University of Alabama Football
Alabama vs. Ole Miss
Postgame Quotes and Notes
October 14, 2006
Head Coach Mike Shula
“As you know, it feels good to win. It’s good to say you got your first overtime win. Our guys fought hard and kept believing. It kept looking like everything was going to go against us, but we kept going and regrouped in overtime. It feels good to win but we’ve got to get better.”
“We had some guys that got nicked up today. Jimmy Johns hurt his ankle, Keith Brown hurt his knee and DJ Hall hurt his shoulder a little. When that happens, guys have got to step up like Will Oakley did today. We’ve got to get those guys better.”
“It’s always a good feeling when you start on defense in overtime and you keep them out of the end zone. To get the last third down conversion to get into the end zone is a great feeling.”
“The offensive line had one of its best games. Kenneth Darby made some great runs, especially against a defense that blitzes as much as they did. Darby had some good protection. It’s hard not to give Darby the ball. He gets better as the game goes on. He has a lot of belief in himself and is very self motivated.”
“I think it was good to see that we won the overtime toss, stopped them and held them to a field goal. Since we moved the ball well in the second half, we felt we could score. The key play in the overtime drive was the pass to Will Oakley.”
“Momentum in this conference is short lived. You need guys to make plays to get field position. You can’t say enough about field position. Field position creates momentum. We need to use this win to build confidence, correct mistakes and get ready for Tennessee. They’ve got some momentum as well.”
University of Alabama Player Quotes
John Parker Wilson:
On Le’Ron McClain’s catch after fumble:
“It was great. The play wasn’t exactly like it was drawn up. We’ve actually never run that play like that. Le’Ron did a great job of breaking his route off and adjusting to the defense. He did a good job of getting open and he caught the ball. Big-time players step up in big-time situations, and that’s exactly what he did.”
On his mindset at overtime:
“We knew we wanted to go down and score a touchdown. We knew we didn’t want to kick a field goal. We didn’t want to hang around with those guys because they’re so good. We wanted to take care of the ball first-off, come down and try to get in the end zone.”
On pass to Will Oakley:
“It was a big, big third down conversion. Keith’s (Brown) hurt, and he (Oakley) stepped up. We always talk about playmakers, big playmakers, and that’s exactly what he did. He adjusted his route a little bit to get open. He made a good catch and kept it in bounds.”
“He (Oakley) was the first option but the defense did something that they have never done. We had never seen that before. I stuck with him because I saw he adjusted his route. He was just getting open and adjusting his run. The defense was trying. He made a good catch.”
On the last catch:
“The whole time I was thinking in my head I might get to end this game with a touchdown. So I had to get down with the touchdown I dropped earlier. I had to make the play and we won the game.”
On Kenneth Darby’s performance:
“Great. I told you he’s back. He had, what, 162 yards? We have, what, seven more games? I’m looking forward to it.”
On overtime success today:
“We haven’t won a bunch of them (overtime games) since I’ve been here. It feels great. Until y’all said something, I didn’t know that we had lost every overtime game. I was just thinking about the earlier one we had this year. After the defense held them to a field goal I kind of knew if we could get it inside the 25, then we could get it.”
“We still have some work to do. I don’t know how many yards we had, but we still had a bunch of yards. I really don’t think it should have come down to that (overtime). I think we punted twice and we ended up with 20 points. We have to get it going on offense. It still wasn’t as good as I thought we should be.”
If he was worried in overtime trailing 23-20:
“No. We’ve got Jamie (Christensen) kicking If it had come down to a field goal, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it because I know that he’s done it time and time again. I’d just have thought, Oh, crap. We just went into a second overtime,’ and we would deal with that.”
“We’ll take it how we can get it. At halftime Coach (Joe) Kines was talking to us about our second-half goals. We won last week and we got that one out of the way. We were just saying this week was our second opportunity to get a win. We have to do whatever we have to do to get a win and we came out on top.”
On giving up the touchdown pass to Ole Miss:
“We knew they were going to make plays at some point in the game. (Brent) Schaeffer was doing a good job of buying himself time and that’s what happened on that play. He went inside and then he saw his quarterback rolling out. He just shot up the field. They threw it deep and he caught it. We bounced back and played it pretty well.”
