Tide, Tigers Talk About The Outcome
"We came out and started strong," said Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson. "We've talked about finishing and this time we did. "The offensive line did a great job and we ran the ball well. Everything just fell into place. If we can run the ball the way we did tonight, we can be pretty good. Our defense did a great job in stopping the run."
Wilson led an offense that held the ball for 41:13 of a 60-minute game. "He did awesome," said junior receiver Mike McCoy of his quarterback. "He didn't have any turnovers. He stepped up, and took a leadership role. He came through when he had to."
McCoy caught two balls for 33 yards, both for first downs.
"We're a well-coached team," said junior running back Glen Coffee. ‘Last year, we beat Tennessee, and then after that, the season didn't go as we wanted, so we're not going to make that mistake again.
"(Clemson) was only one game. We've got a lot of games to go."
Coffee had 90 yards on 17 carries, and freshman Mark Ingram had 97 on 17 totes. "I'm so proud of him," Coffee said. "I'm just proud of all of our running backs. I'm so grateful that we have another running back (in Ingram) WHO can carry the ‘rock' like that."
Wilson and Coffee both credited the Alabama offensive line for stepping up and dominating their opponents.
"We've got a veteran group up front," said Mike Johnson, who started at left guard and moved to left tackle after a third quarter knee sprain to Andre Smith. "We should be blowing people off the ball."
Smith's condition was not thought to be serious, but will be updated to the media Monday.
When Smith left the game and Johnson moved one space to his left, sophomore David Ross came in at guard. Ross drew praise from Johnson.
Johnson said, "I've got to hand it to David Ross. He did a heck of a job. He knows his plays, and he knows where he needs to be.."
New media favorite Marquis Johnson was his normal bubbly self, no doubt aided by him getting his first career interception. "Like coach says, plays come to you," said Johnson. "I feel like I just did my job. D-line got pressure, Ro (linebacker McClain) tipped the ball in the air, Whoa!. It's mine. I just made the play."
Marquis Johnson was part of a Bama defense that limited Clemson to zero net yards rushing and 188 yards total offense.
"You've got to give those guys credit," said Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. "They came in here fired up, and they (had) read a whole lot about me and James (Davis), They were in the right gaps at the right time.
"They were more physical than we were" "
They were tough," said Davis. "They came out playing hard, and we got behind early.
Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden said, "We didn't respond well to the pre-season hype. We got whipped about every way you can get whipped, defensively and offensively, Obviously, we're not the ninth-rated team in the country. We created no momentum. I don't think we've been beaten that bad physically in the last three years."
Ninth-ranked coming in, Clemson is a pre-season favorite to win the ACC championship. "We still have those goals," said Davis." We still have a chance to go to the ACC championship and the national championship. We have to keep fighting this season."
Clemson will host the Citadel Saturday, while Alabama is home against Tulane, a team that has moved its football operations to Samford University in Birmingham in the wake of Hurricane Gustav.
Bama's game against the Green Wave is set for a 6 p.m. (CDT) kickoff and TV will be available on pay per view only.
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