Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Football vs. Western Carolina Postgame Quotes



Nov. 17, 2012

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban

Opening statement:

“I was pleased with the way our guys competed in the game today. I think we went out there and tried to play to a standard and executed fairly well. There are always things that you can clean up, no question. The Western Carolina guys played hard. They were a little bit outmanned. Our guys played the way we wanted to play. We improved as a team and had a good week of practice. Everything is ahead of us as a team. We have to look forward to what we have to do to try to improve. Obviously we are going to have a difficult game next week. You throw everything out the window in terms of records when you play rivalry games. It’s going to be important that we have a good week this week. We are fortunate today that we didn’t get anybody injured. T.J. Yeldon sprained his foot a little bit and could have gone back in the game but we didn’t put him back in. Kevin Norwood could have played today, but we just decided not to play him because he didn’t practice all that much this week. Hopefully we can get a little healed up here, get a little healthy. Some of the guys that play a lot of snaps didn’t have to play a lot of snaps today, which is probably a good thing. We just need to focus on what we need to do to improve and become a better team in the future.”

On Blake Sims’ play today and Kenyan Drake not playing in the game:

“Blake played in the first half. He actually had a really good drive. We wanted to put him in at least one series with the first-team offense, and I thought he did a good job. I think we still have work to do. Blake has ability to throw the ball, but he gets real antsy sometimes, especially in the pocket. I think the experience today probably would help him, but all in all I thought he did a pretty good job. Kenyan Drake was suspended today for a violation of team rules. It wasn’t anything that was really significant or bad, but it happened once before, he was told if he did it again that he wouldn’t dress for the game. It is what it is. It would have been great to have him out there today – he would have gotten a lot of playing time. We think he is a good person and are certainly excited about his future, but he also has to learn that if you don’t do the right thing, there are consequences for it.”

On his assessment of defensive back Geno Smith:

“Geno has improved. I think he is a lot more confident in what he is doing right now. He has a better understanding of what to do. I think he and Landon Collins both have, just in the last few weeks, got their sea legs underneath them in terms of playing with more confidence, knowing what to do and playing faster. He didn’t have any glaring mess-ups out there, made a couple of mental errors on a couple of things. We feel like he is a guy that is going to definitely have to help us down the road. He’s a corner-type of ability at the star position, and I think that lends itself to having a little bit better cover-guy. If he continues to progress maybe he can give us that. It lets Vinnie [Sunseri] play the dime position when we go to six defensive backs, which is what he is really good at. So, his development is probably critical to improving defensively.” 

On standout backups that played today:

“I think one of the good things about today is, probably should have mentioned it in the beginning, was the opportunity to play a lot of players. I’m sure there were a few other guys that we could have got in the game that we probably should have got in the game, but we were trying to get as many guys in the game as we possibly could. I think for some guys all their hard work that they do is certainly appreciated and we were happy to play as many players as we did. It’s hard for me to say, I thought the second defense guys played a little better today. There have been times where we put those guys in there and they just make mental error after mental error. We almost went three deep on defense and those third guys made quite a few mental errors in that one drive, but I thought there was some maturity out of some of the backup players. They played with a lot of poise, which is something we haven’t been able to get out of them. Hopefully their confidence and maturity is going to help the depth of our team. Second offensive line did a pretty decent job when they were in there, I think they made a good bit of improvement throughout the season and did a good job today.”

On Brent Calloway:

“There are some things that Brent [Calloway] does well as a running back. He has worked hard; he is a really good special teams guy for us – when he makes good decisions. I call it ‘executive function’ do you make good choices and decisions about what you do – like penalties and stuff like that? I think he has gotten better at that and actually made some good plays today on special teams. We wanted to play Brent at H-back, which we thought he was really good at, which is kind of where Brad Smelley played. I think the experience at running back is probably beneficial to his future, but we will see where that takes us when we get some other running backs in here. If he can compete in that position, we are happy with him to do it. I really feel that with his size and skill set, he has really good hands and good speed that he could be a good H-back for us.”

