Q: Obvious question, how well did Alabama's defense play? "They did a good job. They're obviously a tough, physical defense, I thought they did a real good job in that first half of three-and-outs. I think we had four three-and-outs to finish the first half and that was big, that really took some sting out of our offense at that time. But our guys kept battling and we had some opportunities to make plays. Anthony rushed for 81 yards, which was pretty solid against a defense of that caliber.
"And we knew going into it that we would have to take some shots on the outside, and we were going to have to come down with the plays and make some big plays against that type of a defense. When you're in those big games against great defenses you need to make plays. They did, and we didn't."
Q: Have you seen a defense with this sort of size and speed? "They are big, and they are physical. Up front they do some really good things. They have a lot of size and what they do is just try to create a wall right there, and there's not a whole lot of seams in the wall for you to run through."
Q: You had some early success hitting them at the line? "I thought we had a good, decent plan for some things. And Anthony obviously ran hard, ran real hard and made a bunch of plays. They did a good job of keeping us out of rhythm. And you know, I missed some calls here and there, I called a couple of bad plays. But like anything, you get down in the red zone three times and come away with one score; a minus-three turnover ratio; you're not going to beat the teams in the country. That's one thing Alabama does a great job, they don't make mistakes. They keep playing and keep playing and they have some playmakers that will make a big play. That's how they beat you."
Q: Talk about their secondary, you had two long passes broken up in the end zone? "Yeah, they did a nice job. And our guys have to go make plays on those balls. Interceptions off tipped passes and stuff, those have to be caught. Those are plays that we need to make."
Q: Why the black uniforms? "Jamar (Chaney) asked me coming into the season. He said Coach, is there any chance that we can wear black uniforms at some point this year. I told him absolutely not…and then as soon as he told me that I went about it. (assistant AD) Scott Stricklin and (AD) Greg Byrne did a great job for us working to get those for the players. Our players have worked real hard, they've done everything I've asked of them since I was hired. I wanted to give-back to the seniors for everything they've given to us; they asked if we could do something special one night and wear black jersies and we did. I thought they looked pretty good, actually."
Q: Games with the other ranked teams were close losses, what changed that point-wise this was worse? "Well, it's 17-3 going into the fourth quarter and we're driving down there and don't come away with points. And we give up two long touchdowns after that to blow it open. I guess that could have just as easily happened in the other games, but we could have kept it just as close. So you give them credit, they battled and fought and made some big plays at the end. If we score touchdowns on two of those drives right there, or three of those drives right there, it's 31-21 and you say hey, just like what happened with Florida and just like what happened with Houston and just like what happened with Georgia Tech, just like what happened with LSU. You're right there battling, we just didn't come away with a victory in the end."
Q: With two games left what is your mindset on getting bowl eligible? "Get to a bowl. I know our goal, everybody's goal in the SEC I imagine, is to find a way to get to Atlanta. When you don't hit that goal you want to get to a bowl game. I think once we realized we weren't going to Atlanta that's the focus of our team, and here it is November 14th. I give our seniors a lot of credit, I can imagine I don't think there were a lot of people out there that really gave us a chance to get to a bowl game this year. And it's November 14th and we're still battling and fighting our way to try to get there. And we still have that opportunity with two games remaining."
Q: Any thoughts on the kickoff return that was ruled out of bounds? "Well it happens really fast. I watched it right there, I was right in front of it, and the official is right there. He came right up to me and said ‘he hit the white'. I said are you sure, obviously you'd better be sure, it's a big play! He said he hit the white; he was in perfect position to make the call, it happened fast. I saw the replay on the jumbotron and… I always say with our officials they do a real good job and the speed of what happens in the SEC, they do a pretty solid job with all those calls that are going wide, high-speed plays, to make those calls."
Q: You've seen them both, who is the better, Alabama or Florida? "Should be a great game. That's the beauty of that, we're going to find out on December 5 and everybody will find out that day. They're very different style teams. So I guess the team that plays the best defense, doesn't turn the football over, and scores when they get in the red zone and wins the special teams battle is probably going to win that football game, that would be my guess."