Players Discuss Tide Loss To LSU

There were a number of themes as reporters spoke to disappointed Alabama players following the Tide's 9-6 overtime loss to LSU Saturday night: the quality of the opponent, failure to execute, a great effort that came up short, and the importance of putting the loss behind them and moving ahead.

Alabama senior linebacker Courtney Upshaw said, "It was a hard game. We fought to the end. The last snap (LSU's winning field goal kick in overtime), those guys tried to go out there and block it. We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game. It just came down to who executed on the chances they had, and they did. We say every time we miss an opportunity, we've got to go out and create another one.

"We've just got to go out and play better (next week) against Mississippi State, and execute on the chances we have. We've got to dominate (the Bulldogs)."

Upshaw, who was credited with six tackles, a sack and two quarterback hurries, said he loved playing in sold-out Bryant-Denny in a one versus two match-up. "It felt good to be out there, but it feels bad to get the ‘L.' We felt like we should've won. We all in our locker room want to go on and win out.

Junior running back Trent Richardson was held to 89 rushing yards on 23 carries, but did account for 192 all-purpose yards due to receiving (80) and kick return (23) totals. He said despite the Tide's being held to 295 yards of total offense, that "the (Tide) offensive line played a good ball game against an excellent (LSU) defense. They held us to six points. We made some mistakes.

"Is it shocking? Yeah, it is shocking. It's out of character for this team. We had some good opportunities. We've got to help out our defense more."

Added senior center William Vlachos, "We e fought (LSU) from start to finish. It's one of those things that we'll learn from, and it hurts. We still have a great opportunity in front of us. That was a great team, and our hat is off to them. They beat us tonight, and now, we can't control our destiny. We can control what we do from here on out.

"If we continue to keep the foot on the pedal and get better, I think we have a chance to do something very, very special this season. This (loss) gives us a lot of motivation."

Vlachos had a word of advice for those criticizing the offensive play-calling: "'Coach Mac (Offensive Coordinator Jim McElwain) called some great plays for us. We just didn't execute. It is what it is."

Two plays involving senior receiver Marquis Maze will be talked about for some time to come. One came when he failed to field a punt that looked returnable in the fourth quarter, appearing to have lost the ball in the lights. Not so, he said. "The ball hit the string the (mobile TV) camera was on. That threw me off," Maze revealed.

"We're very disappointed," Maze added. "Most guys felt we played our hearts out. Not any of our guys are going to hang our heads."

As for the play out of the "Bobcat" formation when Maze threw to an apparently open tight end Michael Williams, Maze said, "I got a little push (from the pass rush), and I had to get rid of it. I thought (Williams) came down with it. I've only thrown three passes in games, but I throw a lot of balls in practice."

Maze was the game's leading receiver with six catches for 61 yards.

Maze's fellow receiver Darus Hanks said, "We moved the ball, we just didn't do what we had to do. (LSU) made big plays when they had to. We've just got to go back to the drawing board. We can't let this loss affect us. All we can do is fight harder." Hanks caught two passes for 38 yards.

Alabama (8-1, 5-1 SEC) visits Mississippi State next week, with kickoff time to be announced

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