Shula Gives Everyone Gift

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula didn't want to hang around too long after Saturday's 24-13 win over Arkansas, but it wasn't because he was disappointed by his team's play.

He had a birthday party to go to. His daughter Brooke is turning two years old and her father is having a better work life than he was two years ago when she was born just after a Bama loss to Georgia.

"I am going to enjoy a nice birthday party," Shula said. "We got her a win."

Before heading off to the media room, Shula stayed plenty long enough to talk with Homewood offensive lineman David Ross, who was spotted at Saturday's game.

Brooke, Shula and the Crimson Tide have grown a lot since that Georgia game.

"Our guys have been through some tough times and they have become close as a team and together as a team," Shula said. "They are able to deal with adversity."

Shula said the win over Arkansas is "a big win for us playing against an emotional Arkansas team that came to play today. They were physical."

Shula said there were two things that he had never seen in a game that he has been involved in: A receiver left uncovered as DJ Hall was on the fourth quarter five yard touchdown and an individual dropping as many potential interceptions as linebacker Freddie Roach.

On the easy touchdown play, Shula said, "Brodie saw him and made eye contact. We had a draw play called that probably wouldn't have worked. They were heads-up enough to make the adjustment."

Like everyone in the crowd, Shula was impressed with Hall's speed on his earlier 43-yard touchdown catch.

"They were in a lot of bump and run coverage and he beat his guy over the middle. Brodie stepped up and threw a strike. DJ looked pretty fast after he caught it," Shula said.

Shula said his team didn't look past Arkansas, and even in off-record comments players said they knew Arkansas was a good team from watching them on film. But now the Tide's attention turns to Florida, a game the squad has and one eye on since the spring.

Shula refused to over emphasize the importance of the coming game, however. "It's still early in the year yet. We won a football game against an SEC team."

"I told the team next week's game just got bigger because of what you did today."

There appeared to be no major injuries, and Shula only specifically mentioned cornerback Anthony Madison as a possible addition to the closely guarded injury report. "Anthony didn't play as much. He hurt his ankle a little bit during the week but not bad. He hurt it a little more during the game."

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