Good And Bad At Vandy

NASHVILLE-- Alabama racked up 221 of its 371 offensive yards on the ground in Saturday's grind-it-out, 24-10 win at Vanderbilt. There was some good and some bad in that stat. Following the game, Crimson Tide players discussed the game.

"It felt good good to win," Alabama junior quarterback John Parker Wilson said. "It's been a while since we‘ve done that on the road. The defense played great, and we ran the ball well, so we were able to get a win."

Wilson completed 14 of 28 pass attempts for 150 yards and suffered an interception.

Bama did not throw the ball well, a fact Wilson readily admits. "The passing game needs to be better," he said. "I think we're off a little bit, myself and the receivers. We're not hooking up like we would like to. We're winning games; that's all we care about. I don‘t think it's a huge problem."

"We didn't click today in the passing game, like we normally do," said wide receiver D.J. Hall, who caught three balls for 67 yards but was missed by Wilson in the end zone on Bama's second drive, forcing a field goal. "We've just got to watch film, and see what we're doing wrong, and execute."

The offense started slowly. Freshman tailback Terry Grant said, "We just missed a couple (of) blitzes. We just came out in the second half (after) we adjusted at halftime, and we were able to get it going a little bit. Through two games, I'd say we're doing pretty good as an offensive unit. I don't doubt our running back system."

Grant ran for 121 of his 173 rushing yards in the final 30 minutes.

One Tider who enjoyed a sweet homecoming was senior linebacker Darren Mustin, who hails from nearby Brentwood. "It felt good to get a win," Mustin said. "Everybody did a good job. As we play together, we grow together.

"We tried to do our part," he said of Bama's defensive effort. "If we do our part and offense does their part, we should get a win."

Mustin made six tackles to tie for team honors with true freshman Rolando McClain, who like all true freshman under Saban is not made available for regular season interviews.

Mustin said a key to the win was slowing down Vandy quarterback Chris Nickson. "We tried to get in his head a little bit. Early on, when we had a chance to hit him, we tried to hit him pretty hard. Their back-up (Makenzi Adams) came in, and I wasn't expecting that. I hadn't seen too much film on him, but he did a great job for them."

Adams led the only Vandy touchdown drive of the day and threw for 108 yards and one TD.

Bama defensive end Wallace Gilberry said, "We contained (Nickson). That was the most important thing. Getting pressure's great, but you definitely don't want a guy like Nickson getting outside. He can do some damage in the secondary. We got him out of his comfort zone, and eventually got him out of the game. Once that happened, we knew the game was ours."

Nickson's second cousin, Bama tight end Nick Walker, finished his career 2-0 in the Battle of Former Brundige Stars. "I'm just glad that we came out on top. I talked to (Nickson) after the game. He popped a ‘hammy.' Our ‘d' wouldn't let him get comfortable. That's what I like. I'm probably going to let him rest up a little bit and let his injury heal up before I bring (the game) up to him."

Walker caught a two-point pass from Wilson after Bama's final touchdown for a then 24-3 lead. "It was something we worked on in practice, and just like we drew it up, it came open. It could've gone to any receiver. (Wilson) threw it to me, so I had to go get it."

Bama left tackle Andre Smith drew some "oohs and ahs" with a pancake block of Vandy defensive back Myron Lewis to spring D.J. Hall on a screen pass. "That's my assignment, to go out there and block him, so I had to," Smith said, matter-of-factly. "I had to do it," he grinned.

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