Sept. 17, 2005
“We’ve got some building to do. You guys know football as well as I do. If you don’t control the line, it’s tough.
“We’ve got to find a way to break even. Offensively, we’re not doing it. We’ve got to do some different things.
“It was a correct call on the 1. They said he got a foot down, so we went for it and tied at that point. On the next drive, we kicked it through the end zone, and I said we were going to stop them. Then, here comes that third-and-10. And they went down and scored after that. Who knows if (stopping them) could have made a difference, but we have got to stop them on third down.
“Offensively, we were terrible.
“We are not real big up front (on defense). We’ve got to move around. I’m not sure standing around and moving is scaring people.
“We’ve got to let (Blake) hand the ball off more. I thought that the Central Florida game that was what we should do, but we couldn’t run a lick then, too. We’ve got to throw the ball.
“I’m frustrated but not shocked. All you got to do is look at the stats. They could have beat us 50 to nothing.
“They were able to run, we were not.
“We did not have many penalties. I am proud of the team for that. We’ve not yet played a game where we have had 60 plays yet. That is our fault.
“I apologize to our fans. They came ready to cheer. We didn’t do our part as a team.
“The only things positive is we have got to change our ways and not put on a performance like this again. It shouldn’t have got out of hand like it did. It should have come down to a break or two to win the game, a turnover or two to win the game.
“I have to talk about Sidney Rice. We are dumb not to throw it to him more. He is a big time receiver. We have got to use him more. It’s as simple as that. We have got to develop some confidence to run the ball. Mike (Davis) and Bobby (Wallace) are doing OK.
“Our right tackles played OK. (Thomas) Coleman was in a lot at right tackle. Levey didn’t play at all. He didn’t practice at all this week. Coleman held up pretty good. We may have some tryouts this week. We can’t go out with this mindset.
“Third and 10s hurt. We couldn’t any third downs on offense.
“Their quarterback had some good runs. We’ve got to get Blake going. He’s a little too laid back. That is his nature, his personality. He is the best we’ve got. We’ve just got to get him quicker.”
“I was very surprised. Alabama wanted it bad enough. They ran the ball down our throats. It’s frustrating and embarrassing. We sure didn’t play like we expected. We have to bounce back and play better against Troy. They were running the ball down out throats and we as safety’s said we are going to have to stop the run so we needed to make some tackles. We have to make tackles in every game. It was hard because the offense had a number of three and outs and we had to be on the field. We need to focus on the run this week in practice. We have to come together as a team and try to play better.”
“We didn’t execute like we should have. (On open tryouts this week): We have to find someone that wants to hit, someone who wants to play more physical. We need to see who really wants to play. We came out fine. We came out strong. But we were flat in there after that. We didn’t make the adjustments we needed to make. We didn’t play well – we didn’t have but one first down after that drive when we scored the rest of the half.
“We didn’t execute. I am a disappointed. We didn’t beat Georgia last week, but maybe they were not as good as we thought. But this Alabama team is very good. We came out and started decent. The first drive we went down there and scored. We have to practice a lot and play better next week. This can’t happen.”
Sidney Rice, Offense
“I will have to keep trying to catch the ball. I didn’t play in the first game. The second game everybody gave it their all. This game I will have to wait to watch the film to see what went wrong. Next week we are going to all have to practice hard. It’s going to be hard practices.”
Mike Davis, Offense
“We just couldn’t get started from the first play. There is not a problem with the run game; we just weren’t as prepared as we wanted to be. We aren’t in a state of shock, but we are anxious to get back out there and get things right.”
Na’Shan Goddard, Offense
“We didn’t execute like we wanted to today. We didn’t do what we wanted to do. Things didn’t go our way. We didn’t think this would happen today. We played pretty well last week and we thought we would play well today. (On playing left tackle): It was real awkward at first, but I practiced there all week. I haven’t played there since my freshman year. I guess I did a good job, but we needed Jabari Levey in there. He’s a leader.”
Johnathan Joseph, Defense
“It’s a big disappointment. We have to be ready next week.”
John Thompson, Co-Defensive Coordinator
“Obviously we didn’t tackle. We were not physical and we stopped them only a very few times. I am sure in the game and the stats it reflects how poor we played in every category. Long runs, big plays, we didn’t get the job done. We got whipped.”
Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula
On the game:
“I thought that it was a good win. Anytime you win on the road in the SEC it’s a big win for you. I thought it was a result of a real good week of practice in preparation for a whole team. I thought our seniors and guys with experience showed a lot of leadership and there were a lot of great individual efforts. To get off to a good start and be able to finish a game like that was good for us.”
On unleashing offense weapons on a good opponent:
“Well, there are some guys that we think are getting experience and making plays. Keith Brown made some plays today…we had a couple of drops, but Ken Darby has been rock solid for three weeks. We talked to our guys last night. The guys with experience that have played offensively, defensively, just in general, have to show up on days like this and they did.”
On whether this was the best game that they’ve played:
“I don’t think so. We’ve got some work to do. We have to finish better in the plus territory. We made some plays, did some things. Brodie played well, but there were some times there in the game when we had a lead in the second quarter, that if we get touchdowns instead of field goals it’s a difference, you get a different feel going into halftime…it’s a win and we’re happy.”
On Brodie Croyle’s rushing efforts:
“I was laughing actually. I thought I was the slowest quarterback in Alabama history. You kind of do a little bit of everything. You kind of chuckle, hold your breath, get concerned, tell him to get down and congratulate him for getting a first down. He’s a competitor and he’s feeling much more comfortable in the pocket moving around. He can make some things happen when obviously every play is not going to work the way that it is drawn up. But he was good making some plays there. A couple of them were a little bit scary, when he’s flipping the ball over the line of scrimmage. We don’t teach that, but we got away with it today. But we’re going to need him to continue to do those things to help us win.”
On whether a win against Spurrier was personal gratification:
“No. I just think coaching in the SEC, you have a lot of respect for each and every coach. I’ve learned a lot more obviously since I’ve been here in meeting with them. I’ve learned a lot from them in those meetings and just when you beat a football team that you know is well coached it gives you a good feeling. I think that’s the best way to say it: a guy that you respect.”
Senior QB Brodie Croyle
On the importance of the win for the program:
“It was good for us to come in here and play well. We’re going back 1-0 in the SEC and it gives us a lot of confidence. This is probably the biggest win for us since Coach Shula got here.
On the effectiveness of their running game:
“We ran the ball ten times better than we have all year and when we do that we don’t have to throw it as much. I’m proud of all four of the guys, they all ran the ball really well. The offensive line came up huge as well and created some big holes”
On the big play factor:
“The big plays were huge and we were able to convert a lot on third and long, especially on some big runs up the middle.”
Sophomore CB Simeon Castille:
On playing against Steve Spurrier’s offense:
“One thing that motivated the secondary, our coach, Coach Ball, he showed us in the paper where it said that, against Steve Spurrier, or South Carolina in general didn’t think we were very good. So we came out and wanted to dominate. We gave up the touchdown first time out, but after that I think that we played pretty well.”
On the defense shutting down USC after the first touchdown:
“Coach told us on the sideline, `Guys’, just go out, play, and have fun’, and that’s basically what we did. We started flying around making some plays and doing the things we normally do, pretty much just making the plays and having fun.”
On coming in facing the league’s leading passer in Blake Mitchell:
“We have a goal of being the top passing defense in the country again, just like we did last year. I don’t think there’s ever been another secondary that has done that, so that’s one of our goals. We knew that he had a 70 percent completion rate and our goal was to come in and hold him to under 200 yards and we did that.”