Tide must move on

With a disappointing loss last week and a dangerous opponent arriving in Tuscaloosa this Saturday, the Alabama team doesn't have the luxury of worrying too much about the past.

Tide Head Coach Mike Shula explained, "Now we've got to make sure that we are positive, that we're making the corrections necessary and moving forward."

Shula candidly acknowledged that no one on the squad did a good job last Saturday, including himself. But finger pointing solves nothing. "The easy thing to do is say ‘If so and so did this,' or ‘ if this happened... then we would have probably won the game.'

"That's the easy thing to do."

Shaud Williams spoke for his teammates in acknowledging their poor play Saturday.

Some fans probably assume that Shula will blast his players this week, turning the practice field into a mini-concentration camp. But according to Bama's young coach, such tactics aren't necessary.

"That was as frustrated as I've seen them--and for good reason," Shula said of the squad following Saturday's game. "We felt like we could have played better, but we didn't.

"We're going to ask our team that each guy look at himself and decide how you played and make sure you get your (mistakes) corrected. Don't worry about anything else. The players have done a good job of that before, and I expect them to do so again this week."

The outcome disappointed, but losing earlier in the season to No. 1 ranked Oklahoma carried no shame. Last Saturday's game was different.

It's not that Alabama doesn't respect Northern Illinois, because after losing 19-16 on their home field the players definitely do. But Saturday's game was different in that the team didn't just think they could win, they believed they should.

Senior tailback Shaud Williams spoke for the team when he used terms like "embarrassed" and "pathetic" to describe how his teammates felt and how the Tide played. But that game is now passed. And the Arkansas Razorbacks arrive in Tuscaloosa playing as well as anyone in the SEC.

Shula talked about shifting gears from the loss to next Saturday's game. "It'll be difficult, but we can handle it. We've got to get in our minds that we're going to get (our mistakes) corrected and then move forward."

According to Mike Shula, Bama's main task this week will be to correct the mistakes and then shift gears to a dangerous Arkansas squad.

What can the coaches do?

"We can't dwell on it," Shula replied. "We talk about a 24-hour rule. If we're thinking about this game after (Sunday), then we're already cheating ourselves in preparation for a great Arkansas team."

As a squad Alabama has plenty of work to do this week. "You could use the term ‘wake-up call,'" Shula said of Saturday's loss. "Not because it was Northern Illinois, but because we've got to execute better. We've got to be more consistent."

Recalling the bitter disappointment that permeated Bama's locker room, Shula isn't worried about getting the players focused.

"You can use the way we all felt after the game as motivation," he explained. "None of us want to feel like that after a game. Think about that as you prepare for Arkansas."

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