McCarron Says Tide Faces Tough Job

AJ McCarron was different than riding out a hurricane. Failure to avoid a hurricane is not good because it's not THAT the wind is blowing; it's WHAT the wind is blowing, like pieces of buildings. In speaking to the Alabama media Monday, it wasn't so much WHAT the Crimson Tide quarterback said (though that was insightful) as THAT he showed up to say it.

Following Alabama's 31-6 win over Colorado State Saturday, A.J. McCarron met with sports reporters briefly and was so curt as to be considered rude. He never seems to enjoy that part of the role that goes with being the Crimson Tide quarterback, but on Monday he was back in front of the media and providing good information to be passed along to readers and listeners.

He could have skipped the ordeal Monday, and thus deserves credit for not being a no-show, which most expected.

This week McCarron and his teammates are preparing to face Ole Miss in a Southeastern Conference game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Both teams are 3-0, including 1-0 in league games. Mississippi is coming off an open date.

McCarron brushed aside a question about Bama's Saturday night performance with a "We've just got to make improvements," and said he wanted "to move on and talk about Ole Miss. It's going to be a challenge for us, so I'm ready for that."

He called the Mississippi defense "unbelievable. They've got ball players all the way around. They're really good, a really good team. So it's going to be a challenge for us. it really is. We're going to have to step up, meet that challenge, get ready to play."

McCarron said the reason to be concerned about the Rebels' defense is "because they've got so many players. They can do a lot of different things. They try to confuse you by moving a lot up front.

"Hopefully, we'll do a good job of breaking down their film and breaking down last year's game this week and kind of get a bead on what they do and tendencies and stuff like that.

"But they've got a lot of playmakers, all the way around. They're a really good football team."

Which means McCarron has to show up again. For the most part, he has played very well.

In last week's game, though, the Tide was only 2-10 on third down conversions. McCarron completed six passes on third down plays that came up short of the first down marker. For the year Bama is only 11-33 on third down conversions. Last year the Tide was an impressive 80-167 for 48 per cent on third downs. The Tide quarterback didn't have (or didn't share) an answer.

"I guess we've just got to get it by the third down marker more," he said.

One of the most important plays in the win over Colorado State was McCarron hitting DeAndrew White on a 30-yard touchdown pass after Bama linebacker Trey DePriest stripped Rams quarterback Garret Grayson and recovered the fumble. McCarron's first down strike increased the Bama lead to 24-6. McCarron said he thinks that a team gets a boost of momentum after a turnover. "Every turnover equals, they say, 5 1/2 points, or something like that. So every time you get a turnover in a game – they're so critical – you need to get some type of points, even if it's kicking a field goal. You never want to end that possession without getting something out of it. Our defense has done a good job the past two games of getting turnovers, so we've got to capitalize on them."

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