"That Wasn't The Football We've Been Playing"

"Give Alabama credit, they're a heck of a football team. A lot of great playmakers, an experienced group that is used to winning. They made the plays the needed to make to win the game. We did not follow our recipe of what's gotten us here, which was take care of the football, making plays when we need to make them on both sides and in the kicking game. And we were sloppy."

"One thing you get worried about coming off a bye week, a disadvantage is getting back into game speed of things. We had too many missed tackles. You're not to going to miss all those tackles and give up those long plays and win. Too many dropped passes. When you're on the road in the SEC and playing in a really tough environment like Alabama, you can't come in and miss tackle after tackle and drop several balls, and get yourself in second-and-longs with silly penalties."

"That's the (im)maturity of our team we need to take out of this and we need to grow with. If we can do that we'll have the opportunity to be successful. So we need to learn from this, our young guys need to learn from this. And we'll have the opportunity. This program and the direction we're going in, we're going to be playing in a lot of big games in the future, and we need to learn from these. When you come in these environments, these are places you have to learn to come and win at if you're going to build a championship football team."

Q: Did you feel the bye week affected the players' mental focus? "I don't think so. I think our guys came out with emotion. The mental focus wasn't on breakdowns; the mental focus was on missed tackles, and silly off-sides penalties and holding penalties. That was more a missed focus than anything else."

"I know emotionally it's been a very trying time for us. Maybe some emotions got the best of us at times, trying too hard during that game instead of doing our fundamentals. But I don't think that was why the game ended as it did."

Q: Your team had been good tacklers this season, what was different? "It was just disappointing. That's what we told our guys. There were 67 snaps in the first half both sides of the ball and we played pretty good on 65 of them. We had two really bad ones. Those are mistakes we have not made in quite a while. What was it, a 45 yard play and a 78 yard play? Just back to back boom, giving up home runs. That is not what we've been about on defense."

"So we've got to get back in there, we have got to tackle, we have got to make plays in the secondary. And they have some good playmakers that can make you miss."

"I don't think they missed many tackles. I don't think they dropped many balls. I don't recall them being in second-and-long situations with silly penalties. Those are the difference. And that is the little things you have to do to win games. Those are the things we did that didn't give us a chance to win, and that we have not done in the last six games. The last time we made mistakes like that was in Baton Rouge, and the results are very similar."

Q: How did you think Chris Relf played? "He did some decent things. He missed some throws here and there that we should have had. The first interception? Bad interception, just wrong read and threw it up for grabs down the middle of the field. It's one of those things when you're in this environment you can't give up momentum like that. But overall I think Chris did a decent job."

Q: You were able to contain Mark Ingram rushing in the first half? "Yeah, and I don't think at any point we got just blown away up front. It was just big plays that really, really hurt us. And when you give away the momentum…we still have a young football team, when you give up the big play and some of that momentum one of the things you have to do is come right back to respond to make a big play back yourself."

"We looked like a young football team at times. And for the most part this season we've come back and made those plays. We didn't tonight, there were some guys questioning. And that wasn't the type of football we've been playing the last six weeks."

Q: Did you consider putting Tyler Russell in earlier? "No. I think Tyler came in and did a nice job, he made some nice throws and we made some nice plays. Some of those plays were there to be made and Chris made some of those throws. When you get yourself in second-and-long situations and you're dropping some passes, get out of rhythm that way…at times I thought we were in great rhythm on offense. Then we'd put ourselves behind the chains with a silly penalty and you just can't do that."

"So I thought both our quarterbacks did a decent job. I'm disappointed with the interceptions because I thought both of them could have been avoided. We're not a turnover team, we want to protect the ball, that's part of our plan to win."

Q: With the passing game, is your team just not built to come back? "I don't know if that's the case. To come back against a team like this, when you're down 20-3 at halftime and get the ball to start off the second half, and we come out sloppy; and give up a long touchdown run on their very first play…that's not a recipe to come back whatever your offense is. To come back on teams like these you have to manage."

"To come back you have to score once before you can score three times. So you have to relax and make the plays and not push too hard, just do your job and make the plays."

Q: You put Michael Carr in on kickoffs, were you not happy with Chad Bumphis's returns? "No, Chad is a good punt returner; Michael is more a ‘hit it' guy, Chad has got some more shake to make you miss in the open field. But kickoff return is designed with a guy to hit it. We just wanted to get Michael experience, it's a great learning moment for a true freshman right there. The end zone, that's a learning moment; the one he ran out and got tackled, that's a learning moment of not get tackled and make a guy miss! To not run out of the end zone, that's a coaching learning!"

Q: You sought out Marcell Dareus, what did you say? "I just gave him a hug and said good luck rest of the way. Marcell was very close to Nick Bell, when we got our team to the hospital on Monday he was there. He came over to the memorial service after a practice on a Thursday. I just got to talk to him, going through all that, gave him a hug and said keep his head up and keep playing. Nick would want him to play hard, too, what everybody that cared about him to play the best. So I gave him a hug and said for him to finish off the season the right way for himself."

Q: The five sacks on Relf, was that a combination of things? "A combination I think of sloppiness up front, really sloppy up front. I promise you our offensive lien playe their worst game in a long time. And that's the strong point of our team. And one or two times I thought Chris should have got the ball out, he held the ball too long."

"But we'll get that fixed up. The offensive line needs to be the strong point of our offense. That's where our experienced is, our veteran players are. They need to play well and I don't think they played their best game."

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