Sept. 17, 2011
Final Stats |
Head Coach Nick Saban
Well it’s obviously good to win. I think the goal of what we are trying to do is improve as a team. You have to give North Texas credit, they did a nice job out there and played hard. Not finishing drives and having situations where we ended up trying field goals and only made two out of four, that’s where we’ve got to score in the red zone and do a better job. There is a great disparity in yards and there was an even greater disparity at halftime and the score should have been different than that, but you’ve got to score touchdowns when you get in the red area. We played pretty good on defense and got a chance to play a lot of players today. It was great to get a shutout. We ran the ball effectively and made some good plays running. We had two guys gain over 150 yards, I think that is pretty good. We also have to get rid of the negative plays. I think the big message here is every time you don’t pay attention to detail, every time you don’t do the little things right, the consequences can be bad. That’s happening too many times and we need to get that cleaned up in every part of the game but most especially on offense in terms of some of the bad plays we’re making. There are things that we can block and there are things that we should block. We’ve just got to do a better job of executing what we do. It’s time to play in the SEC and we wanted to eliminate some of the deficiencies on our team. I think in some areas we did, but there are also some areas that we need to continue to improve.
On defense holding it late in the game
That was some real coaching going on there now because we had a lot of second- and third-team guys in there. [We] lined up wrong a couple of times, didn’t have certain guys covered at times. [We] not only held them once, but held them twice, because we had them at third down and got a pass interference. I never think it’s pass interference, so I’m going to complain about that all the time, whether it was or it wasn’t. I’m not criticizing the officials, but we gave it to them first and two at the two. You’ve got to like the way the players competed, and I think our other players were excited for them. They did a great job of keeping them out of the end zone, and sort of kept the shutout.
On Arkansas and how the players should expect the level of play to change
I don’t think the level of play should change. If you’re playing to be the best you can be, does who you’re playing determine how you play? That’s not how we coach. That’s not how we try to get our players to make commitment to a standard of excellence. Now obviously Arkansas has a very good team, so we’re going to have to execute a lot better, but your effort, your mental and physical toughness, all those things should be at the same level all the time if you’re playing the way you’re supposed to play to be to the best kind of player you can be. That was the challenge, and what we asked everybody to do in this game was challenge yourself to become a better player. To be a better player. Play your best game. Some guys played pretty well out there and I don’t think some guys played as well as they could. We need to get those things corrected because we’re going to play a lot better football teams than what we’ve played to this point.
On the play of Kenny Bell and the other wide receivers, and Robert Lester’s injury update
I think the receivers have made progress and improved throughout the year. I think they’re getting more confident. I think we’re getting more production. I think that having [Darius] Hanks back, probably gives a little stability. Christion Jones has done a nice job of developing as a player, who has some speed and explosiveness and can be helpful to us. Kenny Bell has become much more consistent for us. We made significant improvement at the receiver. Robert Lester gets back spasms every now and then. He got bent back a little bit on the play. That’s what he has is back spasms.
On offense losing energy at the end of the second half
We change a lot of people in games like this and I think it affects the momentum of the game. I thought Phillip [Sims] did a lot of good things out there. We changed quarterbacks, we changed tackles, we changed center. We changed a lot of things, and that’s for the development of our team. I’d like to stand here and say that those things don’t effect anybody and we don’t want it to effect anybody and we don’t expect it to effect anybody, but the fact of the matter is sometimes when you don’t have that continuity, you lose a little something. I was very, very disappointed in not being able to finish. We had three opportunities in the first half, in the red zone, and made two field goals and missed one. We didn’t finish drives like we need to, which would have made a huge difference in the game. Getting stopped on third and one, two minute before the half, and we have a chance to score a touchdown, and then end up missing the field goal. Those are things that you’re stealing scores, you’re trying to take the clock and the game there. Again, it’s lack of execution. They didn’t run a new defense. It’s not something we couldn’t block, we just didn’t do it right.
#3 Trent Richardson, Running Back
On running through the holes that the offensive line opened up:
We made some adjustments. The offensive line did pretty good, and they established themselves in the second half. They really got their head into it, and that really made a big difference in the game.
On how it felt breaking free for the long runs:
It always feels good to run behind the offensive line like that. To break free in Bryant-Denny is always a good feeling.
