Tide Works Out in Dome
The Crimson Tide is about a nine point favorite according to the betting line-makers, even after the suspension of Andre Smith which has dominated headlines from New Orleans since Monday.
The Alabama players will spend New Year's snug in their hotel rooms Wednesday night. Players told the media they have an 11 o'clock curfew this evening.
Meanwhile, Utah is relishing the underdog role and hoping to surprise the doubters. Cornerback Sean Smith, a 6-3, 212-pound junior who expects to draw the assignment of covering Julio Jones, said that Utah won't be scared to play man-to-man like they've done all year.
"We're a man team," Smith said. "Don't get me wrong, Julio is a DB's nightmare. But with my size and speed ratio we have an advantage on our end because we don't have to worry about those mismatches."
"I'm probably the biggest corner they've ever seen so I'm not really worried about the physical part of it," Smith said.
Smith also embodied the disrespect Utah feels its been getting.
"All year we've been getting discredited with all our wins," he said. "People have been saying we don't deserve to be here and how are we playing them. So many things that we weren't really worried about but are always in the back of our mind. We see TV."
"We're gonna let them know that we're legit," Smith said, "that we are what we said we were when we first got this thing rolling, so everybody back off of us."
Clips of Alabama at practice in the Superdome:
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