Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama vs. Louisiana Monroe Notes & Quotes



University of Alabama vs. Louisiana Monroe
September 16, 2006
Bryant Denny Stadium
Post game quotes

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula Quotes

“It was good to get our third win. We played a good second half. The defense did a good job getting the offense the ball. We kept at it and got on track. DJ got in the end zone on a quick screen. The young guys stepped up and did some good things. John Parker made things happen. It is good to see him move around more. It was good to see Kenneth Darby get going. We are going to have to get better, especially with our SEC road schedule coming up.”

“Jimmy Johns, Lionel Mitchell and Juwan Simpson did not play tonight. They were suspended for breaking team rules. We’ve had seven guys this summer break team rules. We had two suspended for the Hawai’i game and two suspended last week as well as the three tonight. We are going to discipline guys when they don’t do things right.”

“There is definitely room for improvement. We are 3-0, that is the most important thing. We are going to be tested next week on the road at Arkansas. We are going to find out a lot about our team.”

On second string offense:

“They did a nice job. It was nice to see them move the ball and get the ball into the end zone. Marc (Guillon) did a good job getting into the end zone. Roy Upchurch got better with each carry. It was good to see Ali Sharrief and Terry Grant get good carries.”

“In the first half, we thought we were moving the ball well, but then we had a fumble. What we need to get better at is finishing the drive off.”

On defense:

“The young guys stepped up. Demarcus Waldrop and Marcel Stamps really stepped up. We are substituting between Matt Collins and Prince Hall. Everyone played better in the second half.”

“Kenneth Darby is playing better each week. Hopefully he will reach his peak with conference play on the road coming up.”

Alabama Player Quotes

Keith Brown:

On game vs. Arkansas: “I’m really excited about going to Arkansas and taking our experience over there. I’ve played these guys  (ULM) as hard as I’ve ever played. Going into next week, you can’t take any team lightly. We’re going to go to Arkansas and have fun and enjoy ourselves and play football as hard as we can.”

“I know Arkansas likes to press a lot. I’m pretty sure a lot of stuff we go through in practice is going to be man coverage and pressing and getting up on the ball.”

“I ran the ball well within the 20 yard line. In the Red Zone area I’ve got to work on catching the ball and scoring.”

Ken Darby

“As a team we need to work on our focus more.  We are about to play our first SEC away game and we are going up against our first away SEC opponent, which is a good team also.  We just need to work on being more focused and work on our execution as a team.  And me, as an individual, I’m going to have to get better in every aspect; go out this week and practice and, while I’m running, hit the holes a little harder and a little faster. Going into next week it’s going to be a real physical game, and we need to get our minds ready.”

“I feel like I can do a lot better. I feel like I can do twice as well as I’ve been doing, but, at the same time, I’m not the only guy on the team. We’re playing against teams that kind of focus on me. I’ve got a target on me. They try to contain me, and it’s kind of hard. But, then again, I need to have a different mindset: that I don’t need to get tackled against one or two guys. It’s going to be kind  of tough. I haven’t had my best game. It’s still to come.”

Wallace Gilberry:

“We’ve been in a game down in the second half, and we’ve been in a game up in the second half and blown the team out, so it can go either way. We feel like we need to play 100 percent ball, and we haven’t done that yet. We don’t know what we are capable of yet, with all of our guys playing 100 percent. We don’t know yet what we need to work on, but we’ll go out tomorrow and look, and we’ll know.”

“I need to finish. I could have finished more and helped my defense. On the positive, I was on my assignment. I knew what I was doing and where I was supposed to be going. I was always around the ball whether I was 20 or 10 yards down the field, I was always around the ball. All the negatives are something we’re going to have to work on this week.”

John Parker Wilson:

“Forty one points? Anytime you can score that many, it’s good for the offense. The offense played great. We had some guys---D.J. Hall played great. Our offensive line blocked their tails off.”

On being 3-0: “It helps a lot. We’ve got some games under our belt; one SEC game. We’re about to go on the road into a tough environment. It’s a very tough place to go up there to Arkansas. It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it. We’re going to have a good week of preparation though. We know we’re capable but tonight we were just able to put it together better. We’ve struggled, but we knew we had the opportunity to put it together. It’ll make us sleep easier tonight.”

Louisiana Monroe Coach Charlie Weatherbie

 “I thought we played fairly good in the first half. We had some mistakes that hurt ourselves in that first half. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a few times. In the second half, I felt like their defense controlled the game. In the second half, we didn’t move the ball like I thought we could. Defensively, I felt like once they started running the football after the second half, they pounded us pretty good there and ran the ball real well against us. I think Alabama has a real fine football team. The fourth down and one there with 14 minutes left in the game, if I had it over to do again knowing what I know, I would have punted the football in that situation. That was the difference in the game. I felt like at that point, I know it was 27-7 at that time and I felt like we needed to get a first down to continue to maintain control of the football. It was a tough football game. It was a hard fought football game. We got out physicaled tonight and got outplayed. They’re a good football team. Our guys played pretty well in the first half. We had some opportunities that we missed. We had some opportunities in the first half that we can learn from that and move on. We’ve got a week off getting ready for our conference play.”

