Washington Wants Different Result

Alabama is hoping for a different result in this year's Southeastern Conference Championship Game, but days before the Crimson Tide meets Florida for the title a lot of things look the same to Bama defensive end Lorenzo Washington.

Alabama senior defensive end Lorenzo Washington said in film study this week that Florida's offense is "pretty much the same." Washington was discussing the tape of last year's SEC Championship Game in which the Gators took the next-to-last step to the national championship with a 31-20 come-from-behind win over Bama.

The teams meet again Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the 2009 crown. Both teams are 12-0 overall and 8-0 in SEC play. Florida is ranked first in the nation, Alabama second. CBS will televise the game, which begins at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. central).

Washington said, "We're doing the same thing (as last year on defense). We're just trying to limit our mistakes and go out there and execute. Everyone do his job on every play. The more times we do that, the more successful we'll be."

The Alabama football team worked for two hours in full pads inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility on Tuesday afternoon as a cold rain fell outside.  

Washington said the practice was the same, too. Or, at least, pretty much the same.

"It is another Tuesday," he said, "but I think a lot of people have been picking up their intensity. Everybody knows what is on the line. Not that we haven't been playing like that every week, but every week you've got to try to take it to another level. I think on both sides of the ball and in special teams, everybody's been turning it up this week, trying to take it to another level."

Washington said the experience of playing the Gators last season and facing other teams with a similar offense will be helpful in this week's game plan. "I think it helps us a lot that we are used to their offense." Washington said "We've played them once before.  We've also seen their offensive coordinator (Dan Mullen) from last year at Mississippi State. That's like kind of playing them again, earlier. Auburn's offense is similar to that. Virginia Tech ran some similar things, like the shovel pass.  We played a couple of other teams here and there that did similar things to what Florida does. And you can go all the way back to Utah last year after Florida that does. It's just experience."

Washington is very complimentary of the Gators, but thinks much of the responsibility for last year's loss falls on Bama shoulders. "We made mistakes," he said. "Wrong leverage, wrong coverage, didn't run the play right. They executed on the mistakes that we made.

> "Once you know exactly what you're supposed to do, you don't go out there thinking. If you go out there thinking, that's when you make mistakes. You need to go out there and react to what you see, just go out there and play. I think we've done a really good job of that this year and we need to continue to do that this week.

"Florida is a good team," he said. "We're both coming back with good teams, starters returning on both sides of the ball. But we realized that when we looked at the film from last year that a lot of the plays that they made were off of our mistakes. And vice versa. We focused on the mistakes that they made. So we just want to go out there and execute and do our job. And come out with a win, hopefully."

Washington said Florida lost top players like Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, "so they had to find a couple of playmekrs and move a couple of people to other positions. Brandon James isn't really running the ball like he was last year; now he's playing wide receiver. But they are pretty much doing the same things."

Washington said the Tide is motivated by last year's loss. He said, "It's everywhere. That's what we talked about all the time during the Fourth Quarter (off-season conditioning program), in the summer time. It was a hard-fought battle. I think both teams left it on the field but making crucial mistakes down the stretch in the fourth quarter is what killed us. That's why in the fourth quarter we hold up the four fingers because it's important to finish the game."

Washington appreciates the importance of Saturday's game. "I like it," he said. "Everything is sitting in our hands. It‘s in our hands, it's in Florida's hands. It's just who wants it more. You've got to go out there. This is going to be a great way to end my career, leave a legacy here. I don't think you could ask for any better way to have it."

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