What Tide Players Said About It
Junior tight end Brian Vogler, a blocker on the missed/returned field goal who missed a tackle on Chris Davis, said, "I just took a bad angle, and I didn't do what I needed to do. We practiced against (the field goal return). Auburn just had a good plan. It looked like they set up a wall for it. We just didn't execute." Vogler described the post-game locker room for his team as "pretty quiet, and pretty sad."
"A lot of us seniors came back to win a national championship," said linebacker C.J. Mosley, who made a game-high 14 tackles. "It's hard to take a loss like this. We have to stick together. You win some. You lose some. I just can't believe it happened. Nobody ever expected that. We gave it all we got.
"It's jacked up the way it ended. They made plays when they had to. Some plays we messed up, and some plays they made on their own."
Senior quarterback A.J. McCarron said, "It was going back and forth. It was emotional. It was a great game. Sometimes luck just isn't on your side." McCarron finished with 277 yards on 17-of-29 passing with three touchdowns, and had another dropped. "We definitely didn't play our best game," he said. "Football is just a game. It's not life."
McCarron said he had a good look as the Tigers' winning return unfolded. He said the run looked like "Slow motion. I mean, it was one of those crazy plays. It was almost like a video game. It was just a wild play."
Said senior wide receiver Kevin Norwood, "Life goes on. We have to move on as a team. The chances of that (return) happening in a college football game are rare. It happened tonight. They got it by luck, but whatever."
Junior defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan agreed. "I was just shocked," he said of the last play. "I didn't that big of a play would have been caused by (missing a field goal), but everything happens for a reason."
One way Auburn stayed in the back-and-forth contest was stuffing Alabama's run game on critical third and fourth downs. How did they accomplish that? Said senior offensive guard Anthony Steen, "They kept overloading one of the sides, and it just so happened they were overloading the side we were running to, which was the side I was playing on.
"We had some momentum going, but it just kind of petered out. It's hard to explain."
Can the Tide bounce back from one of the toughest losses in program history and win a bowl game? Steen thinks so, and he knows how. "Just stay focused. Work on the little things. Stay positive, and remember why you're here."
That will likely prove much easier than remembering what happened Saturday at Jordan-Hare.
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