Louisiana-Monroe Player Quotes

# 7 Kinsmon Lancaster, quarterback

“We had a decent plan coming into this week.  We tried the same things, to throw the ball and run the ball, kind of mix things up a little bit.  We really didn’t have any big plays.  We didn’t throw the ball downfield like we did against Kansas.”

On Alabama’s pass rush

“It was basically the same as Kansas’.  Both teams rush the ball pretty hard.  We just have to go out and execute no matter who lines up.”

On the play to No. 22 Calvin Dawson

“Calvin made some great runs.  He had a great second effort, broke a few tackles and wouldn’t be denied on some of those runs.”

Attitude on the sideline after scoring their touchdown

“We had momentum after the score.  The team was looking up and everybody was encouraged, saying ??let’s go out and take this ballgame.’”

#22 Calvin Dawson, running back

On Alabama’s adjustments in the second half

“I tried to come out in the second half and run the ball.  They were worried about me and what I was doing.  Their ends were coming really more up field than downfield.


The Louisiana Monroe Game - Saturday, September 16, 2006 - Bryant-Denny Stadium

PREGAME NOTES:  The Alabama captains for the Louisiana Monroe game were center Antoine Caldwell (Montgomery), defensive lineman Jeremy Clark (Daphne) and snapper Luke Spaulding (Mobile) ... ULM won the toss and deferred to the second half ... Alabama received and defended the south goal ... The actual kickoff time was 6:07 p.m. (CST) ... The attendance for tonight’s game was 92,138.

GAME PARTICIPATION:  Alabama dressed 108 players for its game with Louisiana Monroe ... The Crimson Tide played a season-high 70 players in the win over ULM ... Senior Dominic Lee (Birmingham, Ala.) made his first career start at defensive end ... Lee had the second-most games played on the UA team without a start prior to the UM game ... Lee has played in 29 career games in his UA career ... Junior linebacker Matt Collins (Clay) returned to the starting lineup at middle linebacker after a one-week absence ... Collins has started two games at middle linebacker this season and freshman Prince Hall (Moreno Valley, Calif.) has one start ... Junior linebacker DeMarcus Waldrop (Pinson) started at outside linebacker in place of senior Juwan Simpson (Decatur) ...  Waldrop made just his second career start for the Tide ... His first career start came at Kentucky during the 2004 season ... Junior place kicker Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.) made his 2006 debut after missing the first two games with a groin injury ... Christensen handled most the Crimson Tide’s kickoff duties in the game ... Alabama had nine players make their Crimson Tide debut in the win over ULM ... The list includes linebacker Eryk Anders (San Antonio, Texas), quarterback Jimmy Barnes (Los Alamitos, Calif.), offensive lineman Drew Davis (Evergreen), wide receiver Aaron McDaniel (Ft. Payne), linebacker Darren Mustin (Brentwood, Tenn.), wide receiver Darwin Salaam (Madison), defensive lineman Byron Walton (Trinity), defensive lineman Lorenzo Washington (Logansville, Ga.) and receiver Reyn Willis (Raleigh, N.C.) ... Another four players made their 2006 debut in the win over ULM, including wide receiver Danny Barger (Tuscaloosa), junior kicker Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.), fullback Will Denniston (Mobile) and senior quarterback Marc Guillon (Chico, Calif.).

ULM SERIES:  Alabama defeated ULM 41-7 in the first meeting ever between the two schools ... Alabama and ULM are also scheduled to meet again next year on November 17, 2007 here in Tuscaloosa.

FAST START:  Alabama is 3-0 for the third consecutive season following its 41-7 win over ULM ... Bama also had wins over Hawai’i (25-17) and Vanderbilt (13-10) ... The last time Alabama opened 3-0 in three consecutive seasons was 1994-96 ... Overall, Alabama is 13-2 in its last 15 games dating back to the 2005 season.

JOHN PARKER WILSON:  The Alabama sophomore improved to 3-0 as the starting quarterback with the 41-7 win over Louisiana Monroe ... Wilson completed 13 of 21 passes for 210 yards and a career high two touchdowns ... Wilson opened the scoring with a 17-yard TD pass to senior fullback Le’Ron McClain (Northport) ... Wilson also added a 43-yard TD pass to junior wide receiver DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) to give UA a 27-7 lead in the third quarter ... He has engineered scoring drives on the Crimson Tide’s first possession of the third quarter in all three games this season ... In those three drives, Wilson has completed 10 of 15 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

KENNETH DARBY:  The senior from Huntsville ran the ball 14 times for 79 yards in the win over Louisiana Monroe ... Darby had his longest rushing attempt of the season (20 yards) in the third quarter en route to his best game of the season ... In 37 career games, Darby has 543 rushing attempts for 2,658 yards and is fifth on the school’s all-time rushing charts.

