Oct. 5, 2013
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Alabama Football vs. Georgia State Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Nick Saban
“I was really proud of the way our team came out and played today. We wanted to build on the competitive momentum that we established last week in the way we competed in the game. We did a better job of executing, and I was really pleased with the way we came out, especially offensively, to score touchdowns on the first five possessions and a field goal on the sixth. We executed better, and I think our players made some improvements.
“It was great to play a lot of players out there today. Obviously, some of them did some good things and some of them have some things we need to correct, but I think the experience creates the best learning opportunity for everyone that got an opportunity to play.
“Blake [Sims] has made a significant improvement as a quarterback. This is probably the first time that he really played where we allowed him to run the offense. When we put him in there today, I said I didn’t want to run any quarterback runs. He needs to run the offense just like he has to play. AJ [McCarron] did a good job in the game. Chris Black, obviously, [DeAndrew] White made an outstanding catch in the back of the end zone.
“I thought our efficiency was really good. Defensively, we gave up a couple of big plays. We played a lot of guys, rotated a lot of guys around. One time we didn’t have a corner. The first play of the second half, we had a guy who thought he was just in the nickel, but he was really supposed to be in regular two. Some of those things got a little sloppy at times, but I think the benefit far outweighs the consequence in terms of the experience that our guys were able to gain.
“Again, I’m really pleased and proud of the way our guys competed today, and I’m sure there is a lot of things that we can work on to improve because we’ve got a four game stretch here in the SEC of teams that are pretty good, and it’s going to be important for us to start playing our best football.”
#10 AJ McCarron, Quarterback
On team leadership and the team’s performance…
“I feel like we have a bunch of great leaders and older guys on this team that know how to lead the younger guys, and show them how to do things the right way. I felt like we came out and didn’t worry about who we were playing. We just worried about how we wanted to play, and how we wanted to dictate the game. We came out and did that right off the bat.”
On staying ahead on downs and moving the ball...
“When we get in trouble as an offense, it’s because we hurt ourselves. We get behind the sticks and have to play second-and-long or third-and-long. That allows the defense to dictate what you’re going to do. We did a good job of not hurting ourselves, staying in front of the sticks and moving the ball.”
On other teams taking away the deep throws …
“A lot of defenses are going to move a lot up front. Ole Miss showed that last week. They moved a lot up front and played soft in the back end. They knew that we had an explosive passing game with a bunch of deep threats. They didn’t allow us to take any deep shots. All our throws in the first half were underneath routes because they weren’t giving us anything deep. We have to get used to that. Teams are going to play us that way because they know what type of deep threats we have out wide. They’re going to make us play long, sustaining drives and move the football on them.”
#32 C.J. Mosley, Linebacker
On getting prepared for a nonconference game…
“When you’re a competitor and you have coaches who are ready to compete, it’s really not that hard. For the guys that aren’t as competitive or don’t have the right mindset coming into these types of games, that’s where we come in and coach them up to do the right thing.”
On the complexity of the defense…
“It’s really complex. We do some things that NFL teams don’t even do because it’s so complicated. Some NFL teams don’t mess with the checks and kills we do on defense. But that’s how it is here. When you’re getting recruited, coaches tell you it’s going to be hard. Once you get here, you’ve got to be able to learn fast. The best thing for these young players is to be coachable and learn fast. That’s how most of them get on the field quickly.”
On being the senior leader of the defense
“It all comes from experience and maturity. Coming in, I just wanted to lead by example. I just do my part the older I get, and the more I learn this defense. I’m one of the main senior leaders on this defense. I give feedback to the younger guys. I have to teach them. I tell them I’m going to be gone soon, so it will be up to them after that.”
