Nov. 29, 2008
Box Score |
Head Coach Nick Saban Quotes
"It was obviously a great win for our fans, and it was a great win for our players. We don't have a player on our team who has experienced this before so that was our goal. It was really less about the rivalry and more about doing something that was within our power if we focused on the right things and put our energy into the right things and went out there and played good football technically - out-hit them, out-execute them - then we would have a good chance to be successful.
"I was pleased with the way that we did that. The biggest thing is that we were able to control the line of scrimmage, run it a little bit. Glen (Coffee) had a good game and that was probably the difference; they couldn't run it on us, and that put them in a situation where their quarterback had to try to beat us a different way. I was pleased with the way we played on defense, and I thought we were solid on special teams as well.
"I'd like to say that when I came here, change was probably inevitable, but the growth that everybody has had was optional. Everybody had to buy into it, and I just want to say that the seniors that we have on this team were the key to changing the culture starting after the bowl game last year through the offseason, and now week to week in the season providing leadership and setting a tremendous example. I am really pleased for our seniors, and I want everyone to know that they should always be recognized as the group that had a tremendous amount to do with changing the culture here. We are proud of our team, our players, and our coaching staff who have done a phenomenal job throughout the season, and we have one more challenge left against a great opponent."
On Terrence Cody being back at full strength:
"It helps us tremendously, because he's hard to single block. I made the comment last week that I thought he practiced a lot better, and that he had his quickness and mobility back. I think the bye week helped him. I also think it helped his conditioning. I felt like he was back to his old self, and he played pretty well out there today. They can't single block him very often, and that helps the rest of our players in terms of how we can play as a defense as well as how they can play individually."
On what he said to the team after the game:
"I told them that I was proud of them, that this was a great win, and they made a lot of people proud. I'm happy for our fans. We've had great atmospheres at the University of Alabama since I've been here and never any better than it was tonight at this game. They've had a tremendous impact on this team, and I really think that they are proud of the way the team plays as well as the character that the team has shown. This team has represented this university and this state in a first class way, and I'm really proud of that. It's a great accomplishment to get where they are now, and they did it with a lot of hard work and perseverance."
Senior Safety Rashad Johnson
On the emotion of earning the victory:
"My emotions are through the roof. I cannot really explain how it feels. It is just a great feeling. We did it in a first class manner with a shutout and were able to dominate the game."
On the play of the Alabama defense:
"It means a lot to earn the shutout. We were just trying to get better every week. We practiced hard and were able to finish the game."
On heading into the SEC Championship Game:
"It's the next game, but just on a bigger stage. We are going to approach it like any other game. We are going to meet on Monday and get set for Florida. They have a really fast offense and a stifling defense so we are going to have to work to get to where we want to be."
Senior Quarterback John Parker Wilson
On beating Auburn:
"It has been a long time since we have been able to do this. It says a lot about our seniors and the leaders that we have. To come out and score all these points it feels good but we have a lot left that we have to do. We will learn from this game and get ready for the next one."
On the offensive front and the running game:
"We were able to make their defensive front pretty much give up by the way we were padding them. We were able to do it all game and it was working so we stayed with it."
Junior Defensive Tackle Terrance Cody
On the play of the defensive line:
"We practiced all week about staying low. We knew they had a good offensive line. We came out with our intensity and were able to knock them back."
On getting the win against Auburn:
"It is big. It is especially big for the seniors. Before the game all the defensive linemen all said that they were going to play this game for our lone senior on the line Bobby Greenwood. We played this game for him and came out there and played hard."
Junior Running Back Glenn Coffee
On the touchdown run:
"I was able to go around the outside and Drew [Davis] had it shielded off. I just saw the daylight when I turned the corner. The line had cut off everybody so it was just a race to the end zone."
On the play of the line:
"They showed up like they do every game. Running behind them doesn't really give us that much to do except hit those holes full speed and take care of the rest."
Auburn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville
"All streaks must come to an end and our streak came to a halt tonight. We ran into a good football team. We needed them to make mistakes and they didn't and we needed not to make mistakes and we did. But that's what good football teams make you do is make you make mistakes. They're very aggressive on defense and offense. They forced our hand, forced us to execute, forced our quarterback to throw the ball down the field. Got into space and weren't able to run that consistent and we weren't able to take advantage the first half. We had a little bit of field position. I want to thank our seniors. They've won a lot of games here and I just told them they've done a great job for Auburn. I hate for them to end on a note like this. It's been a tough year. I put them in a very tough situation with what I did this year starting out with offense. It's totally my fault. I made that mistake, it's not theirs. We just never recovered from it as the season went on, on offense. Defensively we gave up too many big plays. We knew they were going to run the ball. They made some good third down conversions in the first half that gave them opportunity. I think the blocked field goal at the end of the half was pretty key. We moved the ball and moved it down the field. But take nothing away from Alabama. They're a good team, we knew that going in. They're physical, they're big. (Alabama's) fifth year senior quarterback made some amazing third down throws, second down throws and that's what it takes to win games and win championships. Again, it was tough night for us, we could say `hey they scored that many points on your defense but our defense was out there most of the night and we just weren't able to keep up with them on offense."
On the season as a whole:
"We've got a better football team than what we've played most of the year. I don't know if whether tonight would've been any different if we would've played like that and not turned the ball over. Throughout the season, we were a better football team than just wining five games. We just found ways not to win a couple of games, found ways not to push forward. I take my hat off to them. You lose as many games as we lost, but you come back each week and practice hard and try to get better. We had good senior leadership. Not a lot of seniors on the team, but the ones that were with us they wanted awfully bad to get to a bowl game."
On being judged by body of work or single season:
Yeah I'm committed to it, to get this thing going again. In this conference in college football, you're going to have up and down years. I have total confidence that I can get this thing turned around. It was my fault that we got it this way in terms of our offense. We were just never very consistent on offense. But I'm committed to getting it done. We'll start immediately in recruiting and working in that direction
On what they need to do to get better:
"Well we've got to get back on offense. We've got to figure out where we want to be, what we want to do, who's going to do it. I've got a lot of guys in mind, lot of interest. We've got to recruit some guys that can make big plays, we don't have that. We've got to get a few more offensive lineman. We've got to get back to being more physical. We've got to get a playmaker. Recruiting's going good and going very well. It's just one of those things. We've just got to keep bringing guys in, get back to what we can do and I tried to force something on them and I tried it for the right reasons. But it went into a tailspin and we never really fell out of it."