Alabama vs. Vanderbilt - Post Game Notes & Quotes

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ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

University of Alabama vs. Vanderbilt
September 9, 2006
Bryant Denny Stadium
Post game quotes

University of Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula

“Well we had another win. We are 2-0. We look at the positives from it. We were down 10-3 at the half and we had to find out about our football team, our young football team. They responded right away. John Parker Wilson did a great job on that drive. We got that turnover that got us the momentum. Unfortunately, we fumbled the ball at the goal line. We played with good field position in the fourth quarter. The big play in the fourth quarter was when John Parker found Nikita Stover on the third and long that got us into field goal range. We couldn’t get in the end zone again, which we need to work on. But what a great kick by Leigh Tiffin, especially after a sack.”

“We’ve got some work to do in the running game. I told my team we have to practice better and do a better job. Everyone has to contribute, not just the guys that are playing, but everybody, from the backups to the scout team. We’ve all got to do a better job of contributing.”

“We’re still finding out a lot about these guys. It was nice to see Nikita make a play after being fresh off the bench.”

“It was great to see D.J. Hall back on the field after missing two games. I think it gives the quarterback more confidence to have two go to guys on the field. John Parker is doing pretty well. He made some tough plays.”

“We’ve got to find a way to score more touchdowns. We practice a lot down there (red zone). Things are going to change though because sometimes the defense changes.”

“Defensively, Vanderbilt was good. It’s kind of like the ??bend don’t break’ saying. They don’t make any mistakes, they wait for you to make mistakes. If they keep playing like that they will be pretty good.”

“Andre Smith is a big guy that plays quicker than most guys his size. He is a good athlete. He can change directions and bend. He is a good pass protector. He’s got a lot of things going for him physically.”

University of Alabama Player Quotes

Keith Brown:

“It was disappointing because we didn’t have as many points as we would have liked. The coaches told us to come out faster and stronger than what we did in the first half and we listened well on that 85-yard-drive.  We came together better as a unit.  John Parker (Wilson) kept his poise as well as the offensive line”

On Vanderbilt: “It’s an SEC team. We expect to play four quarters, all the way through; they played hard the entire game. I think we just answered the phone call, and it was good for us.”

“We practice hard every week to make sure the young guys know when their number is called they have to make plays.”

Simeon Castille:

“Well, it’s kind of funny. I keep a notebook and I write notes that Coach Ball gives during the week. I had a goal of two interceptions. It blows my mind to be able to set a goal and the Lord allows me to reach it. Originally we were in man. We went to zone the second time and fortunately I was able to get the ball. It means God answers prayers, I guess. We work, Coach Kines and the defensive staff, to figure out what we are going to do. They like to throw across a lot and my first interception came from coming across the field.”

John Parker Wilson:

“We didn’t play very well at all (in the first half). We have a lot we didn’t show of what we are capable of doing. We have a lot to work on for next week. The positives, I think the biggest ones were we had three turnovers, two in the red zone. We found some way to win. That says something about our guys. We’ve got some fight in us. We dug down deep in the fourth quarter and found a way to win.”

“We didn’t come out fast. We came out slow, dragging around, and they were able to score a touchdown and a field goal. Our freshman kicker stepped up. I don’t know how long the field goal was but it was deep. That was good for him.”

Kenneth Darby:

On his injury:

“I’m feeling alright. I’m feeling normal. I’m still not feeling up to my top self, but I’m getting back to normal. I’m still kind of sore a little but it’s not anything really. It’s nothing that’s going to slow me down.”

On not having a break-out game: “I’m kind of surprised, but at the same time I know there are a lot of teams that are always going to stop the run. They’re keying in on our run game a lot in our last two games. It’s getting better. I still think it’s getting better. It’s gradually starting to get better each snap and each start. I wasn’t really surprised but I know it’s going to be alright. We’ve got, what, 10 games left? And we’re going to have 10 more spectacular games coming up.”

Vanderbilt Coach Bobby Johnson

 “We had opportunities but we didn’t capitalize on several of them that we had. We allowed them to make a few key first downs and keep the ball. It made it a little tough on our offense but these are the things we need to do to win. I’m proud of our team for fighting hard and scrapping hard, never giving up. A couple of times it looked like they were going to score and we got some turnovers. The offense at times executed extremely well, other times Alabama played extremely well on defense. They took us out of some things. That’s the kind of game we expect out of their defense every time you see them play. (There were) some good things and some not so good things. We’re just going to get back to the drawing board and go.”