“Obviously it was huge. We needed that. We’ve been playing pretty good when teams get really close to the goal line. Keith Saunders made a pretty big tackle in that series, and that was real big for us.”
Ole Miss Head Coach Ed Orgeron Quotes
“Well, obviously we are disappointed. We came here to win. We prepared all week to win. I really believe that my coaching staff, myself and our players believed that we were going to win this game and we came here to do it. We fell short. We fell too short, but I am proud of our football team. They are hurting inside. I believe that they thought they were going to win this game. I’m really excited to see us make some improvements and I have to give it to Coach Werner, he spread it out a little bit more. I thought the offense did a fantastic job. We played good in spots on defense. We had too many mistakes on third down. We got beat on third down. We got beat in the cornerback position and we’ve got to fix that. The last play of the game, we knew they were going to pass the ball. We were right there but give them credit, they made a good play. We were pleased to see that Josh Shene could make a field goal. Last year we couldn’t kick any against them, so we made some improvement there. This was a key game for our program. We wanted to come and beat Alabama on the road and we threw everything that we had at them. We have to bounce back; we’re going to bounce back. We’re going to go get ready to play Arkansas. We’ll find a way. We’ll keep on working. I think this is the best we have played since I have been here even though we lost. But you can see that we are making improvements and we are getting to where we want to be.”
Ole Miss Player Quotes
# 36 Rob Park, punter
“I knew it was going to be a big play in the game because we needed to score right there. We needed to make it so we could get the ball back.”
#6 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, running back
“It’s disappointing, but we know we have to bounce back. We have a big game coming against Arkansas. We will come in and watch film next week and get better from our mistakes.”
“It was a team effort. They played hard. We played hard. We just came up one play short today. We will just keep working hard, keep punching and we will come away with a win.”
#49 Patrick Willis, middle linebacker
“We’ve got to take the positives from it and of course we are going to grade the film to see what we are going to get better on. Overall, coming down here to Tuscaloosa, it was supposed to be a shutout and we weren’t supposed to have a chance to be able to come out and play as well as we did. Not saying that we played a perfect game or a good game, but we played well enough to be in there for an overtime and only came up one play short so we have to take some positives from that.”
#7 Brent Schaeffer, quarterback
“Things seemed like they were falling into place today. We didn’t have a lot of mental mistakes, good routes were run, great pass blocking and the running game did well too.”
On short passes
“I think that really does something to the defensive line. They can’t just pin their ears back and rush. Psychologically, that slows them down and that opens them up for the longer passes.”
“I told coach that I think we can get them deep. We had been throwing a lot of short quick passes and they were coming up on them and I told coach we could take a shot deep on them. Mike Wallace ran a great route. The line protected well and we scored the touchdown.”
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE FOOTBALL NOTES
The Ole Miss Game - Saturday, October 14, 2006 - Bryant-Denny Stadium
PREGAME NOTES: The Alabama captains for the Ole Miss game were senior running back Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) on offense, senior linebacker Juwan Simpson (Decatur) on defense and senior defensive back Jeffrey Dukes (Oxford, Miss.) on special teams ... Paul Crane, who played both center and linebacker at Alabama, delivered the game ball prior to Saturday’s game ... Crane was a member of the 1964 and 1965 national championship teams and was elected permanent captain in 1965 ... Alabama won the toss and deferred to the second half ... The kickoff for today’s game was 2:35 p.m. (CST) ...
PARTICIPATION/STARTING LINEUPS: Alabama sophomore wide receiver Will Oakley (Ponta Vedra Beach, Fla.) made his first collegiate start against Ole Miss ... Oakley was the third wide receiver in the Crimson Tide’s three wide receiver offense to open the game ... Sophomore tight end Travis McCall (Prattville) did not start as UA did not open the game with a tight end ... Alabama has now used 14 different starters on offense this season ... The Alabama defense did not use any first time starters today against Ole Miss ... The Crimson Tide has used 15 different starters on defense this year ... Alabama played 56 total players in the win over Ole Miss ...
