I was pretty pleased with the way we played in the game. I challenged the players to go out and improve, get better, play hard for 60 minutes in the game, and I think they did. They came out and played fast in the beginning and didn't let some of the events of the week affect their preparation or their focus and concentration and did a pretty good job.
The good news is we got to play a lot of players in the second half and got them some experience, which will obviously help the depth on our team down the road.
I think their players (ULL) played hard in the game and deserve a lot of credit for the way they played, especially on defense they played pretty tough out there.
Obviously, some things have a price. (LaBrandon) Toefield's got a broken arm. We're going to decide on what we're going to do… It's the same thing that Archie Manning had, is the way the doctors explained it to me. You guys probably know more about that than I do. The best way to fix it is probably to do surgery on it. We'll probably make that decision tomorrow (Sunday) morning in a 10:30 meeting… I guess that's the bad news.
But I was pleased with the way we played out there today. I think we made some improvement. We made some progress.
Now, I think every game that we played from now on is going to be a tough challenging game. We'll see how good we are and how consistent we can be and kind of go from there.
We haven't competed well against Florida since I've been here, and I'd kinda would like to challenge the players to do a lot better job of competing against them. Hopefully we will.
Q: Archie Manning played with a cast on his injury. Is that the doctor saying Toefield might have a chance to play?
A: No, he didn't say that. He just told me it was the same injury that he had. (Manning) was a quarterback (with the injury) on a non-throwing hand. I think it's a little bit different situation for a running back. We'll make a decision tomorrow about what we're going to do.
We're going to do what's in his best interest. I think the guy has had some tough injuries in his career here, but I think he still has a career as a football player, and we're going to do whatever we need to do to give him the best opportunity to have a future in this game…
Q: Can you talk about your offense's ability to come out and move the ball with the pass really well?
A: I was pleased with the way we mixed it up and balanced. They play a lot of eight-man front, so you've got to be able to throw the ball some. It's tough to run it in there. I thought we did a good job of that in the first half. I thought we had some other people open at times and didn't hit them. We made some good plays and did a good job on third down in the first couple of drives and made a few big plays. So I was pleased with the way were able to throw the ball effectively. Hopefully, we can build on that and get better in the future.
Q: Did you see anything promising from Marcus Randall in the second half?
A: I think Marcus did a much better job out there today than what he'd done previously. I'm just talking about game administration, playing with confidence, getting us in the right play. We didn't do a whole lot of stuff with them. We threw it a couple of times. He made some good throws and made a couple that I'm sure he wishes he'd been able to throw a little bit better. And I'm sure there was a couple that we could have caught that we didn't catch. I was pleased that he made a heck of a run on a scramble play. We need to get him better, too.
Q: Your thoughts on Joseph Addai and how important he will be now that Toefield is injured.
A: I think it will be real important, and I think Shyrone Carey will be somebody we'll used at running back as well. We've struggled to find a role for Shyrone. We tried to play him at receiver, which we're still going to do to some degree.
I basically think (Carey) can do some good things for us at running back, so we taught him five plays this week. A couple times he looked pretty good running through there. He looked pretty good on that punt return, too.
He's a guy that's an effective player when he has the ball in his hands, and we have to find ways to get it in his hands some kind of way so he can make some plays for us.
Q: Can you talk about Terrell McGill getting to play and his development?
A: (Long pause) Did you watch the same thing I watched?
Reporter: He looked pretty good.
Saban: Did he? Good. Then that guy didn't run by him twice – sacked the quarterback once, hit him in the back (and) he almost didn't get up. He's a freshman.
I have high standards and high expectations for everybody. I told the players at halftime, "If you go in and play, I expect you to play like a starter."
If (McGill) is going to go in and be the backup left tackle, he needs to go in there and play that way. I'm not disappointed in his development, but if he's going to play left tackle he better be able to block the right end. I think we'll play against some better right ends than what we saw out there today…
But I'm really happy with him. (reporters laugh)
Q: Outside of Toefield's injury, is there anything that concerns you about this team?
A: No, not really. You just hate to see a guy (injured) that's played such good football here, is a captain and leader on the team, and gives us tremendous toughness as a football player, who has had a lot of bad luck with injuries. (After tearing his ACL) last year in the SEC Championship Game, he worked his fanny off to be able to come back this year and play, and he's got himself in great shape to be able to do that. Now he has another unfortunate injury.
I think some times when you get broken bones, there's nothing really you can do about that. I don't think there's some type of training program that would have prevented this. I think it's just sometimes unfortunate about the way you get hit. …I don't know really what happened. I only talked to him for a few minutes.
He's really down about it, and I'm really down about it. But we're going to support him every way that we can so we can help him be successful.
Q: Do you expect to continue to see punters kicking the ball away from Domanick Davis?
A: It's a possibility. We tried to put two back guys back there so we cover the field. But you know they gave up a lot of field position when they do that too. It's all about what your net punt is. When they're kicking 25-yard punts sideways so the guy doesn't return it, they're giving up field position on that too.
I don't know what their net punt was but some of those punts were not very long. That's like a 10- or 15-yard return in itself. It's all about field position. If they're going to do that and it still gives us good field position, then it's an advantage to us.
Q: Addai was used a little more as a receiver out of the backfield. Is that something you set out to do for this game?
A: Not really. We throw the ball to the backs a lot. We feel like we have a lot of good backs, and we want to get them the ball in a lot of different ways. He just happened to be playing back, and when he's at fullback I think he's a really good receiver.
That fullback-down-the-middle play is just something we catch on people because they don't play with a middle-of-the-field safety very often. There's nobody there and there wasn't anybody there today. We ran it another time and he was wide open and we didn't throw it to him.
Q: Did you watch the Ole Miss-Florida game, and do you think that since Florida doesn't look quite as formidable as they have the past couple of years will affect the way that you challenge your players?
A: No. Florida's still a good football team. Ole Miss has probably got a pretty good football team too. I just watch probably a quarter and half of that game today, maybe the third quarter and half of the fourth quarter. I think Florida's got a lot of good football players, and I think Ole Miss played a really good game today.
I don't think what happened today has any affect on what we need to do because we can't really control any of that. We need to get our players ready to play against a team that has been the dominant team in our league for several years.