Upchurch Wanted To Help Tide Win

Roy Upchurch didn't have his best game ever statistically, but considering the situation it may have been his most impressive performance. The junior tailback rushed 14 times for 86 yards, scoring one touchdown and setting up another, all in the second half in helping Alabama to a 29-9 win in Knoxville.



Roy Upchurch was one of the last players to leave the Alabama locker room following the Crimson Tide's win over Tennessee. He said, "Every time I get in the game I think I can provide a spark. I want to help the team get momentum. I felt if I could come in and make something happen that it would help us win.

"I helped the team the best I could. I'm not looking for individual statistics."

He said, "They kept giving me the ball. We wanted to prove to the country that we could play a complete game and not let (Tennessee) get back in it."

Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson, sporting a bandage across his chin, said, "I think it was a really good game. I think we came out and played well. We didn't start off the way we've been starting off; we kind of got behind and had to come back and score in the second half and I think we did a really good job.

"The way we ran the ball tonight, those running backs did really good. We were able to mix in the pass and stay really balanced and come out with a good attack. With the way our defense played tonight, if we just kept the ball and didn't turn it over, we were going to win the game.

"It was great to come back in the second half and play well. We stayed balanced.

"It was great to come into Knoxville and get a win. It was awesome. We know what this game means to our fans.

"We're a pretty good team, but we have to take it week by week."

Andre Smith dismissed any talk of national championships. "We can't worry about national championships," he said. "We have to be concerned with playing our game."

The big left tackle said, "Any team can beat any other team in college football."

He said that Tennessee had a "very physical front. Every one of them was physical. And that's the way we like it, too."

Placekicker Leigh Tiffin said the game started out like it might be a field goal contest, which suited him since "the weather was decent and it was a good night to kick. But we finally started punching them in there for touchdowns.

"The season is going great. It's as good as it can be at 8-0. But we have to keep our heads down and keep going."

Alabama safety Rashad Johnson was told that Coach Nick Saban had described the Crimson Tide as a "blue collar team."

"If Coach Saban said that, I believe it," Johnson said.

Johnson said, "I think the defense did a good job tonight. We stepped up to the challenge. The special teams had a couple of mistakes and the defense showed up. I felt we had been in tough situations before and we knew what to do."

He said, "We've got four games left, three of them SEC games and one next week against an Arkansas State team that has beaten some Division I teams."

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