They sore losers 'cause they not Alabama.
"It's like a slap in the face," Tide linebacker Nico Johnson said. "We work so hard to keep our opponents under 13 (points) and try to get that goose egg. To give it up on a mental error? If they earn a touchdown, yeah, we can live with it. But if they get it on a mental error, that's discouraging. It happened Saturday and it happened earlier in the season, too, and we have to roll with it and settle down and get after it."
"You see probably prototype size and athleticism at every position. That is No. 1," Dooley said this week. "You see experience, they are all back from last year. I think all 11 guys are juniors and seniors, so there is a lot of experience. "You aren't going to fool them. There is no play that is going to get them. Of course, the scheme is very good. … I know it's still halfway through the season and some teams might be able to go out there and really hurt them, but at this point they are pretty good."
"This is one of the best, well-coached teams in the passing game that we play," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "They ran the ball effectively last week and ran the ball on us last year. I have a lot of respect for this football team, and I think they are playing a lot better on defense."
Richardson carries a school record-tying streak of six consecutive 100-yard games into Saturday's home contest against rival Tennessee. And he said he's feeling far better physically than he did at the same point in the season last year. "This year, I'm just more fresh. I have to give a shout-out to the training room downstairs," Richardson said. "They do a really good job and keep us prepped up and ready for the game the next week. I used to not like going to the rehab room, but I stay in there now and make sure my body stays as healthy as I can."
"We don’t really do anything different in preparation," Saban said. "I think we have a lot of respect for Tennessee, and we have a lot of respect for the rivalry. It’s something we really hold in high esteem, and we try to make our people proud." Senior wide receiver Darius Hanks echoed his coach’s thoughts on the game. "I feel just like any other game," Hanks said. "Just like any other SEC game, it’s a big game. Last time, when we had the same record, the game was pretty tight. Coach Saban’s been preaching we can’t let them get up on us. We got to come out strong this week."
"I think it’s really important to our players, how they do in games against their rivals," Saban said. "People will ask you that for the rest of your life. How many times did you beat this team? How many times did you beat that team? Those are important accomplishments to our players." The players know how important rivalry games are, especially the Tennessee game. "Tennessee is a really important game because of the history behind it," offensive lineman Barrett Jones said. "It’s the third Saturday in October. It’s a really important game to a lot of people. Being from Tennessee, it’s a big game for me."
The Volunteers are 3-3 overall this season after suffering losses in three of the last four outings, including two in a row. Last weekend, UT was simply no match for top-ranked LSU, falling to the mighty Tigers by a 38-7 final in Knoxville. Now, Derek Dooley's team must take on an opponent just as talented on the road, a scary proposition for Vols' fans. "In every game there are things that disappoint you," said Dooley "In every game there are things you feel good about. That game was not complex. I don't know what else to do. I could get up there and scream at them but that's not going to help."
"I'm focused on one thing: one game that we play on Saturday. Right now, not what's going to happen next week, or two weeks from now, or two years from now, or 20 years from now. That's all speculation.
Is Richardson the most indispensable player on his team? No. That player is junior left tackle Barrett Jones. If Richardson suffered an injury, Alabama undoubtedly would miss him, but it could win with a healthy Eddie Lacy and sophomore Jalston Fowler, the 246-pound bruiser with breakaway speed. If Jones suffered an injury, the Crimson Tide would suffer. Freshman Cyrus Kouandjio is a star-in-waiting, but he would be less effective at left tackle without Jones on the field.
Never mind that star left tackle Barrett Jones has taken it easy at Alabama's past two practices. "Barrett is fine," Alabama coach Nick Saban said Wednesday night. Jones confirmed that but wouldn't disclose what the problem is. "I feel good," Jones said. "Kind of a little nagging injury, but I'm going to be fine."
"The history that rivalry has produced is unparalleled in my mind," Hart said. "I know Mal (Moore, Alabama's AD) feels exactly as I do. I feel strongly we can keep it and hope it can go back to the Third Saturday of October where it belongs. It would be a nice cherry on the top if all that would unfold."
When fall break arrives, most college students go home to see their families, or take a few days to go to the beach. But for 24 student-athletes at the University of Notre Dame, fall break was a chance to come to Tuscaloosa to help with tornado relief and cleanup as part of their "Fight for Tide" service trip. Four administrators from Notre Dame also made the trip south.
Perhaps the most fascinating part of Stanford’s transformation is the manner in which the program has ascended from the Pac-10 outhouse to the Pac-12 penthouse. Unlike with so many revivals of the past 10 years — Utah, Oregon and Texas Tech come to mind — Stanford has not spread the field to even the playing field. Instead, it has jammed the line of scrimmage with tight ends in a pro-style offense and run a metaphorical fullback dive behind DeCastro and Martin into the national elite. Coach David Shaw fancies Stanford a power running team that happens to have the country’s best quarterback.