BAMA CLAIMS OVERTIME WIN: Alabama snapped a five-game overtime losing streak with a 26-23 win today against Ole Miss ... Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson’s (Hoover) two-yard pass to senior fullback Le’Ron McCalin (Northport) gave the Tide a three-point win in overtime ... It was Alabama’s first overtime win since beating No. 3 Florida, 40-39, on Oct. 2, 1999, in Gainesville ... The Ole Miss game was Alabama’s second overtime game of the season ... Alabama dropped a 24-23 double-overtime decision at Arkansas on Sept. 23 in Fayetteville ... The win over Ole Miss was Alabama’s first home overtime win since beating OIe Miss, 20-17, in 1998 ... Alabama is 3-6 (.333) all-time in overtime games following today’s win ... Alabama is 2-3 in overtime home games ... Alabama is 3-5 in overtime SEC games ...
OLE MISS SERIES: Alabama improved to 44-8-2 all-time against Ole Miss following today’s 26-23 overtime win ... This was the second straight walk-off win over the Rebels ... Wilson’s two-yard pass to McClain gave the Tide a three-point win in overtime ... Last year, place kicker Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.) drilled a 31-yard field on the final play of the game as Alabama posted a 13-10 win in Oxford ... Alabama is 19-3 in the last 22 games against Ole Miss, dating back to 1977 ... Alabama is 22-1 all-time against Ole Miss here in Tuscaloosa, including an eight-game winning streak ... Overall, UA is 31-1-1 against Ole Miss in the state of Alabama ...
HALL SETS TWO RECORDS; TIES ANOTHER: Junior wide receiver DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) set two Alabama records and tied one other record in today’s win over Ole Miss ... Hall recorded his seventh career 100-yard receiving game to break Ozzie Newsome’s previous record six 100-yard games from 1974-77 ... Hall also recorded his fourth consecutive 100-yard game of the 2006 season to eclipse the previous record of three straight 100-yard games set by Freddie Milons (Starkville, Miss.) in 1999 ... Milons’ three straight 100-yard games came against Arkansas (109), Florida (119) and Ole Miss (133) ... Hall has four 100-yard games this season, which ties Newsome’s single-season record of four set in 1977 ... In the win over Ole Miss, Hall had five catches for 119 yards and one touchdown ... His 39-yard touchdown reception gave Alabama a 7-0 lead on the first possession of the game ... Hall has caught at least one touchdown pass in five of the six games in which he has played this year ... For the season, Hall is Alabama’s second-leading receiver with 29 catches for 603 yards (leads team) and five touchdowns (leads team) ... Hall has 94 career receptions for 1,465 yards and 11 TDs ... He is seventh all-time in yards and eighth all-time in receptions ...
JOHN PARKER WILSON: Wilson is 5-2 (.714) as Alabama’s starting quarterback following a 26-23 overtime win over Ole Miss ... Wilson completed 16 of 28 passes for 206 yards and two TDs in the win ... He has seven consecutive 200-yard passing games this season ... He threw a 39-yard TD pass to Hall in the first quarter and added a two-yard pass to McClain for the winning touchdown in overtime ... This year, Wilson has completed 120 of 197 passes for 1,579 yards, with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions ...
KENNETH DARBY: Senior running back Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) had his best game of the 2006 season with 25 rushing attempts for 162 yards (6.5 average) in the win over Ole Miss ... Darby had 19 rushing attempts for 141 yards in the second half ... He had runs of 37 and 21 yards in the second half, his two longest rushing attempts of the season ... In seven games this season, Darby has 134 rushing attempts for 586 yards ... In 41 career games, Darby has 626 career rushing attempts for 3,075 yards and 11 touchdowns ... He is just the third UA player in history to top the 3,000-yard rushing mark ...