#73 William Vlachos, Center
On the offensive line establishing itself in the second half:
To score 41 points on somebody and to come out with a big win, you are always happy about it. The biggest thing I think we proved tonight is when everybody does their job right, we score and it is beautiful. There were a couple of drives where we scored on the first play with long runs by the running backs, so a lot of credit goes to them but it just goes to show what Coach Saban always says, ‘You have got to pay attention to detail, and do the little things right.’ When we do that, we have success, and when we don’t do that, we don’t have success.
On getting ready for Arkansas and SEC play next week:
It’s huge. We know how good they are. Everybody remembers the battle they gave us last year at their place. We are expecting them to be even better and coming with it. We will watch film this week, and go out there and get better.
#41 Courtney Upshaw, Linebacker
On the defensive performance tonight:
We wanted to go out there and execute the game plan and try to step up our pass rush and try to get pressure on the quarterback. One of our main goals this year is to try and dominate at the line of scrimmage.
On stopping the run:
Our first main goal was to stop the run. We knew they were a running team and they had a great back in Lance Dunbar. We just wanted to go out and compete and that is what we did.
#92 Damion Square, Defensive Lineman
On defensive performance tonight
For everything to go right we have to execute on defense and execute our assignments no matter who we play. It’s all about being the best we can be. That is our goal on defense, how good can we be.
On how the defense will be tested in SEC play:
We have some things we need to work on. We have to get stronger in some aspects. You have to get stronger in all aspects playing football. You make mistakes and then make them right so you can get better in SEC play. We have to get stronger and be consistent.
Head Coach Dan McCarney
Tonight we played an outstanding football team. Congratulations to Coach Saban and his staff on a great football team. We obviously know what a national championship team looks like by coaching on one at Florida and playing one tonight. I think they have the pieces in place to go and compete for a title this season. They’re just fast, relentless and physical playmakers. They suffocated our offensive line. Every time we looked to build some momentum, they continued to dominate our front. There are no excuses though. There are no young guys in football anymore. We’ve been practicing since August 4 so young guys have to grow up, improve and get better. We have to get ready for a fine Big Ten team coming in this week with Indiana.
On the reputation of Alabama’s defense:
That’s what we saw on tape this week and I don’t think we’ll be in select company struggling to move the ball against them this season. Did I think we’d get shutout? Absolutely not. That should never happen to your offense, I could care less who you’re playing. That should never happen, but give credit to Alabama on their defense and speed. Real good defenses just don’t stay blocked. Real good defenses can run to the ball. That’s what I saw with those guys. They have so much speed and are relentless.
On the positives from today’s game:
There are a lot of young guys out there and I think a lot of our guys grew up against an outstanding defense. We’re obviously not as good as we need to be. When you let running backs go untouched for multiple rushing touchdowns, it’s completely unacceptable. But there were some series and plays in that game that we can build upon. We still have a lot of snaps to play.
On what issues with his team need to be addressed:
We don’t have an identity right now. It would be fun to go out there and play a bad Division I team right now, but we didn’t have that chance tonight. We had to play the No. 2 team in the country and as good of a defense as you’ll see in college football. That hinders our development on offense.
#90 Ryan Boutwell, Defensive Tackle
On making plays and the defense gaining confidence:
“We got some really good confidence that first drive when they had the ball. To stop them at three points, that felt pretty good because this is Alabama. After we stopped them for three points on that first drive we did have a lot of confidence. Just in knowing we went and stopped them this first drive, so yeah our confidence was high on that first drive.”
On being prepared for future opponents because of the experience of playing Alabama:
“The way I feel is, no. If a team puts up forty something points on you, then I don’t care what you’ve done or how many stops you had. I don’t care how many three-and-outs you had. They put forty something points on you. It’s time to go back to work tomorrow and see where we messed up at. Yes we had good plays here and there, but defensively we have to come a lot harder.”
#7 Derek Thompson, Quarterback
On missed opportunities to score:
We made too many mistakes when we had the opportunity to punch it in. But they were fixable things. We’ve just got to come back next week ready to go.
On the season to date:
We’ve had a tough schedule. We have a lot of confidence in what we’re doing, we’ve just got to finish drives and we’re going to be fine.