Blocked Kick Is Highlight ‘So Far'

The NCAA should be pleased to know that there were no extra benefits for the hero of Alabama's win over Tennessee Saturday. After Terrence Cody made an ESPN highlights block of a field goal to win a critical game and keep the Crimson Tide's national championship hopes alive, he got to stand in line with the hoi poiloi.



Alabama nose tackle Terrence Cody described his post-game celebration. Not THE post-game celebration, the one that sent Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin into a little girl tantrum.

No, the quieter one.

"I went out to eat with my family," he said.

Surely he was recognized. "Yeah, another family standing in line asked if they could have their picture made with me," he said.

In line? Terrence Cody, the toast of Tuscaloosa on Saturday night, had to stand in line? "I guess a lot of people wanted to eat before they left town, so we had to wait for a table," Cody said.

Later he watched a little television and got to see his heroic play "a few times."

There were Alabama fans in Bryant-Denny Stadium who couldn't watch the final play of Bama's 12-10 victory over Tennessee. The Vols were primed to upset the number one ranked Crimson Tide with a 44-yard field goal. But Cody, who had blocked a 43-yard field goal attempt earlier in the fourth quarter, would come through again.

And Cody couldn't watch, either.

"I reached my hand out and closed my eyes," he said Tuesday after Alabama football practice. "I felt it hit my arm and said, ‘Yes!' and I smiled."

Cody suggested he doesn't remember taking off his helmet in celebration following the block. He said he was surprised the act got so much attention. "The game was over," he said.

The 6-5, 354-pound senior All-America candidate, who was named SEC defensive lineman of the week, said that the blocked field goal to preserve victory is the highlight of his career to date. "It's at the top of the list right now," he said. He added that a touchdown run in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game "or some other big game" might be better.

In fact, Cody said, "The highlight of the play is how high Julio was." Photographs show wide receiver Julio Jones, who is inserted into the lineup for the jack linebacker, soaring high in the background, seemingly in place to make the block if Cody had missed.

Alabama is now 8-0 and ranked second in the nation. The Tide is undefeated in SEC play at 8-0. Bama has an open date this weekend and will host ninth-ranked LSU (6-1 overall, 4-1 SEC) on November 7 in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff will be at 2:30 p.m. CST with national television coverage by CBS. LSU plays Tulane this week.

Cody said Alabama's open date comes at a good time. "We're not really hurt, but we've got bumps and bruises and we're tired," he said. "It's a chance to get our strength back."

Bama is expected to practice again Wednesday and Thursday, then have a break until next Monday. Alabama Coach Nick Saban said the work this week is on fundamentals and technique, not on preparing for LSU.

Cody said one emphasis of work is "the defense getting off the field on third down. We emphasize that every week. We have a couple of periods every week to work on that." He said the Tide may have been tired last week, but said "I wouldn't blame everything on that."

Cody knows the stakes are high. "At Alabama, every game is a big game," he said. "We know that Florida International and North Texas are coming in trying to beat us as much as anyone else, so we look at them all as big games and know we have to go out and try to dominate the opponent. Everyone is trying to beat us."

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