Players React To Loss To ULM

Matt Caddell heard the boos. The boos raining down from a less-than-capacity Bryant-Denny Stadium crowd while Alabama got "Sun-Belted" by 5-6 Louisiana-Monroe. "We heard them, loud and clear," said the senior receiver from McCalla. "I hate for our fans to boo. Its embarrassing, and we just have to do better. We love our fans, and we do our best for them.

"The last few teams that we lost to, we weren't supposed to lose to," Alabama senior Matt Caddell said. "It really hurts. It's just something that we have to learn from, to allow us to get better and improve." Caddell netted 30yards on a pair of catches.

Junior linebacker Ezekial Knight said the disappointment is team-wide. He said, "I think we had a lot of missed tackles, and weren't in places we were supposed to be. They capitalized on it, and made the best of it. I think its because of everybody not being on the same page. Lack of focus, too. Thinking about results, and not thinking about what we‘re doing.

"We've lost two games in a row we really looked forward to winning," he said. "I think we'll be all right for Auburn, our rival game." Three of Knights six tackles were behind the line of scrimmage.

Was the Tide looking past the Warhawks and forward to "War Eagle?" One player has an opinion. "I don't know if today, maybe we were looking ahead," said senior special teams player Forress Rayford, "because we've got a big game in the Auburn game. I hope… nobody was looking ahead. You don't really know what's going on in some guys' minds. Maybe they are thinking ahead. As a senior, I know all the other seniors, and the leaders on the team are focused on one game at a time. You're told that as soon as you start playing football, to take one game at a time.

"Hopefully, nobody looked ahead, but maybe that was it. We lost focus on the task at hand, and looked forward to Auburn." Rayford made a tackle on special teams in the loss.

Said running back Jonathan Lowe: "To me, how I viewed it, everybody was kind of lackadaisical. Guys weren't into it mentally, and that kind of showed up on the field, and showed up in the way we played. I think a lot of times, teams tend to overlook (other) teams like those, and once that happens, this is the outcome that comes out of it." Lowe had 96 all-purpose yards in the defeat.

Can the Tide bounce back from one of its worst defeats ever? "That all depends on what we do Monday through Friday (at practice)," said center Evan Cardwell. "If we come out, and go to work, and everybody's got a positive attitude, then we'll put ourselves in a good position to win. Just like every week, not just the Auburn week.

"If you can't respond after a letdown like this, then your really shouldn't be playing football. That's just the way I feel. I think my team's going to come out this week , and go to work, and we're going to respond like we need to." Cardwell will likely be re-joined on the line by just-reinstated Antoine Caldwell and Marlon Davis next week.

ULM coach Charlie Weatherbie called it a watershed victory. "This has been the number one win since I've been here, in five years," he said. "This is the best victory we've had. I thought we did a great job of taking care of the football. Defensively, creating four turnovers was a great accomplishment.

"We've been using the theme from Proverbs 27:17 where it says ‘Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another.' That's what teamwork is all about, being there for one another, and finding a way to win."

The leading rusher for ULM was Calvin Dawson, who had 33 carries and 91 yards. "I'm just happy we won," said Dawson. "We knew we could do it. We just came out and did it. I'm just excited."

Marty Humphrey caught a pair of touchdowns for ULM "Its crazy in the locker room," he said. "This is the biggest victory we've had. We didn't' come in here and beat ourselves. We just kept chipping away."

Bama will put its 6-5 mark on the line and hope to salvage a bowl out of a disappointing Novermber when it heads to Auburn next week. Kickoff at Jordan-Hare Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ESPN will televise the Iron Bowl.

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