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Post Game Quotes



Oct. 24, 2009


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Alabama head coach Nick Saban

Opening statement:

“The first thing I’d like to say is that was as fine an atmosphere to play a college football game in as  I’ve ever been associated with. I’d certainly like to thank our fans for the great enthusiasm and the great support today.


We did not finish the game and finishing things like we want. The last three 3:29, to fumble the ball, they score on a busted coverage and get the onside kick, so for us to get the blocked kick was a great effort not only that time, but the time we did it before the half.


[Terrence] Cody and Marcel Darius are very, very good at pushing inside and when we do the max block, they’re both together. That was a fantastic effort on their part.


I’m really proud of our players. I didn’t want to say this, but I felt like our team was really tired this week psychologically, probably more mentally than really physically. We had a lot of guys beat up, a lot of guys missed practice and a lot of guys struggling to do what we need to do, but there are a lot of positives in this game today.


I thought Greg [McElroy] played better in the game today. We have to get back to believing in our players and throwing the ball downfield and making some big plays in the passing game. Certainly with his performance today, I thought he did a really good job of throwing to the right guy. We had some other opportunities to make plays that we could’ve made that we didn’t. They played us all day to stop the run. They played us all day to stop Mark [Ingram] so we’ve got to throw the ball. That’s just what we’ve got to do. There’s not a greater competitor in the world than Mark Ingram and nobody feels worse about turning it over at the end of the game than he does. He’s been a fantastic warrior for us all year long and really played well today as well.


There are a lot of positives in this game. It shows you, you talk about how fragile a season is in terms of you’re controlling the game even though you may say ‘you’re winning ugly’ or whatever. We’re still leading 12-3 and in total control of the game with three 3:29 left and the ball. That’s how fragile a season can be. Make one mistake and you have to go overcome it and I hope that there’s a lot of lessons for our team to learn from this and I think our focus needs to be on improving.


I have to give a lot of credit to Tennessee’s players, they played hard and they were physical. They played tough, competed well in the game and it was a really good college football game. They had a good plan and did a good job of executing it.”


On Colin Peek missing the game

“Well Collin had someone who fell on his leg during pregame warm-ups and he actually sprained his knee. He tried to play, thought he could play, doctors thought he might be able to play, he tried to play and didn’t feel like he could push off and cut as well as he needed to. I don’t really know the status of the injury. I don’t think it was a surgical knee or anything like that, I think it was more of a strain. I think it’s the MCL, the inside ligament. Hopefully we’ll be able to get that healed up and he’ll be back with us in two weeks. I think the bye week is certainly coming at the right time for our team to get healthy and get some rest.

On the Wildcat

“We did a good job of running the ball in the first half with the wildcat, but we certainly can’t be so risk-aversive. We just have to be more aggressive in what we’re doing on offense right now because they’re loading the box, we can’t block them all, we can’t get angles on them all, and we need to create the balance that we had earlier in the season. That’s what we’ll work on doing during the bye week.”


On all the field goals and blocked field goals

“I think great teams have great players that can make great plays in critical situations in the game and I think we had a couple of defensive lineman that made some huge plays. Don’t forget that Leigh Tiffin made two 50-yard field goals, which were huge plays. We had the wind to our advantage in the fourth quarter, and he did a great job of hitting both of those. There were plays out there that we could have made today that I wish we would have made, so that we could build on. It’s a great win for our team and I’m so proud of our players. We had some guys make some huge plays out there today, but I think there are more plays out there for us to make and that’s something we need to work on.”


On Leigh Tiffin’s field goals

“He certainly has kicked with confidence. He’s done a nice job in practice. I think he feels good. He did a good job kicking off for us today in terms of distance and direction. He did a fantastic job. He made four field goals today, two of them 50-yarders, and there was a little bit of wind out there – it’s pretty much a cross-wind in our stadium – he negotiated both of those and did a great job of hitting them. It was the difference in the game guys, those two fields goals and the ones we blocked.”