Vanderbilt Player Quotes

# 47 Jonathan Goff, linebacker

On Jimmy Johns’ fumble

“They tried to run the ball up the middle.  We were able to make a stop, get a turnover and change the momentum.  I don’t recall the hit specifically, but I was able to get a little bit on him and the ball came out and we were able to get the turnover.”

On what they learned from UA vs. Hawaii

“Hawaii came out and played real physical and it was a typical game.  We knew (our game) was going to be physical.  Hawaii was able to come out and play physical and they were able to stay with (Alabama) the whole way.”

On improving against the run

“(It’s) everyone being on the same page and running downhill and being more physical.”

# 33 Reshard Langford, strong safety

On his interception

“It was a reaction because I knew I saw the quarterback drop back.  My SAM linebacker got up the field and I just tried to drop back and do whatever I could.”

# 22 Cassen Jackson-Garrison, running back

“I’m kind of speechless.  It hurts.  We were so close.  We had led this game the entire time.  We just needed a little more time to pull it out.  Hopefully we can just figure out what we did wrong and come out next week and play hard.”

“I take it as if I go anywhere and lose, I don’t like it.  It doesn’t matter if it’s Alabama or Temple or anywhere.  It’s another team that we have to play hard and win.”

# 3 Chris Nickson, quarterback

“The offense didn’t do the things that we needed to do regarding turnovers and things like that.  We made a lot of mental errors and a lot of that falls on me being an inexperienced quarterback.  We could have done a lot better and I could have made better decisions.  It comes with the territory.  We will grow and learn from it.”

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE FOOTBALL NOTES

The Vanderbilt Game - Saturday, September 9, 2006 - Bryant-Denny Stadium

PREGAME NOTES:  This is the 2006 Southeastern Conference opener for Vanderbilt and Alabama ... The Crimson Tide’s game captains were senior fullback Tim Castille (Birmingham), senior defensive back Jeffrey Dukes (Oxford, Miss.) and senior linebacker Terrence Jones (Fosters) ... Alabama won the toss and deferred to the second half ... The attendance for today’s game was 92,138

JOE DOMNANOVICH:  Alabama’s oldest living All-American, Joe Domnanovich (87 years old) delivered the game ball to midfield prior to Saturday’s game ... A native of South Bend, Ind., Domnanovich played at Alabama from 1940-42 and was a consensus All-American in 1942 . .. Domnanovich played on the Crimson Tide’s 1941 national championship team and was named to the Orange Bowl’s All-Time team after recording a safety in a come-from-behind win over Boston College in 1943 ... Domnanovich was also select to the All-Time Alabama Team in 1943 for the first 50 years (1892-1942) of Crimson Tide football ...

UA HONORS 1966 TEAM:  The University of Alabama honored its 1966 team at halftime of today’s game against Vanderbilt ... The 1966 Crimson Tide team went 11-0 and led the SEC in scoring offense (25.6 points per game), scoring defense (3.7 ppg), total defense (174.1 yards per game) and passing defense (94.4 ypg) ... Alabama outscored their opponents 301-44 during the season, which was capped by a 34-7 win over Nebraska in the January 1, 1967 Sugar Bowl ... The Crimson Tide posted six shutouts during the 1966 season, including its final four regular season games against LSU, South Carolina, Southern Miss and Auburn ... In addition, the 1966 team held nine of its 11 opponents to seven points or less ... The 1966 UA team boasted four First-Team All-American selections, including Richard Cole (DT), Cecil Dowdy (OT), Bobby Johns (DB) and Ray Perkins (WR) ... John Calvert (OG) and Dicky Thompson (RB) also joined Dowdy, Johns and Perkins at First-Team All-SEC picks ...

STARTING LINEUPS:  Alabama used two first-time starters on defense in its SEC opener against Vanderbilt ... The new starters included redshirt freshman Prince Hall (Moreno Valley, Calif.) at middle linebacker and sophomore Lionel Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) as a fifth defensive back ...

GAME PARTICIPATION:  Alabama played 57 players in its win over Vanderbilt ... There were two players who saw action for the first time in their UA career in the win over the Commodores ... Sophomore receiver Nikita Stover (Hartselle) and freshman defensive back Justin Woodall (Oxford, Miss.) made their UA debuts ... Stover played two snaps at receiver and hauled in a 36-yard catch on a third-and-18 from the Alabama 45-yard line to set up the winning field goal ... Stover’s clutch reception came on his first play as a collegiate player ... Woodall played four snaps, all on special teams ...

