Another Tough Loss For Bama

One had the feeling that Alabama's quarterback did not want to meet with sportswriters following the Crimson Tide's 17-12 loss to Mississippi State in Starkville Saturday. But just as Wilson stands in against a pass rush, he faced the media.

Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson looked like he had been roughed up a bit by Mississippi State, even though the only sack of the junior came on the final play of the disappointing game. "We just didn't get it going," Wilson said. "We weren't clicking today. We have to bounce back. We've got two big ones left."

Alabama hosts Louisiana Monroe next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CST before heading to Auburn for the regular season wrap-up on November 24.

Wilson was asked to recap the disastrous end to the first half, when Alabama had a 9-3 lead and the ball inside the Mississippi State five-yard line. He was rushed, threw a poor pass into the end zone, and it was intercepted by Anthony Johnson, who returned it 100 yards for a go-ahead touchdown for the Bulldogs.

"We had a great drive and worked it to the one-yard line," Wilson said. "They got a hard rush on us, and when I tried to get away and throw it away, I just could not get enough on it. It sounds weird to say. I was trying to throw it away, but I just could not get enough on it to get it to the bleachers.

"I fought to get deep, but they got deep with me. I couldn't take a sack because we didn't have another timeout and the clock would have run out."

Wilson said, "We have to go back to the tape and learn from it. We can't crawl into a hole now. We've got to get ready for the rest of our games."

The junior quarterback said, "I'm not going to lose my confidence just because I throw a couple of interceptions."

Wilson agreed that Alabama's diffficulties in the running game contributed to the offense having a tough day. "It's tough when they know you are not going to run the ball, but it that's the way it is going to be then we have to adapt to it and throw the ball anyway."

It was somewhat surprising that all Bama points came off the foot of placekicker Leigh Tiffin.

"You're always glad to do your job, but I hate that we lost," he said. "The goal is to win."

Tiffin was obviously excited when he was good on a college career long 51-yard field goal that gave Alabama a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. "It looked good," he said. "We had a good snap and a good hold. Coach Saban asked me before I went out if I could make it. I told him, ‘Yes. Let's do it.'"

He said Coach Nick Saban didn't ask him about his fourth field goal of the day, a 50-yarder that cut State's lead to the final five-point margin with 6:47 to play in the game.

That last field goal seemed to just barely get over the bar. "I didn't know if we were going to make it," Tiffin said. "I kicked on the laces. We didn't have a good operation on that one."

Tiffin, who had a 53-yard field goal in high school, said he was hitting from 60 yards in pre-game warm-ups.

Defensive end Wallace Gilberry, who had six tackles and the Tide's only sack of the day, said the momentum shifted with the interception return for a touchdown just before halftime. "That's the thing about football," he said. "It can go either way. Unfortunately, we went into the halftime behind and had to struggle to fight back."

He said prior to the game "I thought we were ready."

One disappointment was the Tide's inability to stop Mississippi State on a third-and-10 with about two minutes to play, Bama's last real hope at a comeback win. The Bulldogs ran for 11 yards and were able to run out all but 38 seconds of the clock.

"We knew we did not have any timeouts left, and we had them in a third down situation," Gilberry said. "They are a hard-running team and we were out of sync, out of position. They took advantage of it."

Gilberry said this loss is no more disappointing than any other. "A loss is a loss," he said. "It's like the other losses. You have to put it behind you and move on and forget about it. All of them are tough to get over.

"We have two games left. Starting Monday we'll be focusing on Louisiana Monroe."

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