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Alabama Football vs. Texas A&M Postgame Quotes



Nov. 10, 2012

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Head Coach Nick Saban

Opening statement:

“First of all, you have to really congratulate Texas A&M. They played a tremendous game and certainly outplayed us in the game today. Their offense is a very difficult offense to stop. We didn’t start out very well defensively, giving up 20 points the first three times they had ball. We probably dug a ditch that we couldn’t quite dig out of. You have to give them a lot of credit. We didn’t play our best game today and we didn’t execute the way that we needed to execute. That starts with me. I take full responsibility for not having our team ready to do the things that they needed to do to have a chance to be successful in this game. We really had a lot of undisciplined missed assignments. We didn’t play with the kind of discipline that you have to play with, especially against their quarterback, whether it’s pass rush lanes or executions of pressures or whatever it might be. Going 0-7 in the beginning of the game on third downs kept every one of their drives alive, which lead to points. We played better as the game went on, but we still didn’t make the plays that we needed to make. We had an opportunity at the end of the game on fourth and two at the two-yard line, and we also had an opportunity to get the ball back with about 35 seconds left in the game with pretty good field position. We jumped offsides on a hard count which is something that you most certainly expect in a situation like that. The players were told ‘make sure you stay onsides, they are going to try to get you to jump offsides with a shift or a motion or something.’ The players are disappointed. There are a lot of lessons to be learned here relative to what we can do and what we didn’t do, and if we are making the progress we need to make. This team can still accomplish a lot. We have two games left. Everyone needs to recommit themselves to playing a little better. We need to be a little more consistent and be somebody that they can trust us to put them in a good situation and we (as coaches) can trust them that they are going to go do that and execute it the way you need to in order to have a chance to be successful as a team. Two of the three national championship teams that I’ve coached both lost a game. This team still has an opportunity to win the West, go to the SEC Championship game and have a chance to win the championship game. There is still a lot for this team to play for, and a lot for them to set their mind to and recommit themselves to. This team has really done a good job all year long and worked hard. I was really concerned about this week. We seemed like we were a little bit out of gas. Texas A&M is a really good team and they played really well. Their quarterback is a fantastic player. He obviously made some plays that were great plays out there. You have to have a tremendous amount of discipline to play against a guy like that.  There were times when we didn’t quite get it done the way we’d like to. Our players will recommit themselves and do the things that they need to do to in order to finish the season the right way, and hopefully have an opportunity to accomplish something of significance with this particular team.

On why Alabama struggles out of the gate to score in the second half:

“We have discussed it, talked about it, talked about it before this game. I think that we need to always have something that is a little bit different that we can go to. People are going to make adjustments at halftime to what you have been doing. It was really important that they got the stops that they got, because we got a couple of stops on defense to start the second half and really lost the momentum of the game when we never moved the ball offensively. That’s something that we need to work on and improve and there is no reason for us not to be able to execute better when we come out in the third quarter.”

On Texas A&M’s third down conversion rate in the first half and if Johnny Manziel made something happen on broken plays:

“That’s the kind of player he is. The players have to know that they have to contain him, that he is going to scramble and that he is very elusive. He is instinctive in the pocket, and he’s also fast. If you get pushed by the quarterback, which we did once on third down, you don’t stay in your pass-rush lane, he is going out the gate. We adjusted to that because he must have had 50 yards rushing in the first quarter. I think we adjusted to that a little bit better as the game went on, but again, everybody has to do their job. The guys that are in coverage when he does scramble, we let a guy loose in the endzone once, we let another guy loose on third down, their tendency is wanting to look back at the quarterback because he is scrambling – you have to cover your guy. We gave up a few plays on that as well. It is very difficult to play against a guy like that, very difficult to simulate it in practice – although Blake Sims did a pretty good job of simulating it for us. Again, I think when we look at the film we are going to give him a lot of credit for what he did. We are also going to see that there were a lot of times that we made mistakes that contributed to that as well.” 

On the play calling on fourth and goal at the two yard line in the fourth quarter:

“I wish we would have run it, just like you, because passing it didn’t work. If we would have run it you would be asking me why we didn’t throw it. That is a play that we worked on, it was a pick play, they were in man-to-man. The guy that had the first guy is the guy who took the guy in the flats. They kind of pushed it off. We didn’t execute the pick well enough and didn’t get the play executed. I’m not going to criticize the call, but I’m like everybody else when it doesn’t work, I wish we would have done something else.”

On if the LSU game just took too much out of the team:

“I think the players refocused and really tried and it seemed like early in the week we were pretty good, but later in the week, emotionally, I’m not really talking about physically, we just couldn’t seem to get the kind of mental energy and intensity that we needed to play against this kind of team. We have had a pretty tough stretch here, and that’s no excuse but, Mississippi State, LSU, and this game – playing at Tennessee, which is a big game for us emotionally. We knew that this was going to be a difficult game and that they had a really good team. They had lost to two top-10 teams by three and five points and they are a better team now that they were then, because the quarterback is playing better every week. We were going to need to play our best game today and we didn’t do it and that’s my responsibility.”

#32 C.J. Mosley, LB

On Texas A&M offensively:

“They were making the plays when they had to make them and half the time when didn’t execute or we didn’t cover the gaps right or cover the right man and when you do that they are going to make plays.” 

On moving forward:

“We have to keep fighting, we have to keep playing.  Like last year, you knew what could happen but we can’t control that.  You have to focus on the next game and come back strong and be ready for your last two games.”

