Houston Nutt postgame -

The following is Coach Houston Nutt's postgame press conference in Tuscaloosa.

I was really proud of the way our guys came back in the second half after a not very good first half. Defense played extremely hard. Did a good job of really crowding the line of scrimmage and making some tackles. They're a good offensive team. Offensively we put some drives together. That fake field goal kind of gave us a lift. We drove the ball that far and needed a lift. So we took a shot at the fake field goal and that got us on the board. The defense got some turnovers for us and we capitalized on a couple of those drives. I'd like to have one of those series back. We continue to hurt ourselves with penalties at a bad time and a fumble at a bad time. You just can't do that against the No. 2 ranked team in the country. But I'll tell you what we do have, we've got some fighters. We've got some guys that really are believing. If we keep doing that, good things are going to happen.

Q: What did you say to your team at halftime?

Nutt: I just told them there were one or two ways we could go right here. We can let go of the rope and just concede that they're just much, much better. Or we can really tie a knot in that rope and hang on and let's go fight. They chose the latter and I'm really proud of that. I thought they competed extremely hard. The defense really gave us a chance to win the game in the second half.

Q: Did you do anything differently in the second half defensively?

Nutt: Not that much. We may have run one or two different blitzes, more of a run blitz, clogging those gaps. Just felt like they were going to major in the run, milk the clock, so we overpopulated the line of scrimmage and just did a good job with coverage. I was proud of our corners because of the receivers they have.

Q: On the 4th and 1 where your team was stopped short, did you have trouble getting the play out on the field? It looked like it.

Nutt: No. We were deciding between one or two plays. It was going to be a run. We felt like we could make a foot or a foot and a half. I was disappointed in that.

Q: Did you consider field goal at that point?

Nutt: Didn't really think about a field goal. I was wanting seven.

Q: Did Terrence Cody for them going out of the game change your gameplan at all?

Nutt: No.

Q: On Snead's last pass of the game, was there some confusion on the part of the receivers?

Nutt: No. I wish he would have hit the drag route. He had a tremendous rush. They blitzed the safety and unless you've stood back there against a bigtime defensive line with safeties coming at your throat, that's a tough deal now.

Q: Talk about Snead's play in the second half.

Nutt: He's getting better and better. I've been proud of him. That's a good defense. He came back after a tough first half. Got on to him for forcing a little naked throw, a little bootleg, that first interception of the first half. He knows better than that, throwing across the middle late. We had a guy in the flat open. But he comes back, and he made some awfully good throws. Proud of him.

Q: As Dexter McCluster continues to have turnovers, do you sit him?

Nutt: I don't know how you can sit him. I want him to hang on to that ball. He plays with his heart. We emphasized for two weeks about the ball, and that's tough. It would be hard for me to sit him.

Q: It appeared your team had more trouble with the Wild Rebel than usual.

Nutt: They had two weeks. They really pinched and did a good job of gaps and stuffed it.

Q: How tough is yet another locker room after a close loss?

Nutt: I'll tell you, they know how good they can be. I think they're starting to really see it. All they need's a little dose, that win. The reason we were able to play in this environment was to reach back to a game like Florida. A lot of teams can't stay on the field with Alabama. Lot of teams. Georgia had a tough time in the first half. This is a solid team, two-deep on both sides. So I'm proud of them. I think we can build from it. As long as we keep hanging onto the rope and keep fighting, there's still a lot to play for.

Q: How does Alabama compare with Florida?

Nutt: Pretty similar. They may have one or two more guys on the perimeter, maybe a little bit more speed. They've got some big-time weapons.

Q: How important is winning next week at Arkansas?

Nutt: It's big. Everyone of them is big. This was the biggest game of the year. The next one is the biggest game of the year. No question about it. It's one game at a time and this is the biggest.

Q: How different will next weekend be for you?

Nutt: It's going to be a little bit of difference. It's going to be different. I'm looking forward to it though.

Q: Talk about Enrique Davis and the snaps he got.

Nutt: He's worked real hard for two weeks. Liked his attitude. Liked the way he was hitting it. He showed a burst. Wish he had gotten in right there. That was a good run, our longest run from scrimmage this year. So I was proud of him.


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