On the blocked kicks

“Well I’m not sure who blocked the last one, I think Cody did, but I’m not sure. There was a big surge up the middle and I didn’t even see where the ball went. I was worried about where the ball went and who was going to get the ball and were they going to advance it. I still haven’t seen it so I’m assuming that somebody got on it and they still can’t advance it. Most of the time in the field goal situation they have four or five eligible guys and there’s a lot of different field-goal fakes that you see. Throwing it back to the kicker over the shoulder, the shovel-pass that Ole Miss ran on us last year, we run a couple run fakes and options. Notre Dame scored on a “ranger” play last week where a guy hides on the sidelines and they throw him the ball and don’t put a lineman in there so that the formation looks the same to the defense. When you go max block you’re not really covering much of those things. You say “They’re going to kick it, that’s what they need, and we’re going to send all 11 guys to go get it.” You ‘beach it’, you have three guys on two in the middle, which is what we call beach, and a guy jumping behind him, and the front guys get as much a surge as they can before the guy in the back goes vertical. He’s not allowed to jump over the top of players, but that’s what happens on max-block, and we had two of them today, right before the half and right at the end of the game.”


Senior Defensive Tackle Terrence Cody

On field goal blocks:

“I just knew we had to make a play. I had to make a play. We couldn’t wait on anybody else to make a play. If they would have made the field goal, it would’ve been a tight game or they would’ve won it, so I dug down deep and told myself I was about to block it. The ball snapped, I got a good jump off the line, pushed the guy back and just stuck my arm up.”


On the win for the team:

“For the whole team, this was a big win. We knew they were a tough team. They have real good players over there and a good coaching staff. We knew we had to come in strong and it was going to be tough. We had to grind all day.”


Sophomore Wide Receiver Julio Jones

On getting more touches and the win:

“I just came into the game like any other game. I’ve just been patient all year and I knew I was going to get the ball sooner or later. This was a big win for Alabama and our fans.”


Safety Mark Barron

On the interception

“We were in a 3-deep coverage and (Jonathan) Crompton basically threw it right to me. I had the middle of the field but I rolled over because the quarterback had his eyes on that part of the field. I just used my instincts to anticipate the throw.”

On the win:

“It was a great win. That’s the second time I’ve been a part of something like that. It’s a great feeling anytime you win a game.”


Senior Linebacker Eryk Anders

On the play of the defense:

“The defense played alright but we also made our mistakes as well. There will be a lot of corrections on film but when it came to crunch time we stepped up our performance and was able to block those two field goals to win the game.”



Sophomore Offensive Lineman William Vlachos

On the play of the offense:

“It is Alabama against Tennessee. It is one of our biggest rivalries and it was definitely a smash mouth game. I thought Greg (McElroy) played really well but we also need to get better up front. Tennessee has a very good defense and held us to 12 points. We need to get better on offense but beating Tennessee is a big deal and we will take it.”


On the play of the running game up to the bye week:

“We are eight games in and can definitely use the bye week. The offensive line has gotten better each week in terms of the run game but there are still little things that we need to iron out. We will use this off week to get everything worked out and just try to get better.”


Senior Defensive Back/Returner Javier Arenas

On the sack and the aggressive play of the defense:

“We just were able to execute the plays that coach Saban and coach Smart called in. We had some mistakes out there but as a unit we were able to come together when we needed it the most.”


On the defensive play the first eight games:

“I think the defense has played really well overall. Each week there is room for improvement and now we have two weeks to take care of that.”


Sophomore Running Back Mark Ingram

On having confidence in the defensive unit:

“They are by far the best defense in the country in my book. They are able to carry us on our back when we are not executing as well offensively.”


On the play in the first eight weeks:

“Every game we are just trying to get better. We are showing up at times but we also have things to work on. I think we are starting to mold together as a group.”





Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin

Opening statement:

“It’s a difficult loss to deal with.  You come into a hostile environment and play the No. 1 team in the country, as I said before by far the No. 1 team in the country and the best-coached team around. You come in here and outgain them I think by over 100 yards and miss three field goals.  I’m really proud of how hard our players played.  I don’t believe in moral victories, we should have won that game.  I think all of you guys that were there would agree with that, but I am happy by the way we played and at times we got out manned.  That’s what happens when you sign back-to-back No. 1 recruiting classes.  I was proud of our effort and I was proud of the way we played.  Very shocked at the penalties today for coming in the game the second least penalized team in the country and to have eight enforced penalties – and I think a couple of others that were declined – called on us at critical times.  And they had one penalty for the day – very shocking to me.  We’ve got to go back, get better and prepare for a really good team next week and we’ll be excited when these guys come to our place next year.”


On putting together two long offensive drives in the second half:

“I thought guys were playing really hard.  The two backs were running extremely hard.  We had some momentum going, guys were making plays and we didn’t score when we got down there.  When you go play the No. 1 team in the country you’ve got to get a touchdown when you go down there and you sure can’t get your field goals blocked or missed.  It was good to see our guys rise, good to see our guys keep competing after the roughing the punter.  I think a lot of teams could have quit at that point and our guys went, got the ball back and got another turnover to win the turnover margin; we go down and score then to get the onside kick was really neat.  I am proud of the way our guys played.”


On his team’s defensive performance:

“Another good game defensively.  They went to the wildcat after a couple of series there because I think our guys were playing so great in the run defense.  I thought we had a great plan.  They were able to move the ball a little bit with the wildcat package, but when they went back and played normal offense I thought our guys did great.  We had some really big third down stands and a great fourth down.”


On the play of quarterback Jonathan Crompton:

“I thought Jonathan played extremely well.  Unfortunately, he had the one turnover of the day.  If you’re going to beat a team like this, the No. 1 team in the country, you’ve almost got to play perfect and he almost did as far not turning the ball over.”


On what led to the blocked kicks:

“He [Daniel Lincoln] kicked so well early on, so well in the preseason, so well in the first couple of games then he had the quad (injury) and has not quite looked the same.  We had all of those preseason games and I think he was 13-for-13 or something.  He had not missed at all.  Then he kept that streak going as we started the year.  He had the quad issue and has not seemed to have had as much power, but we’ve got to do a better job up front for penetration because he doesn’t have the big leg right now.  He can’t kick the ball up high.  If you kick the ball up high it’s never going to get there, so we can’t allow the penetration up front.”




Tight end Luke Stocker

On why the offense struggled in the red zone:

“It was a combination of missed opportunities and lack of execution. You have to capitalize on those opportunities against a good defense. We have to do our job and play assignment football so that we can execute.”


On what the team said to placekicker Daniel Lincoln after the game:

“I don’t know personally what anyone has said, but I am sure everyone has been patting him on the back and telling him to keep his head up. That is all you can really say. I know Daniel really well. He is not a guy who is going to hang his head. He is going to go out and work to fix things.”


On how the team feels after this game compared to how they felt after playing Florida:

“Tonight on the sideline, we just knew we were going to win in those last four seconds. We just came up short tonight. I don’t think there are enough words to explain how we feel. We are just speechless.”


Receiver Denarius Moore

On his thoughts and emotions after the game:

”Personally, I am mad that we lost, but I am also happy that we sent out a message today that we are the hardest working group out there. We are not going to give up no matter who we are playing, whether it is No. 1 or No. 20, we are going to play our hardest.”


On recovering the onside kick:

“A lot of guys want to play on special teams, so they can make a play. I was out there just hoping the ball was going to come my way, and it did.”


On the last drive of the game:

“We were in our two-minute offense, and we were just trying to get as close as possible. We wanted to score, but the time was running out, so we had to set up for the field goal.”