Shula Shares Credit

There's no more pretending that Alabama's 31-3 victory over fifth-ranked Florida "just another game" on the Alabama schedule. It's the first ever Alabama win over a top-five team at Bryant-Denny Stadium and possibly the most meaningful Tide win of the 21st century.

For the past six days, Shula, his staff and the Alabama seniors have tried to keep their feet on the ground.

"I really believe, I've been there – on my third year. I think teams that have a lot of seniors that play have benefited from leadership," Shula said. "I think we're doing that right now. Those guys kept our players focused on the job at hand."

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula took a detour on his way to the locker room after a post-game interview on CBS's nationally-televised. He tipped his hat to the Alabama student section, whose noise helped his defense confuse Florida quarterback Chris Leak and the Gator offensive line from the jump.

"I would hate not to mention the way our crowd was into the game," Shula told reporters after the game, as the post game reverberations of "It's great… to be… from Alabama" finally ceased in the stands.

"Our players feed off that," Shula said. "The crowd gets you going early but it's up to us to keep it going. We did that today."

Shula has never dwelt on media analysis of himself or his squad, but possibly hinted about his personal satisfaction with the victory.

"Every win is big," he said. "But to win games against ranked teams, most are ranked in SEC, is bigger because it's later in the season and we're undefeated. "Florida is a talented team. "There were questions with how we would match up against a talented team. Hopefully we answered some of those questions today."

Of course, the loss of Tyrone Prothro for season with a broken leg soured the festivities somewhat.

"We've got some guys at that position and they're going to have to step up. The rotation changes a little bit… Now Ezekial Knight and there are some other guys in the mix that are going to have to step up and be ready."

Shula doled out credit to his coaching staff, as well. The group has been together without change for the past two and half years.

"You can't say enough about them, especially Joe (Kines). He's our assistant head coach, our defensive coordinator. We've got some guys on this staff that have a lot of leadership and provide a lot of experience for a young head coach – although I'm 40 now, maybe I'm not so young anymore – that have really, really helped me and meant a lot to me personally: Joe Kines, David Rader, Sparky Woods. They deserve all the credit. Probably one of the best things I do as a head coach is listen, listen to a lot of good advice and make good decisions because of it. If you don't have good coaches that can provide good advice I might be in trouble.


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