Countdown to Kickoff
Crimson Tide Players Meet the Media



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ?? Members of the University of Alabama football team met with the media at the school’s weekly media day on Monday afternoon at the Naylor Stone Media Suite in the Mal M. Moore Athletic Building.  The players discussed this week’s Southeastern Conference road game at Mississippi State.  Here are some of their comments.

Senior guard Justin Britt

On Mississippi State’s win last year being a motivating factor for the team this year:

“Oh, it’s going to get us motivated. We’ve thought about it all year. Mississippi State had a great team. They came in last year and played hard. We can’t let that happen again this year. We’re going to have that in the back of our minds this entire week. So we’ll practice a little harder and work on our accuracy a little bit better.”

On pulling positives from the LSU game:

“It’s hard to pull positives when you have a loss like that, when you had it in the fourth quarter and you end up losing it. There’s definitely different types of positives you can pull from every Saturday. That??s part of the game. You just have to take the positives and use them, and take them and go with it, and work with them next week. That??s all you really can do.”

On the LSU loss being tough to swallow:

“Yeah it’s extremely tough. It still is tough. We would have been in the driver’s seat for the SEC West championship. So yeah it was really tough, it really was.”

On who they look to, to get motivation back:

“You just have to look inside yourself. You really do. That’s part of being an SEC football player. I mean there’s going to be ups and downs, but you’ve got to be able to handle it. If you’re a starter for the University of Alabama, you’ve got to be able to handle the ups and the downs. So that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to be able to look inside yourself and you’ve got to respond.”

Redshirt freshman running back Terry Grant

On running the ball against LSU:

“Their front four just caused so many problems. Then they gave their linebackers a lot of time to flow in there and make a bunch of tackles for them.”

On plays against LSU:

“When you watch the film, there’s a couple plays that you know if you could have done something at that time, it could have worked out differently. I could have easily been a victory for us, but you can’t just get down on it, just got to keep working on it and hopefully those things won’t happen again.”

On Alabama running back Jonathan Lowe:

“He is a great guy. He worked his butt off and he was a receiver and they wanted to use him a lot for the passing game. He ended up getting the ball a lot.”

Junior safety Rashad Johnson

On last year’s loss to Mississippi State:

“It stung for awhile because it was a big game for us and losing to those guys just right down the street. They’ve had a chance to brag for a whole year now, so it’s finally back around, so we need to take advantage of it.”

On what last year’s game meant:

“I really haven’t had a chance to think about what happened. I think it caused a lot of changes to happen around here. We just need to go out this week and concentrate on us and be ready to play Saturday.”

On the changes of last season:

“The season just changed completely. That was two games in a row and then we ended up losing the Auburn game and ended up losing the bowl game. The attitude of the players just seemed like a big downhill thing for us.”

On the loss last year helping with the focus for this week:

“I think it does (help us). Maybe guys didn’t look at Mississippi State as a team that actually could beat us last year. They looked at it as a challenge to beat us. Now that they have a great team this year, they’ve beaten good teams this year. They beat Auburn and a couple other good teams this year. We need to really go out and play well. We can’t take this lightly.”

On Mississippi State:

“They’re pretty much a more dominant running team on offense.  (Wesley Carroll) is a good player. They have a lot of confidence in him. They also make a lot of play calls where things like hitch routes or a little swing pass to the back things like that that let him get relaxed and let him get comfortable in the game before he actually starts taking shots down the field. I think that helps the quarterback a lot.”

On being one of the top defenders in the SEC:

“I just came in and just wanted an opportunity to play. Once I got the chance to play on defense, it was pretty much the same thing, just doing what the coaches wanted me to do. And doing that has developed my game to a level I didn’t know it could reach.”

On instinct vs. play calling:

“It does have to have some instinct. You do have to have some kind of ball skills. But also the play schemes can definitely put you in position. It can hurry the pass by the quarterback or make him throw it a little later where you can get there. It all builds in and helps each other out.

Junior linebacker Ezekial Knight

On Mississippi State:

 “We just have to be ready for them, they beat us last year and I think everyone has a chip on their shoulders.  I’m just going to go out and practice like I normally do and try and focus on the mistakes I made last game, try to eliminate them and make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again. I’ve actually watched them on television and they have a huge offensive line.”

On the Alabama defense’s success with creating turnovers:

 “We all run to the ball and we try to knock it out and that is how we create turnovers.”

Junior running back Jonathan Lowe

On playing against his former team:

“The main thing is that I’m excited to be playing period. I’m happy to have the opportunity to try to excel and do anything possible to help my team out. I wish those guys well in everything they do, until now.”

The significance of this week:

“It is special because it’s the next game coming off a loss, but a lot of people are wondering is there any revenge?  No, not really, I’m just anxious and excited to play period.”

On watching last year’s Alabama-Mississippi State

 “I was like ??wow!’ I was actually in the stands at that game and I was thinking ??Did I bring these guys bad luck?’ Mississippi State played a great game last year they fought their tails off playing hard. We all are aware that this is going to be the same thing Saturday so we have to come out and do the same as well.”

On getting to play against LSU

“It was a big one getting back on the field against one of the best teams in the country, and trying to go out and prove to people what I am able to do, even not being a 100 percent healthy.  But a lot of people are trying to see about the Mississippi State situation, I’m just thankful to be playing right now.”

Senior linebacker Darren Mustin

On his memory from the Mississippi State game last year:

“They dominated us on the ground. They ran it through us. I suppose that’s what they’re going to do again. They have a really big, great running back. So we have to strap it up and go.”

On Keith Brown stepping up during the LSU game

“I think Keith Brown stepped up big time. This is his final year. He’s a senior. He doesn’t want to go out a loser and it showed. There’s a lot of people on this team, senior-wise, that want to go out with a bang. We don’t want to go out like last year’s seniors did because of the look on their face when we left the final locker room in Shreveport. It hurt. It hurt everybody. You could see it in their eyes. I don’t want to go out with that same look in my eyes. I want to go out victorious.”

On being sore yesterday:

“I’m sore now! It’s part of the game. It’s week nine, about to be week ten. Of course you’re going to be sore. If you’re not sore that means you didn’t play.”

On payback after what happened last year:

“I mean you can say payback but it’s not the same players out there as last year. It’s not the same team out there as last year. It’s still the Crimson Tide versus the Mississippi State Bulldogs, but you try to not really think about the past. If it were the exact same people as last year and the exact same players, then it could be called payback. But this is a whole new year, a whole new season. We just want to get this win.”