Georgia State Head Coach Trent Miles
“My hat’s off to Alabama. They’re the number one team in the nation. They are a great football team, extremely talented, well coached and I wish them the best. They did a great job of doing what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it and my hat is off to Coach Saban. I wish them the best the rest of the way. As far as Georgia State football goes, I thought our young men competed hard. When you’re playing the number one team in the nation at their place and you’re a major underdog, you can’t help them and we went out there and helped them early in the game. We went out and fumbled a kickoff return, we missed tackles, and we had some young guys not line up right. I’m not sure if they were nervous or what, but it just made their job a little easier. Make no mistake; Alabama did everything they needed to do to win the game. It wasn’t just our guys. I’m still proud of my football team. We went in at halftime and we discussed the first half and going out in the second half with the mindset of a 0-0 score and it was a 7-3 ballgame in the second half. My kids can build on that now that we are going into our conference play. It’s real ball for us now and we’re ready to go. We had no major injuries. Anytime you are a coach and you are playing the number one team in the nation in your first year in the FBS, one of the thoughts you have in your mind is that you don’t want to lose anybody. Our kids held up well. At one time I looked up out there and four true freshman defensive linemen were going against their ones and they held their ground, so I’m proud of the way they went out there and fought. Of course I’m very disappointed in turnovers and 12 men on the field three times. That’s unacceptable. Illegal procedure penalties are self-inflicted and we have to correct that. That can’t happen. That makes it look like we have to start all over again. We are making strides and I am very pleased in the attitudes of our young men. I’m disappointed in the loss obviously. We play to win games. We didn’t come out here just to play a game; we came out here to win. Our young men are disappointed that they lost, but they are more disappointed on how they executed their plays in the second half. I don’t know what it was but they kept getting confused on the calls. Some guys were playing one call and the other guys were running a different call. They weren’t on the same page and they were missing open field tackles. The one play from the 10-yard line that the young man made – that was phenomenal. I don’t care if that was Brent McClendon for us or Darrelle Revis. That was a great play and players make plays. They got the ball on the 10-yard line because of what we did. We fumbled the kickoff return, so again, they are going to make their great plays and we helped them. But second half, I was proud of the way our kids went out and they kept thinking it was a 0-0 game at the half and it ended up being 7-3 in the second half. That’s something for us to build on and move on into conference play.
On the errors made by Georgia State...
“I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that they had some first rounders breathing down their throat. The pressure was on. It’s not practice. I don’t think it was just mental mistakes. The mental mistakes such as not snapping the ball and the legal procedure have to do a lot with (Brandon Ivory) that far from your face. It’s a little different in practice. It took them a while, but in the second half that didn’t happen. It took them some time to get used to that. It was unforced errors like they say in tennis but it was actually forced.”
On the school-record 53-yard field goal...
“It was great for Will (Lutz); I was thrilled for him and Georgia State. When ESPN is flashing the ticker all day at the bottom, the very first score you’re going to see is Georgia State and Alabama. Rather than having a goose egg, we had three points. We wished we would have had 46 points. If they scored 45 we wish we would have 46. At that moment I was glad to get that three on there.”
On playing the No. 1 team in the country...
“It doesn’t matter if its No. 1 or No. 125. You have to execute, and that’s what we have to take from this. We have to go out and execute every day and continue to do it in practice and keep pounding at that rock.”
On playing physical...
“I saw us playing physical, but I also saw too many missed tackles. They broke some tackles too and made us miss. There were many missed tackles that we can control. We had a tackle for a loss, and we missed it, and then they run it in and score a touchdown. That’s a big flip. Those are the things that we can control, but give them credit too because they broke tackles and made us miss. That’s a reason why they are who they are.”
Georgia State Quarterback Ronnie Bell
How do you feel you played this game?
“I feel like I played good. I think our whole offense played good. No sacks today, so that was a plus against a very good defense. If we continue doing that and execute our plays then we’ll be okay.”
Did they play like the number one team in the country on defense?
“They did at times. They got to the ball very fast, which got us to play faster. So when we get into competition with the Sun Belt, then we’ll play faster.”
Did they show anything defensively that made it challenging to read their defensive plays?
“Nothing new. What they showed on film, they brought that.”
You completed a lot of third downs. Does that build your confidence?
“Yes it does. Big plays are a plus for us. When we go deep, it gives us confidence to move the ball more, and we can open up the run game. Run games for us are fast games for us and vice versa.
#96 Wil Lutz, Kicker
On his school-record 53 yard field goal...
“It was awesome to be able to help the team. I can’t give enough credit to my field goal line, my snapper, and my holder. I’m very blessed to not be able to blame anything on them. I’ve never had a field goal blocked here. I’ve got a great line in front of me and knowing that just boosts my confidence. Being able to help the team today to avoid the shutout was just awesome.”
On the experience of playing at Bryant-Denny Stadium...
“Of course the experience was awesome. I wish it would have gone better. I wish my field goal would have meant more, so it’s not really the same, but it was an awesome experience and I know everyone else feels the same way. I just wish it would have gone better.”
#9 Brent McClendon, Cornerback
On the performance of the Georgia State defense...
“We didn’t do what we were supposed to do. Kudos to Alabama – they’re a good team and we can’t take anything away from them. We were out of place with too many mental mistakes on our part.”
On if the game was a good memory for him personally...
“I had some good ones. I wanted the ‘W’ more than anything so my good plays don’t mean too much”