ALABAMA NOTEBOOK:  Alabama’s 41-7 win over ULM is the second-most lopsided win under coach Mike Shula ... The most-lopsided win under Shula came in a 52-0 victory over Western Carolina on September 18, 2004 ... The 41 points scored tonight is the fourth highest point total in the Shula era ... The three highest point totals came against Western Carolina (52-0) in 2004, Utah State (48-17) in 2005 and Kentucky (45-17) in 2004 ... Redshirt freshman running back Roy Upchurch (Tallahassee, Fla.) made his debut at running back against ULM and finished the game with 12 carries for 37 yards and two touchdowns ... Freshman running back Terry Grant (Lumberton, Miss.) also made his debut in running back and had two carries for 22 yards in the fourth quarter ... Upchurch and Grant combined for 14 carries for 59 yards and two TDs in the fourth quarter ... Upchurch played 14 snaps at running back, while Grant added four snaps ... Another redshirt freshman Ali Sharrief (Huntsville) made his running back debut against ULM ... He played six snaps and did not have a rushing attempt ... Redshirt freshman center Evan Cardwell (Killen) made his debut at center against ULM and finished the game with 19 snaps ... Senior quarterback Marc Guillon (Chico, Calif.) saw his first action of the season at quarterback ... He played 13 total snaps and directed UA to a pair of scoring drives ... He completed both pass attempts for 15 yards in the win ... Senior fullback Le’Ron McClain (Northport) recorded his sixth career touchdown reception when he hauled in a 17-yard pass from Wilson to give Alabama a 7-0 lead with 6:23 left in the first quarter ... McClain is now tied with Keith Brown (Pensacola, Fla.) for the second most TD receptions among UA active players ... Alabama forced two turnovers in the win over ULM ... The Crimson Tide had forced at least one turnover in 34 of 40 games under coach Mike Shula ... Junior defensive lineman Keith Saunders (Willingboro, N.J.) recovered his first career fumble at the ULM 27-yard line to set up a 34-yard field goal by Leigh Tiffin (Muscle Shoals, Ala.) in the second quarter ... Senior safety Jeffrey Dukes (Oxford, Miss.) recorded his second career interception and first since the 2005 season with a two-yard return to the ULM 38-yard line in the fourth quarter ... Dukes interception set up the Crimson Tide’s final TD of the game (Upchurch 1-yard run with 5:11 left in the game) ... The Crimson Tide has forced nine turnovers in three games this season ... Senior fullback Tim Castille (Birmingham) capped a six-play, 65-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run with 6:23 left in the second quarter ... Castille leads UA with 17 career rushing touchdowns, including both rushing TDs this season ... Junior wide receiver DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) leads all UA receivers with eight career TD catches ... Hall caught a 43-yard TD pass from Wilson to give the Crimson Tide a 27-7 lead with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.

HUGH MORROW:  A three-sport letterman in the 1940s, Hugh Morrow delivered the game ball to midfield prior to the Alabama-Louisiana Monroe game ... An outstanding athlete, Morrow played quarterback for coach Frank Thomas while running the Notre Dame box in the 1940s ... During the 1945-46 school year, Morrow was presented the Hugo Freeman Trophy, which was given to the Crimson Tide’s top athlete ... He lettered in football from 1945-48 and baseball from 1946-49 ... He also lettered one season in basketball ... He played on Alabama’s 1945 SEC Championship football team that posted a 10-0 record and wrapped up the season with a 34-14 win over Southern Cal in the 1946 Rose Bowl ... He led the NCAA with 46 extra points in 1945 ... Morrow now resides in Chattanooga, Tenn.

SEC SOFTBALL CHAMPIONS HONORED:  The University of Alabama softball team received their Southeastern Conference Championship rings on Saturday during halftime of the Crimson Tide’s football game against Louisiana Monroe ... All 18 members of the 2006 team were in attendance for the ceremony on Saturday, including: seniors Dominique Accetturo, Staci Ramsey and Stephanie VanBrakle, juniors Mandy Burford, Kellie Deska, Michelle Menningmann, Mallory Benak and Blair Potter, sophomores Katie Johnson, Chrissy Owens, Jordan Praytor and Dani Woods and freshman Kellie Eubanks, Ashley Holcombe, Kelley Montalvo, Allison Moore, Brittany Rogers and Jessica Smith ... The softball team won its first regular season championship by going 25-4 in conference play ... Alabama added the regular season championship to its three SEC Tournament titles in 1998, 2003 and 2005. The Crimson Tide finished its season with its fourth College World Series appearance in seven years and second straight ... Alabama compiled a record of 54-11, including a 30-4 home mark ... Helping lead the way to the SEC Championship were VanBrakle and Rogers ... VanBrakle posted a record of 28-6 on the mound with a 1.19 ERA, eight shutouts and 345 strikeouts to earn SEC Pitcher of the Yea ... Rogers was named SEC Freshman of the Year after leading the Crimson Tide with a .427 batting average, 60 runs scored and 88 hits.

NEXT GAME:  Alabama plays its first of two straight SEC road games next Saturday, September 23 against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark. ... The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports with kickoff set for 2:37 p.m. (CST) ... Alabama plays at Florida on Saturday, September 30 ... The Crimson Tide’s next home game is Saturday, October 7 against Duke ... The kickoff times for the Florida and Duke games have not been announced at this time.