Six Players Cited By Tide Staff

One of the problems for Alabama after routing previously ninth-ranked Clemson in Saturday night's season-opening football game is the wonderful dilemma of having so many possible individuals who could be cited for honors.

And so it was for Alabama Coach Nick Saban and his staff after the Crimson Tide rolled over Clemson by a 34-10 margin in the GeorgiaDome in Atlanta Saturday night. Who to select?

It has been pointed out that a coaching staff has a big advantage over any others who select players for post-game honors. They examine the tape of the game in detail and mark down the plusses and minuses. But even the coaches had trouble sorting out the winners.

On Monday Saban said, "We had some outstanding performances in the game by a lot of people. It is kind of hard to pick players of the game sometimes and it certainly was in this game."

It's a tough job, but someone had to do it. And so the coaches picked out six to honor. There were three honorees on offense, two on defense and one on special teams.

On offense, the staff picked senior quarterback John Parker Wilson, junior tailback Glen Coffee, and true freshman tailback Mark Ingram.

On defense, the coaches selected two men who combined for a huge play against Clemson. Sophomore linebacker Rolando McClain, who tipped a pass, and junior cornerback Marquis Johnson who caught it were selected.

The special teams winner was junior placekicker Leigh Tiffin.

Wilson passed for 180 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another touchdown. He completed 22 of 30 passes with no interceptions. Ingram was the game's leading rusher with 17 carries for 96 yards, just ahead of Coffee who had 17 runs for 90 yards.

Regarding the play of Wilson, Saban said, "I thought he was in control of the game. I think he was very confident. His leadership was an asset to the offensive team. He played within himself. He was well prepared for the game and he was confident in executing the plan in making the kind of decisions to take what the defense gave him. Those are the things that contributed to a good performance. He played very well."

Saban said, "Glen Coffee and Mark Ingram ran the ball rather effectively. If you had to ask any of these guys they would say the entire team did a fantastic job so they could operate and accomplish what they accomplished. The offensive line was outstanding, both tight ends played very well in the game. Our receivers did a good job of playing with effort and toughness. They blocked well and made plays when we needed to in the passing game. These three skill guys ended up kind of getting the accolades but I think each and every one of them would tell you and I am telling you now that they were able to do what they did through the efforts of a lot other people they played with on offense because it was a great team effort."

Saban said, "Defensively. Rolando McClain and Marquis Johnson had the most production points." The two led a defense that held Clemson to only 188 yards of total offense, including a net of zero rushing yardage. McClain had three tackles and Johnson five (four solo).

Saban said, "On special teams Leigh Tiffin was outstanding in the game. His kickoffs were improved, his placement was good and other than missing one of the long field goals he was pretty effective kicking the field goals so we thought he did an outstanding job."

Tiffin had a career-best 54-yard field goal (third longest in Alabama history) among his four field goals against Clemson.

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