#65 Chance Warmack, Offensive Line

On bouncing back after last week:

“Our team is really resilient when it comes to adversity. We always want to triumph over adversity. That’s what the main goal is, and we had a good week of practice this week. We knew coming in that we just had to play Bama ball like we did today.”

On the offensive performance:

“Execution, no matter who we play, it’s all about what we do. At the beginning of the week, we just said that it’s not about what they do – it’s about what we do. We just want to focus on executing all of our plays all the time, no matter what it is.”

#13 Deion Belue, Defensive Back

On the defensive performance and the shutout:

“ Just this week, we went back to what we do best, and we just focused on ourselves this week.”

On recovering the fumble for a touchdown:

“First of all, it had to do with the play call because if it weren’t for the play call, I wouldn’t have been in that position, and then when the play is there, you got to take advantage of it. It was a great feeling getting my first touchdown at The University of Alabama. It was great.”

#92 Damion Square, Defensive Line

On today’s game:

“Today was a good day. We wanted to get back to the Bama way, just having fun. Going out there and playing without the fear of losing. We have been there before so you just have to go out there and cut loose. You have to play the Bama way and not worry about the results.”

On next week’s game against Auburn:

“We know what’s ahead. We have played against these guys previously. We know it means a lot to them and they know that it means a lot to us, so we are going to have come and play to our standard. We are going to play a good Iron Bowl for the fans.”

#10 AJ McCarron, Quarterback

On the offense’s play today:

“I think it was a big thing this week that we were focusing on, to come out and play Alabama football. We started slow last week, and I think it was a big key for us to get out to a fast start and get going.”

On setting the Alabama record for touchdown passes in one season:

“It means a lot with all the tradition and all the great quarterbacks that have played here. Like I said, and like I will always say, none of that would be possible without my great offensive line and my great wide receivers that I have out there making plays for me.”

Head Coach Mark Speir

Opening statement:

“Well congratulations to Alabama and coach Saban and his staff.  Obviously, a great program and a great coaching staff, a bunch of great players and fans. They’re an excellent football team that we could not stop. We can take some positives away…We’re just proud of our players in the second half.  When you’re getting into an ugly ball game like that, our players didn’t quit playing, they kept fighting.  At halftime we were going to play for 30 more minutes and see where our program is at, in an infant stage where we are trying to build our program. Our players played hard and kept fighting. I’m just proud of them now that our season is done. We will get on to the 2013 schedule on Monday, but just congratulations to Alabama.”

On the speed of Alabama:

“They are impressively strong. You watch film, and both of their lines, seeing them up front and live in person, I can say they are for real. We can use these three hours that we just spent down here. We could just go through it and see the concrete walls and the fans, and look at the big jumbotron.  Or you can see what a championship team is really about, what they do here at Alabama with their weight room, and how their coaching staff crosses their T’s and dots their I’s.  We can learn a lot here being a first-year program.  If you want to be the best you have to play them, and see them live and in color.”

On their scoring opportunity in the first half:

“We tried a little trick play hoping we could catch Alabama off guard, and get 10-12 yards to get a decent position to make a field goal.  It didn’t work, and to Alabama’s credit they played sound discipline defense and created a big play.”

#51 Rock Williams, Linebacker

On his impression of playing at Alabama:

“It was an extraordinary opportunity to come out here and play in such a great stadium, against such talented players. It’s the best team I’ve obviously ever played against in my life and it’s the best team I will ever play against. It’s a great opportunity to see what you have when you’re playing against the best. I am just really happy to be here and it was a lot of fun.”

On the size and speed of Alabama:

“When you watch them on film they look big and fast, just like they are in real life. We got to go head up against them today, and they are a really strong team, especially their offensive line. I was really impressed with the overall strength and how much stronger they were than us. It’s one thing you can’t see on film, they definitely are a very strong team.”

On the opportunity to play at a stadium like Bryant-Denny Stadium:

“This is definitely the largest stadium that I have gotten to play in, the second biggest being NC State in Raleigh. It was awesome and a great environment. When the Alabama fans get rowdy, we enjoy that. We don’t get to play in stadiums like this every Saturday like these SEC schools do, so it was a great opportunity to come down here and play at Bryant-Denny.”