"We Know Exactly Why We Lost"

CENTER J.C. BRIGNONE: Q: The offense could get drives started, but not sustain them? "Yeah, we moved the ball well. That wasn't the question, we knew we were going to rush. We could rush for 300 yards, but when we have 100 yards in penalties that's not going to help us."

Q: After getting the interception, what did you think after drawing a delay penalty? "It's just a mental part. Even when we got the pick I looked around and could see we weren't really mentally in it, because it was like were all ghosts. We'd been doing so well six games in a row, doing everything we needed to, and playing football the right way. We didn't know how to come out of it, which is what we're going to have to do. Start from the beginning, not start from 1st-and-15 or 2nd-and 20 and all that stuff."

Q: What was behind the penalties? "It was just mental errors. The things we don't do. Like you said, things we haven't done in months. Most of the time when you have one mental error it leads to another, maybe not caused by it but it just happens."

Q: Was there a feeling that maybe one more first down and a drive would really get going? "You know, it was like that. We could see the light shining, we'd get a first down here, then turn around and a flag is down. Or we knew the play was set up perfect to the blitz that they would call and were going to run it, and we'd get an offsides call. So it was like the light was shining and then it just dimmed out."

"They didn't do anything we haven't seen. The whole game was on us. We really shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and lazy mistakes. Holding, that's not us. You can watch the film and see they couldn't stop us, we knew we could run the ball on them. The question was what were we going to do to get ourselves right and move 1st-and-10, 2nd-and-5. Practice takes care of mental errors; when you go into a game thinking you're going to just play, that's when stuff happens."

Q: Was Nick Bell on the minds tonight? "That will always be on your mind, he's a teammate and a brother and when we lose or win we win together. We know he's here with us and embracing us right now, telling us to get up. Because we have a big game next week. My last game at home, and Derek, and Chris, and all the seniors. So we have to come out tomorrow and do everything we can to get ourselves back up and get our minds right."

LINEBACKER CHRIS WHITE: Q: Just a frustrating night out there? "Yes, it is. They definitely played better than us. We just didnt' get the job done."

Q: Were you surprised to give up so many big plays? "Yes, sir. We felt like we did a pretty good job in the first half, it was just a couple of plays that we gave up the big play. That's just what hurt us on defense. Coach (Manny) Diaz said, we were stopping the run, they were just getting those big passes. You can play good 85% of the plays, but if you don't the other 15% then you're not going to be good."

Q: Was there anything special about all the big plays to the (Alabama) right side? "No. I mean, we were stacking the box, they were just throwing it, and we weren't tackling well on the perimeter."

Q: Was it a surprise to get to halftime and given up two big plays that you haven't been giving up? "It definitely was surprising. We really didn't expect that. But it all comes down to tackling, and we all have to tackle better as a defense."

Q: State had a week to rest, but did you think you weren't sharp this first game back? "I think we came out with some pretty good energy. But we got out of it when they started making big plays. We have to work harder to not let that happen."

TAILBACK VICK BALLARD: Q: You've got an icepack on your left ankle, what happened? "I'm good. That happened a long time ago, my ankle is just sore. It didn't bother me at all tonight."

Q: What kept the offense from getting into any rhythm? "Lack of execution and penalties, really. We just couldn't get anything going."

Q: You had very few three-and-outs, so the offense was starting drives? "Yeah, every time we get the ball our goal is to get two first downs so we don't put the defense in a bind. I guess we did an alright job of it, but we couldn't put together drives to get into the end zone."

Q: With 80 yards did you feel you ran OK? "I did decent, I could have did more."

Q: Is that a difficult defense to run against? "They're not as hard as I thought. We're kind of one-dimensional in a way, so they know we're going to run the ball. I think the way we ran with them expecting us to run, we did alright."

Q: Is this team built to come back? "Our team? Yeah, it doesn't matter if we're up or down, if we do our job and make plays the scoreboard will light up."

OFFENSIVE TACKLE DEREK SHERROD: Q: The offense had first downs, time of possession, what was stopping you? "Basically just breaking down at some point. That's one thing about offense, you have to keep the momentum and keep it going. If all eleven come together that will be a successful drive, but somebody breaks down it will hurt us and hurt us bad."

"We were pretty prepared for them, unfortunately we couldn't come together and find a couple of big plays."

Q: Everything you and J.C. have said, can be fixed. It's not talent or depth or experience, just errors to fix? "Oh yeah, we know exactly why we lost the game. And that's why we're going to come out next week and work hard so we can give Arkansas a good game."

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MANNY DIAZ: "The ten and 12 yard completions we can deal with, but we can't deal with one play drives. We can't deal with five yard passes that go into 40 yard touchdowns. At halftime we felt our kids had played really well, with the exception of two terrible plays. And we came out in the third and added a third. So there will be a lot when we watch the film we'll be proud of, and some we'll be pretty much horrified by."

Q: Was there any common thread to those plays? "Tackling was the thread in all of them. We knew we couldn't leave one-on-one tackles; before halftime they caused a one-on-one and we didn't make it. I'll say this too, you have to give credit to them. They're hard to tackle and they made plays. But we knew we had to bring our feet to the ball carrier and we didn't do that."

Q: You had to feel good containing Mark Ingram, until the second quarter? "We felt they would have a hard time winning the game if they couldn't run the football…given the fact we wouldn't give up plays in the passing game. We really held up one end of the bargain, but gave ourselves very little in the other. That would ultimately prove the difference."

"You don't have to miss them very often to get punished, and they did a great job punishing us tonight."

Q: Did Alabama do anything to go away from Chris White, as he had three tackles? "Well, they tried running the football inside early on and had very little success. That's why really the game ended up being played on the perimeter. On one hand you say, you made Alabama a throwing team; but now you have to capitalize on that. We got them to do what we wanted to do, and we didn't punish them."


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