Mosley Was Key In Tide Success

It was almost too easy to pick the "key to victory" for Alabama prior to the season-opening game against Michigan in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas. After the game, it was obvious the Crimson Tide was much better than the Wolverines in a lot of areas, but perhaps the most telling was that the "key" was turned.

Alabama, ranked second in the nation, defeated Michigan, 41-14, and one of the most dramatic plays was turned in by the defense. Although Bama was cruising and in control with a 24-0 lead late in the second quarter, the Tide got a huge play as the Wolverines were trying to get out of a bad spot.

Michigan's outstanding quarterback, Denard Robinson, faced third and nine from the Michigan three when he tried to pass.

"He threw me one, so I had to take it to the house," said junior Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley. Mosley made the pick at the 16-yard line and ran it into the end zone for what would be a 31-0 lead.

"It was a drop back zone, which is a pretty normal zone," Mosley said. "It came right to me."

Mosley has some experience with the Pick Six. As a freshman in 2010 he had two interceptions, and returned both for touchdowns (one against Florida, one against Georgia State). Last year he had one interception, but didn't get it back to the end zone.

Mosley said his teammate, starting safety Robert Lestr, "gives me grief because every time I catch it except one last year I take it to the end zone. We're having fun."

Mosley, who also led Bama in tackles with five primary stops and two assists against Michigan, said, "When I caught the ball I was able to follow my blocks. When we catch the ball on an intrception, everyone turns around to block. I have to thank my other 10 defenders for helping me get into the end zone."

Mosley said the victory was a team effort. "The offense kept putting points on the board and defense kept getting the ball back for the offense," he said. "We established our identity. Our offense put points on the board and our defense did what it had to do to contain their great quarterback.

"The whole summer we talked about setting an identity for this defense. Everybody was talking about 2010 and 2011. Today we came out with great intensity and great tenacity. We showed the world what the 2012 defense is going to do.

"We've been playing against our offense. It was nice to play against someone else on a big stage and have everybody executing and jumping around and having fun. It was great. Now we have to take it week-by-week and get better as a defense.

"We've got a lot more games to go and we're going to keep pounding and keep going on defense."

Mosley said that Alabama's defensive plan was the key to stopping Robinson. "We did what we had to do," he said. "Our job was to contain the quarterback, keep him isolated. He got out a few times, but we did the job."

Mosley was asked if Alabama had made a statement that the Crimson Tide was defending national champion. The linebacker said, "We made a great statement, but we are not the defending champs. That was last year's team. That's what Coach (Nick) Saban put in our heads two days after the championship game. We're trying to create our identity. We're going to be fighting in every game, just like everyone is going to be fighting us."

He said part of playing for Alabama is "The tradition you have to hold yourself to. Defense talks about stopping the run first, and that's been going on here since before I was born. So to keep that tradition going and being a part of it.

"it's always going to be physical, and that's the way we like it.

"The hits are what get the crowd going, get the band going, get the blood going."

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