#42 Eddie Lacy, RB

On the Texas A&M defense:

“They were a good defensive team, they came out and they were ready to play. Offensively, we didn’t come out and execute the way we were supposed to, the way we had planned all week, so it made the game a lot harder.”

On the carryover of last week:

“After a win like we had last week, we think about it a lot.  But, it was something we put behind us because we have a game this week, too.  We had a game and we focused as much as we could on this week’s game.”

#7 Kenny Bell, WR

On the game:

“It was a tough one.  It was a tough loss for the whole team.  It just comes back to last year.  But, Texas A&M was a good team and they came out and competed with us until the very end.  They gave us what they got and next time we just have to finish.”

On the battle to come back:

“We have been handling adversity all year.  We have had a lot of people coming after us.  But that’s one thing about being Alabama, you are going to have a lot of people coming to your events and down your back.  We get taught that every day.  You just have to keep competing like we have been doing.”

#92 Damion Square, DL

On Johnny Manziel’s performance:

“He’s really great at making plays for his teammates. In a couple situations we didn’t do the right thing, and we didn’t stand on our feet and get the tackle. He is a great athlete, but we can’t worry about him. We have to worry about us. Coach can’t come in on Monday and say it was him, because it was us. We have another game to play, and we got to go get ready for our next opponent and try to finish this out the best we can.”

On how the defense played tonight:

“We played good in some spots, and we played with our backs against the wall sometimes and sometimes we didn’t. You have to play in the situation you are in and not worry about what happened in the previous situation. If it’s third and 2 then it’s third and 2. If it’s fourth and long then play fourth and long. When you play, you just have to play the situation in hand and I think we played good sometimes and bad sometimes.”


Head Coach Kevin Sumlin

On what it is like seeing everybody after the game:

"It is exciting. There's a lot of work that goes into that and a lot of emotion. I said on the field afterwards, I am happiest for the seniors and the experienced players that have been through a lot in their career. You think about it, they came to Texas A&M and probably never thought about playing at Alabama for a regular season game, and being a conference football game. To come in here and play them with them being number one in the country, and us being a part of the conference, it is just a tribute to those guys. They bought into what we ask them to do and then they went out and executed and lead our football team. I am happiest for them because they have been through a lot with coaching changes and close football games. To go on the road and win like that for those guys, it will be moment they will never forget."

On how this compares to some of the other great victories in his career:

"It is big, for us and our first year in the league, we haven't talked a lot about it. We are the new guys coming in and we have to prove ourselves and we have to continue to prove ourselves week in and week out. I said all week, `we have gotten a little bit better every week.' The past two weeks we have played pretty well on the road and our guys are playing with a lot of confidence. For these guys and this group and what they have accomplished in 10 weeks. From the spring and all the changes they have been through, it is a big deal."

On whether this could be one of the biggest wins in school history:

"I can't say that it is that, we just got here. You have to check back to see what has happened. Coming into this year, I think the attitude around our program has changed certainly from the spring, to the summer, to the first part of the year. On Monday, I said early that these guys had played well enough to put us in a position to play meaningful football games in November. If you can do that, particularly with the first year in the program and guys start to build confidence, things like this happen. We have still got some games to play and who knows. These guys are enjoying playing football right now, whether we are at home or away. They play with a lot of confidence. And like I said, I think our seniors had a lot to do with that."

On whether he envisioned things like this happening when he took the job:

"I don't know, as a coach you always think that you are going to be able to win. We said from the beginning, and everybody kind of laughed, I didn't know we were going into the SEC when I took the job, we knew that. There's a lot things that go into a win like this, particularly on the road. We are a different team in week 10 than we were week one, particularly with the young guys in critical positions handling the ball, from wide receivers to kickers. But, our seniors, like I said, are the ones I am happiest with. They are in the locker room and when there is a change and things like that, the quicker you have the buy-in from the experienced players, the quicker you can have success. That's why we owe a lot to them."

#94 Damontre Moore, Defensive Lineman

On the team's performance overall:

"Man, words can't describe how I feel. I haven't felt this way in a long time. The last time I could honestly say that I felt like this is probably my freshman year against Nebraska, Oklahoma, those games.  This is one of those meaningful experiences where you reflect back on your college career, you say `We did something great.' I think I speak for a lot of the team, and the upper classmen especially, that were there when we had the Oklahoma and Nebraska games, but this is probably the best one we've felt. Words can't even put in description of how I feel."

On the team moving forward:

"I think it does a lot for this program. It helps with recruiting, it helps with team chemistry, team bonding and just for future players, just to say that we did something great, and A&M is on the rise. We did a lot of things that a lot of people said we couldn't do, and now just to prove them wrong is a great feeling. It just does a lot for this program and it's going to help us get better guys in here. This will show us in the future, when we sit here saying that something's hard or something's impossible, nothings impossible; you can do anything you put your mind to."

#25 Ryan Swope, Wide Receiver

On his post-game celebration:

"This is a great feeling.  This will be up there with the top highlights of my career here at Texas A&M.  It was a very emotional game, back and forth. We got out to an early start, offensively and defensively, and we knew this team; they are ranked No. 1 for a reason.  Hats off to a very good Alabama football team."

On how his Quarterback showed up tonight:

"This game, I could see that Johnny (Manziel) had a different emotion about him. We knew what was at stake for us, we knew that we had to take over and start making plays.  All around it was a great game for special teams, the offense and the defense."