200 GRAND:  Vanderbilt has played in front of 201,806 live fans in back-to-back road games at Michigan (109,668) on September 2, 2006 and at Alabama (92,138) on September 9, 2006 ... Vanderbilt is the second team in NCAA history to play consecutive road games (same season; not including bowl games) in front of more than 200,000 live fans ... The record belongs to Northwestern, who played in front of 211,700 fans in consecutive weeks at Penn State (November 6, 2004) and Michigan (November 13, 2004) during the 2004 season ...

SEC OPENERS:  Alabama improves to 47-20-4 all-time in SEC openers ... Alabama has won 15 consecutive SEC openers, dating back to the 1992 season ... The last time the Crimson Tide lost an SEC opener was September 14, 1991 with a 35-0 loss at Florida ... Alabama is 19-3 in SEC openers played in Tuscaloosa ...

VANDERBILT SERIES:  Alabama leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt, 59-19-4 ... The Crimson Tide has now won 18 consecutive games against the Commodores, dating back to 1985 ... Alabama is 42-2 in the last 44 meetings with Vandy since 1961 ...

JOHN PARKER WILSON:  The Alabama sophomore improved to 2-0 as the starting quarterback with the 13-10 win over Vanderbilt ... Wilson completed 18 of 29 passes for 207 yards, with one touchdown and one interception in his SEC debut ... Wilson threw his first career interception during the second quarter when VU defensive back Reshard Langford picked off a pass at the Commodores 47-yard line ... Wilson was 5-for-5 for 73 yards and one TD (31-yard pass to DJ Hall) on the Crimson Tide’s opening drive of the third quarter ... In two games this season, Wilson 9-for-10 for 150 yards and two TDs on the first possession of the third quarter ...

KENNETH DARBY:  The senior from Huntsville ran the ball 21 times for 65 yards in the win over Vanderbilt ... Darby had a 17-yard run in the fourth quarter, his longest rushing attempt of the season ... Darby moved into fifth place on the school’s all-time rushing list with his performance against the Commodores ... In 36 games, Darby has 529 rushing attempts for 2,579 yards ... He surpassed Bobby Marlow (2,560 yards, 1950-52) and Johnny Davis (2,519 yards, 1974-77) on the career charts today ...

KEITH BROWN:  The junior from Pensacola caught a career-high eight passes for 99 yards in the win over Vanderbilt ... In two games this season, Brown has 14 catches for 231 yards and one touchdown ...

ALABAMA NOTEBOOK:  Junior defensive back Simeon Castille (Birmingham) recorded two interceptions in the win over Vanderbilt, giving him six career interceptions ... The two interceptions fell one shy of the UA single-game record held by Bobby Wilson (vs. Georgia, 1951), Dicky Thompson (vs. Ole Miss, 1966), Jeremiah Castille (vs. Tennessee, 1982) and Kevin Jackson (vs. Georgia, 1995) ... Alabama has forced at least one turnover in 33 of 39 games under coach Mike Shula ... The Crimson Tide has forced seven turnovers in its first two games this season ... Alabama has scored on its opening possession in three of its four halves this season ... The Crimson Tide has scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the third quarter in both games this season ... Brown had a 35-yard TD pass in the opener against Hawai’i and junior wide receiver DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) caught a 31-yard TD pass today on the opening drive of the third quarter ... Hall caught his first touchdown pass of the season and seventh of his career with 11:23 left in the third quarter ... Hall’s 31-yard TD reception tied the game at 10-10 ... Sophomore defensive back Rashad Johnson (Sulligent) forced his second career fumble caused in the third quarter ... Sophomore defensive back Cory Reamer (Hoover) recovered his first career fumble in the third quarter ... Freshman kicker Leigh Tiffin (Muscle Shoals) hit both field goal attempts, including a career-long 47-yarder to give Alabama a 13-10 lead with 7:34 left in the game ... Alabama is 4-0 in games played on September 9th ...

NEXT GAME:  Alabama closes out its season-opening three-game home stand with a 6:07 p.m. (CST) game against Louisiana Monroe next Saturday, September 16 at Bryant-Denny Stadium ... The game will be televised by Crimson Tide Sports Marketing on a pay-per-view basis ...

Vanderbilt Postgame Notes

PRE-GAME NOTES

Senior offensive tackle Brian Stamper and junior linebacker Jonathan Goff served as team captains... Goff wears a “1” patch on his jersey in honor of Kwane Doster, who was tragically killed in December of 2004.

CAREER FIRSTS

?? A pair of Commodores made their first career starts in the secondary. Redshirt-freshman Joel Caldwell started at one corner exactly one month after dislocating his elbow in the preseason. Caldwell, a native of Hoover, Ala., and high school teammate of UA quarterback John Parker Wilson, saw the first action of his collegiate career after sitting out against Michigan. True freshman D.J. Moore, a special teams standout a week ago, started at the other corner. Today’s offensive starters matched those from the Michigan game.