ALABAMA NOTEBOOK: Alabama did not record a turnover in today’s win over Ole Miss ... The Ole Miss game marked the first time this season and just the seventh time under coach Mike Shula that Alabama did not force a turnover ... McClain caught a five passes for 27 yards, including the game-winning two-yard TD in overtime ... McClain’s five receptions fell one shy of his career high at Alabama ... He has six catches against Minnesota in the 2004 Music City Bowl ... McClain is third among active players with seven career TD catches ... Hall has 11 career TD receptions to lead all active players, while Brown is second with eight ... Freshman Justin Woodall (Oxford, Miss.) recorded a partially blocked punt in the first quarter as he tipped Rob Park’s punt with 3:55 left in the quarter ... Park’s punt traveled only 19 yards to give Alabama a first down at its own 40-yard-line ... Alabama has trailed at halftime three times (Vanderbilt, Duke and Ole Miss) this season and won all three games ... Alabama played its 1,125th all-time football game today against Ole Miss ... The Crimson Tide owns a 779-303-43 (.713) all-time record ... The Ole Miss game also marked the 250th all-time game at Bryant-Denny Stadium ... Alabama is 206-41-3 (.830) in its home stadium since 1929 ... Alabama is 11-1 in its last 12 home games, including a 5-0 mark this season .., Alabama has won six straight games in the month of October ... Junior defensive back Simeon Castille (Birmingham) led Alabama with a career-high 10 tackles ... Redshirt freshman middle linebacker Prince Hall (Moreno Valley, Calif.) had a career-high eight tackles against Ole Miss ... Hall has 2 tackles in his last three games ... Dukes had seven tackles in the win over Ole Miss ...
NEXT GAME: Alabama travels to Knoxville to face the No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers next Saturday, Oct. 21 at Neyland Stadium. The game will be televised by CBS Sports with a 3:34 p.m. (EST) kickoff. Tennessee (5-1) was off today. The Volunteers have had an open date eight times in the last nine years prior to the Alabama game.
OLE MISS POSTGAME NOTES
GAME #7 * AT ALABAMA * OCTOBER 14, 2006 * 2:34 P.M. CT
Today’s meeting was the 54th all-time between Ole Miss and Alabama, with the Crimson Tide leading the series 43-9-2.
Alabama owns a 22-1 record in games played in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama has won 17 of the last 20 games in the series.
OFFENSE: #10 Quentin Taylor (So., LB)*has started four games at WLB on defense, #84 Michael Hicks (RFr., WR)
Serving as captains for the game for the Rebels were seniors Andrew Wicker (OL) and Patrick Willis (LB).
Alabama won the toss and elected to defer until the second half.
This was the Rebels’ first overtime game of the season. Ole Miss now holds a record of 6-4 in overtime games and a record of 0-2 versus Alabama in overtime games.
Junior RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored his fifth TD of the season on a two-yard carry in the first quarter ... The TD was Green-Ellis’ third in the last two games ... Green-Ellis led the Rebels’ in rushing for the seventh time this season with 56 yards on 21 carries.
Junior QB Brent Schaeffer completed 13 passes on the afternoon, which ties a career high ... Schaeffer was 13-for-20 for 163 yards and one TD ... He completed passes to 8 different receivers, which ties the most this season.
Sophomore Mike Wallace caught his first career TD on a 55-yard pass from Brent Schaeffer in the fourth quarter. It was the Rebels’ longest play from scrimmage this season. Wallace finished with 3 receptions for 86 yards, both career highs.
Freshman WR Shay Hodge recorded a career-long reception of 18 yards in the second quarter.
The Ole Miss offense possessed the ball for 19:27 in the first half, a season high.
Junior TE Robert Hough set a career-high with three receptions.
Junior LB Rory Johnson led the Rebels in tackling for the second-straight game ... Johnson finished with 14 tackles (6 solo) ... Johnson has now recorded 10 or more tackles in back-to-back games and has a total of 30 tackles combined in his last two outings.
Senior Patrick Willis recorded 11 tackles (7 solo). Willis has now recorded 10 or more tackles in 14 of his last 17 games.
Freshmen Greg Hardy and Marcus Tillman both posted their second career sack in the game.
Ole Miss started its sixth different set of players on the defensive line in seven games this season. A total of eight different players have accounted for the six different line-ups.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Freshman K Joshua Shene drilled a 36-yard FG with 7:39 remaining in the second quarter to knot the game at 10 points a piece ... Shene also connected on a 24-yard FG with :04 seconds left in the period ... Shene connected on a 37-yard FG in overtime to give the Rebels’ a 23-20 lead ... The 37-yarder was a career-long. He is now 6-of-8 on the season.
Punter Rob Park competed a five-yard pass to Bruce Hall on a fake punt in the fourth quarter to convert a first down. It was the first attempt and completion of Park’s career.