Alabama Players Pleased With Game
"It was good to go on the road and get it done," said Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, who completed 21 of 32 passes for 264 yards. "I was really pleased with the way we came out and performed in the second half."
The Tide quarterback said his outstanding wide receiver, Julio Jones, "was on fire tonight." McElroy said the man-to-man coverage on Jones dictated Bama "take that match-up." Alabama's first play of the second half was a 38-yard pass to Jones.
"I think that set the tone," McElroy said. "I was really pleased with the way we came out in the second half."
McElroy said at the half "it was really quiet. We thought about the things we could do better."
One reporter wondered about fans "booing" Julio when he caught a long pass late in the game that put him at the top of the Bama record for receiving yards. Jones set the reporter straight.
"They aren't booing," he said. "They are saying ‘JUUUU-LIO!'"
Jones, who had 12 catches for 221 yards, said, "We took what they gave us." He said he wasn't surprised they played him man-to-man.
"That's the way they played (Georgia star) A.J. Green," he said, "so we thought they would play me that way."
Jones said, "The offensive line protected Greg and he made the throws. Without the offensive line and Greg, I couldn't do it."
Jones suffered a broken hand a few weeks ago, but dismissed that injury. "It hurts," he said, "but (at this time of year) everyone hurts. This is college football. We have to make plays."
As for the record, he said, "Now the goal is to do that week-in and week-out."
Robert Lester had an interception near the Alabama goal line against Tennessee, his fifth of the year. B.J. Scott also had an interception and the Tide now has 15 on the season.
Lester said the interception was "just execution. Everyone has to stay in his zone, and you have to trust that everyone is going to do his job." He added that "our defense is hungry to get the ball and we want to get turnovers."
He said the game met one of the criteria the team seeks, which is to "finish strong."
Defensive end Marcell Dareus said the defense "came out in the second half with guns a-blazing. We had to take care of some little things."
There was one area Greg McElroy would not discuss. Asked if he had cigars, he said, "We're not allowed to talk about that."
A long tradition is for Alabama players to enjoy a cigar following a win over Tennessee, but NCAA rules prohibit any use of tobacco products or any activity that might be construed as endorsing such use.
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