be able to get the ball in the hands’ of my receivers quicker. They also made some second half adjustments. They stopped blitzing and relied on getting pressure with a four man front. Kudos to them for making the adjustments, but we need to be able to come back and counterpunch. That starts with me. I need to do a better job of seeing where guys are going to be and putting it in their hands.”
WR Greg Ellingson
On why Alabama was able to pull away in the second half:
“I think it was a lack of execution on our part. When they had a chance to execute and make a big play, they did. You have to give them credit for that. When we had the chance, we didn’t, including myself. I had the chance to make a catch on third down and didn’t.”
On how he was able to get open consistently:
“I think it is just the scheme of all the plays. On some routes T.Y (Hilton) is going to be open, and on others I am. It’s also due to good placement by Paul (McCall).”
On what the team can take away from tonight’s game:
“We know we can hang with the big dogs. Tonight they just executed better than we did.”