Gene Chizik - Alabama Week
said offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn -- despite reports to the
contrary -- is "as sharp as ever": "We felt like there would be some
challenges this year, and we've certainly faced those. Gus has handled
them well. The goal is setting a foundation for a long time to come,
and I think we've done that...It comes with the territory: one minute
you're brilliant, the next minute you're not so smart. That's kind of
how it goes."
teams from the SEC West being ranked Nos. 1-3 nationally: "We live it.
We've said it before, it's the best in the country, and I think that
just solidifies that. There's really nothing else you can say: one, two
stopping downhill running teams: "Any team that's good at running
usually has the identity where there's not a lot of trickery. They just
run the ball at you. It means a lot to us to be able to line up against
those teams and play well."
On the team's progress stalling out:
"It's very apparent the progress we were hoping to have over the last
few weeks certainly wasn't what we had liked."
needing more leadership on the team: "It has to come first from our
coaching staff. We can't have the sideline panicking when things don't
go well. There's still a lot of room for improvement...(Young players)
have got that potential to lead, but they don't feel comfortable with
that yet because they don't feel like their production level's where it
needs to be to do that."
a huge week, a great opportunity for us. We're going to have to play
our best game of the year to have a chance to win the game."
the rivalry being bigger than ever: "From a national spectrum, maybe
so. In-state, I think it's always been as big as you can get. For
people on the outside looking in, the fact we've each won a national
championship the last two years, it makes it bigger."
having the type of running success Georgia Southern had against
Alabama: "Not unless I find an option quarterback in the next 24 hours.
We're going to do what we do...We need to execute well and stay within
the realm of what we do. We'll have little things in there that are
changeups, maybe some thing they haven't seen, but no wholesale
changes. It's too late in the year for that."
year's Alabama team is "maybe the best out of all three (Chizik has
faced). They're similar to the 2009 team, if not better."
Iron Bowl is the Iron Bowl, kind of like entertaining the same
questions at this point last year. Is there an added flair to that?
Certainly. But the nature of the rivalry itself is plenty."
them young ones: "We're going to make them aware of every aspect that
goes with this rivalry. Educate them the best you can with history,
talking to players, guys who've been in it. The main thins is how we
prepare in practice. They have to understand the level of intensity
they'll face on gameday."
"Everybody's rivalry is important and
everybody's going to say their rivalry's the biggest. But the level of
intensity, passion, pageantry and the level of national attention being
so big as well, that makes it more special than most."