?? Redshirt-freshman linebacker Brandon Bryant saw his first collegiate action today after missing the Michigan game. Bryant and Caldwell were the only Commodores to make their first appearance.

EVERYBODY’S WATCHING

Today’s contest marks the third consecutive game that the Commodores have played in front of over 92,000 fans -- a first in Vanderbilt history. The two previous games set attendance records for Vanderbilt football. Vanderbilt’s last four road games have all been attended by over 90,000 fans. A total of 399,433 people have witnessed VU’s last four road contests.

                Date                          Opponent                 Attendance              Result

                Sept. 9, 2006             at Alabama                92,138                       UA 13, VU 10

                Sept. 2, 2006             at Michigan               109,668                     UM 27, VU 7

                Nov. 19, 2005           at Tennessee             107,487                     VU 28, UT 24

                Nov. 5, 2005             at Florida                   90,140                       UF 49, VU 42 (2OT)

IN-GAME NOTES

With :58 seconds remaining in the first quarter, redshirt-freshmen Steven Stone forced Alabama into a field goal situation with his first career tackle for loss on a third down play in Vanderbilt territory... The Commodore defense responded after Vanderbilt’s first giveaway of the game. Sophomore safety Reshard Langford intercepted a Wilson pass at the 11:57 mark of the second quarter to give Vanderbilt the ball near midfield. Langford led the Commodores with three interceptions a year ago... Sophomore receiver Earl Bennett showed off his arm again this week, throwing a 15-yard pass to senior Marlon White at the 10:57 mark. Last week at Michigan, Bennett threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to White... With four minutes remaining in the first half, the Vanderbilt defense made its second takeaway of the game. On a third-and-1 play on the Vanderbilt 14-yard line, junior linebacker Jonathan Goff forced a fumble by an Alabama running back. The fumble was recovered by freshman cornerback D.J. Moore. The play marked the second forced fumble of Goff’s career and Moore’s first recovery... Moore’s takeaway led to sophomore quarterback Chris Nickson’s first career touchdown pass, a six-yard strike to sophomore Earl Bennett with :14 seconds remaining before halftime. The TD catch was the 10th of Bennett’s young career... Vanderbilt’s third takeaway of the game came with 8:19 in the third quarter. With Alabama at the goal line, Jonathan Goff recorded his second forced fumble to keep the game knotted at 10-10. Junior defensive end Curtis Gatewood came out of a pile with the recovery, the first of his Vanderbilt career... On third-and-long with just under eight minutes to play, redshirt freshman defensive end Broderick Stewart recorded a sack to force the Crimson Tide to kick their second field goal of the game.

POST-GAME NOTES

Jonathan Goff continued his defensive domination, making a team-high 13 tackles, including seven solo stops. Goff also forced two fumbles and broke up a pass attempt... Sophomore receiver Sean Walker made the longest reception of his career, a 28-yard catch on third down, in the second quarter... Chris Nickson set career highs in passing yards (140, previous best: 99 vs. Michigan, 2006) and completions (15, previous best: 11 vs. Michigan, 2006) as well as rushing yards (40, previous best: 39 vs. Richmond, 2005)... True freshman Brett Upson helped the Commodores in the field position battle. In just his second collegiate start, Upson punted five times for an average of 43.6 yards, pinning Alabama inside the 20-yard line twice. The Crimson Tide had minus-two yards on only one punt returns... Earl Bennett posed a triple threat again for the Commodores. The wide out from nearby Birmingham caught __ passes for __ yards and one touchdown. Bennett also ran the ball once for three yards and threw a 15-yard completion... Senior fullback Steven Bright got more involved in the passing game today, catching four balls for 52 yards... Sophomore placekicker Bryant Hahnfeldt connected on his first attempt of the 2006 season, a 42-yard field goal early in the second quarter. In his career, Hahnfeldt has made 6-of-8 attempts from 40 yards or deeper... Senior safety Ben Koger made six tackles, including one for a two-yard loss, and broke up a pass attempt... Junior linebacker Marcus Buggs made six tackles, including one for an eight-yard loss, and was also credited with a quarterback hurry... Senior linebacker Kevin Joyce and freshman cornerback D.J. Moore also posted six tackles apiece... Junior tailback Cassen Jackson-Garrison carried the ball nine times for 42 yards, an average of 4.7 yards per carry.