Nov. 18, 2010
Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery
Head Coach Nick Saban
Well, first of all, I was really pleased with the way our guys came out and played in this game today. We wanted to develop habits in this game that would help us in the future, and I was very pleased with the way we did that tonight. It was a short week so we had a different kind of preparation, but the intensity, the toughness and the effort in the way we played the game was the way we wanted to play. We wanted to try to play to a standard, and I was really pleased with the way we did that.
A lot of guys got to play out there. We tried to play as many guys as we could. Some guys that we have – that we at least started to try to redshirt to this point – we didn’t play them in the game because those guys still have the potential to be redshirted this year. I wish there was some way that you could play those guys in games like this and still not have them lose their year, but it isn’t that way so there’s nothing we can do about it.
I thought our players showed a little maturity in the way they handled this short week. I was pleased with the support that our fans gave us in coming out. It was exciting to be able to get so many guys the opportunity to play.
Their players really played hard. Coach (Bill) Curry has done a really good job there. We wish them the best in the future as well because their guys really played hard and it was a great opportunity for them.
On how the team will prepare for next week’s game:
I don’t think we are going to use an extra day of practice. We will go with a normal practice week and just move it up a day to Sunday. We have to give the players a day off for this week, which will be tomorrow. We will do some meetings and things like that on Saturday, but we will have to practice on Sunday.
On running back and offensive lineman :Barrett JonesTrent Richardson
I think Trent is good. I think he probably could have played today based on his week of practice. As for Barrett, we are trying to keep him in a boot to hopefully enhance the healing process. We think he will be able to play, but we will have a better idea of that on Sunday. We like the progress he has been making and the prognosis is he should be able to come back this week.
On if the team has played selfish at any point this season:
I don’t think this team has been selfish. I have never thought that was at all an issue. I have always been pleased with the way our receivers blocked and the way our offensive lineman have hustled down the field to protect our skill players. Our defensive players have all gotten along well. We have not had a lot of selfish decisions made. Maturity comes from knowledge and experience, and maybe there have been times this year where we didn’t have enough knowledge and experience to overcome some tough circumstances playing on the road. In the last couple of games, we have shown a little more maturity in the way we have prepared and practiced. I think we have played better because of it.
On the play of the reserves tonight:
I thought they did a really good job. It was an opportunity to play a lot of players. Some guys got to play tonight that otherwise would not have had an opportunity to play. It was great for them. The second team guys got to play at least a quarter and a half. We got to play a lot of guys on defense. The experience is very important, even though they made some mistakes out there. That is how you learn. Brandon Gibson has done a really good job on special teams for us all year long. It was good to see him get some opportunities at receiver. He has done a really good job all year on special teams.
#30 Dont’a Hightower Linebacker
On the team’s performance:
Throughout the week we wanted to capitalize off guys paying attention, come out and focusing on details, and I felt like we did a really good job with great communication skills. It was especially good when they came in and did a few things we weren’t prepared for.
On young guys:
It’s very valuable being able to know that your backups can come in and play and not miss a beat. He came in and played very well. He’s considered one of the veterans in the secondary. He’s actually one of the smarter guys out there as well.
On this week’s preparation:
The preparation for next week is going to be intense because right now this is our big game. We have to go in and get ready, prepare for it. The guys have to give the tapes a good look, as far as offense, defense, and special teams. They’re a real good team but hopefully we’ll come in, and play real hard on Friday.
#36 Chris Jordan Linebacker
On the defense’s performance tonight:
I think we improved tonight. Everybody came out and played to our standard of excellence. We just went out and executed on all cylinders. It’s really just a stepping stone for us to get ready for next game.
On his interception:
I think he got hit as he threw it, but really it just felt like a dream, like it really didn’t happen. I can’t explain it. It was the first time ever.
On preparations for Auburn:
We’re just going to have to come in Saturday and focus. We’re going to have to really know our assignments in and , and really just get ready for this powerful offense that they’ve got.
#12 Greg McElroy Quarterback
On getting some younger guys into the game:
It was nice to see a bunch of guys get in there and make the most of their opportunity – that was the thing we were most encouraged by. The fact they’ve put so much time and effort in the past few years, and just having the chance to see them go out there and play was something real special for us to watch.
On the number of reps the quarterbacks had tonight:
We were real efficient and pretty confident in our game plan. They gave us a lot of completions, and we made the most of it. Whenever we can get the ball in the wide receivers hands, we know they can do something real special with it. We were real pleased with the outcome tonight.
On his goals for tonight:
My goal was just to get as many completions as possible. That’s all.
#22 Mark Ingram Running Back
On getting some younger guys into the game:
It was great to have everybody play in the game because they’ve worked hard all year long. It was nice to see all their hard work pay off.
On the team’s goals for tonight:
We were just trying to get better as a team. We wanted to go out there and execute and play fundamental football. We just wanted to give ourselves the best chance to have success in the next game coming up.
Head Coach Bill Curry
Alabama has a great football team, I think the best Alabama team I’ve ever seen. Maybe the best Nick Saban team I’ve ever seen.
My fervent desire and what we worked hard to prepare to do was to not be overwhelmed by the whole scene, but we were. We were utterly overwhelmed. We didn’t play our game. Had we played our game and played it well without turnovers then we could have made it somewhat interesting. Alabama absolutely took the wind out of our sails, took our confidence and we were glassy-eyed as if we were running in water.
I had an obligation to our president because he asked me when I called him the first time what I would say to the team if it didn’t go well for us. I told him I knew exactly what I was going to say, so I did and here’s what I said: When I reported to the Green Bay Packers a long, long time ago, I was an undersized offensive center and we had a middle linebacker named Ray Nitschke who was later inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame and was well known to have the best form in the league. On the first play of the first day he broke my facemask, my nose and he knocked me out. I had a decision to make – Do I want to hit this guy again or do I want to go home? And I decided I would hit him again and again, and again, until I could play like him. I never got to be as good as Ray Nitschke, but I did become the best football player that Bill Curry could be, and I played a long, long time.
So I told the guys that story and I said that is all we expect of you. All we expect of you is to get up off the ground and hit them again, which starts now with the books. We have a huge job to do academically, then we have a huge job to do in the offseason in recruiting, and then getting stronger and faster, and then hopefully the next time we play in our opener next year, we’ll be a much better football team than we have been at any point this year. I can tell you right now, we’re a better team than we were before this game because of what we learned. I expressed my appreciation to the administration for allowing us to do this. I wish we had performed much, much better. Next time we will.
I appreciate Alabama letting us come over here as a first year program. That is an extraordinary thing that they did for us. We’ll take our lumps and learn from this and go on to the next thing until we can compete like this, however long that takes.
#94 Kalen Jenkins Defensive End
On how he feels after the game:
Pretty banged up. It was a rough game, and I definitely think we learned a lot. I know I learned a lot about myself as a player. A lot of stuff went wrong; we made a lot of mistakes. It was rough out there. I think some of our guys got shocked at the beginning by the pace of the game. You could tell just a huge difference in the speed of their offensive linemen compared to the other linemen we had played this year.
On whether it was hard to keep playing tough:
No. I kept trying to keep telling the guys to keep their heads up because if you stop competing it’s only going to get a whole lot worse. If you don’t compete, then you are just going to get your head down more.
# 4 Kelton Hill Quarterback
On having the chance to play Alabama:
It was a great experience, playing in front of a crowd like that. Not many people can say they’ve done that, so it was a great experience.
On if the game went as he expected:
You can’t get mad, they’re just playing football. They didn’t really throw the ball the second half. They had to run the ball; we just had to stop them. It could have been a lot worse.