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Alabama Defeats Tennessee 37-6

Tennessee-Alabama Postgame Quotes


Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
Opening statement:
"Well I'm obviously very pleased and happy with the results and the way we responded in the second half. It was a little lackluster in the first half, which is a little bit concerning, but there was a concern going into the game, and something we tried to fight all week in terms of guys being focused on what's happening right now, and not being concerned about the future, and challenging themselves to play and having the proper respect for the team that we were playing. I think those guys did a fantastic job. Derek's done a fantastic job there, and they were certainly ready to play. They did a good job of kind of picking us a little bit in the first half, and their defense played a lot of eight man fronts, and we threw the ball in the second half because it was really difficult to run it, and we were able to run it a little better after we loosened them up a little bit. We made some good halftime adjustments, and I think the biggest thing is the players responded with a whole different, sort of energy level, passion, and enthusiasm in the second half, which made all the difference in the world. As we've talked about before, when we don't have that, we become very average, and when we have it, we can be pretty good. It's everybody's choice to do that and to respond that way and be responsible and be ready to play.
So, this is a big game for our fans. I'm very, very happy that we were able to come out in the second half and win this game for a lot of people that this game means a lot to. It certainly means a lot to me. It means a lot to us, and I know it means a lot to our players, and I know it means a lot to the University of Alabama and all the people here. We're just pleased and happy that we were able to get a win for them and make a lot of folks happy here in the state of Alabama, and all over where we have Alabama supporters. The crowd was great today, and they energized us in the second half, and that was really key for us."
#35 Nico Johnson, Linebacker
 On the defensive performance tonight:
“We played well, but we still had a lot of mistakes and we didn’t execute well in the first half. But we came back out in the second half and showed some intensity and focus and we played better. So it just shows when we have intensity and focus we are a dangerous team, but we just have to come back and work hard the next two weeks.”
On the next two weeks and getting ready for LSU:
“This upcoming week we are just going to take it slow and just try to move into things, but when LSU week comes we are going to pick it back up and be ready to roll again.”
#30 Dont’a Hightower, Linebacker
 On the defensive performance tonight:
“I feel like the first half we didn’t come out and play ball the way we wanted to. At halftime we came back and made some really good adjustments and played our style of football.”
On his interception and return:
“To be honest, coach Smart just went over the exact formation and the players we were going to play with, and it played out the exact same way we wanted it to. Nico did a real good job of getting his hands on it and defending the ball. He tipped it in the air and it fell right into my hands.”
#3 Trent Richardson, Running Back
 On difference between the first half and the second half:
“In the first half, they were trying to stop the run early, and we just had to come back in the second half and punch them in the mouth. That’s one thing we established, we’ve got to move the ball, and they were trying to stop the ball. AJ (McCarron) did a good job managing the game. Marquis Maze made some good plays. Darius Hanks did an awesome job. The receivers were just on point and they just let everybody know that it’s not all about the running game. We had a full team out there.”
On AJ McCarron’s play tonight:
“AJ did a really good job. AJ’s always on point. He was upset that he threw a pick early, but we told him not to worry about it, and that we had his back. He came right back in and scored a touchdown. In the second half, that’s how we respond and we have to be relentless.”
#73 William Vlachos, Offensive Line
 On the difference between the first half and the second half:
“Obviously we had a good message from coach Saban. Offensively, they’re not going to put everybody in the box. You’ve got to throw the ball. The whole defense was in the box basically. We came out there, and the first drive of the second half, we ran the ball once, went down and scored the first play of the next possession. It loosens them up a bit and we started running the ball again.”
On protecting AJ tonight:
“I think we did protect quite a lot. He did a great job. If they’ve got everybody in the box, we’ve just got to throw the ball. They put that on AJ’s shoulders and he did it. When you complete passes like that over their head, it loosens up the run game again, kills clock and sustains the drive.  AJ did a great job.”



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