Oct. 26, 2013
Final Stats |
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
"I'm really happy, our players are really happy, and I hope our fans are really happy. I certainly appreciated our fans today. They stayed for the game and did a great job of supporting our team. It was a great atmosphere for our players to play in. This is a 110 year old rivalry that means a lot to a lot of people in the state of Alabama. I'm very proud of the job that the players and the coached did. We played especially well in the first half.
"Coach [Butch] Jones is doing a really nice job following the hard work that Derek Dooley did at Tennessee, and we have a lot of respect for their players and their program. This was a tough, physical, competitive game, and I've been really pleased with the way the guys have come out the past four games that we've played and get off to a really good start. We played physical, played with a lot of toughness, and we knew Tennessee was the kind of team that could play with anybody in the country. We challenged our guys to prove who we were, and how we can play against them.
"You get defined by what you do every week. It's going to important for us to be able to focus on this bye week to try and improve and to try and get more players to play winning football. Certainly, in this time of the year when you start getting guys injured and banged up, you lose a few guys and it creates an opportunity for a lot of other people. I was especially pleased with the way some of those guys stepped up today and played really well for us and we really just need to get better week to week.
"We've got some big challenges and some stiff competition against some very good teams coming up here. This bye week comes at a really good time for us. We've got a lot of guys nicked up, could use the rest, and also use the time to help some of our players improve. That's going to be our focus for this week.
"Brandon Ivory did not play in this game for medical reasons. Jalston Fowler had a concussion in the first half and did not come back in the game. I don't think we have any other physical issues.
"I want to say again how proud and how pleased with how our guys came out and competed in the first half of this game. We didn't play great in the second half, but I was really pleased with the way we pretty much came out and dominated the first half. We stopped ourselves one time by fumbling the ball on the one yard line. We had a couple turnovers on defense. We had an interception that Landon (Collins) made a great play on and ran it back for a touchdown, so I guess it all kind of balances out. I can't tell you how proud I am of the way our players competed in this game and it was a great job by our coaches."
#22 Christion Jones, Wide Receiver
On special teams:
"Our coaches do a great job during practice each week preparing us for the special teams and even in our offensive scheme. Our guys did a great job in practicing for special teams because one thing that we do take advantage of is our special teams unit and how good we are on special teams. Whether it is kickoff, kickoff return, punt return, we do a great job in practice. I think our guys put 110 percent into any scheme that we have on the kick return. Some of it is instincts and making things happen. Our guys also do a great job up front blocking."
On returning kicks:
"We have a lot of scheme plays that we do - two or three scheme plays that we call on our returns. A lot of it is reading. Even though you can practice four days out of the week, it might not go that way in the game. Some of it is instincts and taking things out of the play and being ready to go however it comes out and being able to take advantage of whatever they give you."
#26 Landon Collins, Defensive Back
On the interception return:
"I knew he was going out, so I read the break and broke on the ball towards the wide receiver and caught the pick. He threw it right to me. After that it was to the house because I didn't see anyone in front of me but my linemen. After we got the last block on the quarterback, that was it."
On the week's motivation:
"It's just constantly practicing and constantly knowing our jobs and doing it to perfection. That's what we did when we stepped out on the field, and that's all we do is work and work and keep grinding until we know that we can shut anybody down like we did today."
Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones
"We probably played our worst half of football that we have played all year. Some of it was due to the quality of our opponent. Some of it was self-inflicted wounds. We talked about having to start fast. We gave up a long kickoff return, then they scored. Third down we fell over and gave up a big play. Everything had a snowball effect.
The next step in the evolution of our football program and football team is to learn how to win on the road. When you play on the road, you are responsible for creating your own momentum and opportunities. Obviously, we did not do that in any way, shape or form in the first half. That is very disappointing.
In the second half, I thought our players showed grit and fight, but we just didn't play winning football in all areas. We had dropped passes. We lost leverage in a football place. Lost leverage can be caused by playing a good defense. In a lot ways, we would lose leverage on football plays and they would lead to big football plays.
Our team is very prideful. This football program is prideful, but we will come back. Alabama is a very good football team. I did not think we played very well today."
#80 Corey Miller, Defensive End
On if Tennessee was worried coming into the game:
"We weren't worried at all. We started slow as a team, and in the second half we came out and played Tennessee football. We've just got to lineup and start fast."
On if playing in a hostile environment affected Tennessee:
"It shouldn't have been something that affected us. We practiced all week with two speakers with lots of noise and things of that nature. It shouldn't have been any kind of issue for us."
#74 Antonio Richardson, Left Tackle
On his thoughts on tonight's outcome:
"It hurts. You hate to take a loss like that, especially coming off a high like we did last week. We've just got to be very critical of ourselves while watching the film and very critical of ourselves during practice next week. Coach (Butch Jones) talks about a `snap it clear' mentality, so what have to snap it clear right now and get ready for a big challenge next week."
On if Alabama did anything that they did not expect:
"From watching the film, we got everything that we expected. Offensively, we were able to protect the quarterback pretty well. We weren't able to put together good drives and they had the ball a really long time. Like I said, we just have to snap it clear and come back next week."