Washington Doesn't Want Letdown

Lorenzo Washington has his head on straight as Alabama prepares to play a team that most consider to be a big underdog. The senior defensive end has been a key player for Bama in the past three years and is one of the Crimson Tide leaders.

"We just have to keep the pedal to the metal," said Alabama senior defensive end Lorenzo Washington. He doesn't have to look back too far to see when Alabama had a bit of a letdown in a second game.

Alabama is coming of a 34-24 win over Virginia Tech when the Hokies were ranked seventh in the nation. Bama started the season ranked fifth in the nation and moved up to fourth this week.

A year ago Alabama blasted a top ten team, Clemson, in the season-opening game, then had what Washington called " a letdown" in a lackluster win over Tulane.

On Saturday, Alabama hosts Florida International in the home opener for the Crimson Tide. The teams will kick off at 6 p.m. CDT at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis in Alabama and Florida on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The game can also be seen outside of Alabama and Florida on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN360.com.

"We're fixing to go out there with extreme focus," Washington said. "No matter who your opponent is, you have to treat them right. You treat every opponent like they are Virginia Tech and make sure we don't make the same mistakes we made last week."

Alabama Coach Nick Saban has sounded the alarm. "We are certainly playing a team that has some firepower on offense," Saban said.

Washington said the tough opener against Virginia Tech was "one of those games teams need to have at the beginning. It wasn't necessarily a rout -- not that I thought last year's game against Clemson was. In the Clemson game last year, the offense did their thing and the defense did their thing. It was pretty much the same thing this year. Virginia Tech has two real good running backs, two young backs that are going to be around for a while Tyrod Taylor is a heck of a player. I know they're going to go in their conference and do a lot of good things."

Washington, a Georgia native, said, "My record back home is 3-1, but honestly I'm focused on this seson. We're 1-0 and getting ready to go into our second game. I just really want to go out there and execute to the best of my ability."

Washington said he thought the Alabama defense played well against Virginia Tech. "Thee are some minor things, communication errors, people not hearing plays, a couple of mental errors, stuff like that. I don't think it's anything that can't be corrected."

Washington said he thought the season-opening game was "two great teams that went out there and battled to the end. We both did well defensively. Both of us started off slow. Our offense came through for us. They made some plays on special teams. I give credit to both teams."

Washington said that Alabama's second half performance may have frustrated Virginia Tech. Our offense kept driving the ball and we kept shutting them out."

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