It is hard to put much blame on the Alabama defense for the loss to LSU, as the Tide surrendered only 239 total yards and kept the Tigers out of the end zone the entire evening. Two interceptions were notched by Saban's group, and just 3-of-11 third-down conversion attempts by LSU were successful. There is absolutely no question that Alabama possesses one of the truly elite defensive units in all of college football. The Tide are holding foes to 7.1 ppg and 187.0 total ypg, eye-popping numbers to say the least. They yield only 56.3 rushing ypg at a clip of just two yards per carry, and the pass defense has permitted just four touchdowns while notching 11 interceptions. Dont'a Hightower has posted 55 tackles to pace 'Bama, while Courtney Upshaw has registered 12.5 TFL, including 5.5 sacks.
"Nico, he watches a lot of film. He likes learning," senior nose guard Josh Chapman said. "He knows the system very well. He makes a lot of calls out there. "The guy kind of improved from last year to now. You can see that he really wants a lot for this defense, and he’s going to do his job. That’s the one thing everybody can count on. You can count on (No.) 35 doing his job."
"What our players need to be focused on is the fact that we have a lot of football to play," Saban said. "It’s most important to us to play the best football that we can play, take care of what we can take of, which is take care of our business, continue to improve as a team, learn from the lessons of the last game in terms of what we did well and what we didn’t do so well. "That’s the one thing that we can control, and that’s what I have tried to emphasize with our players so that they respond the right way when they play this week."
"It was just a lot of frustration built up from the Virgin Islands and we were picked to win and went 0-3," said Green, who was also suspended for one game late in his sophomore season. "We were just going through a lot of adversity and I just couldn't control my temper. But I became a better person out of it. "I felt like once I got back from the suspension, that's when the season turned around for the team and we started to make a name for ourselves."
Earlier in the day, junior offensive lineman Barrett Jones was named a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy, given annually to the college football player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. "I am very honored to be selected as a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy," said Jones. "Balance is something that is very important when you are a college athlete, which allows you to handle the rigors of playing football, getting an education and being a positive influence in the community."
"I always get that question," said Wilson. "But I was never a 'Roll Tide, University of Alabama' kind of guy." And that's one of the driving forces motivating Wilson, who did not receive a scholarship offer from a Division I school after graduating from Northridge High in Tuscaloosa. Then a two-star prospect, according to the recruiting services, Wilson's scholarship options were Alcorn State and Stillman College, a historically black college in Tuscaloosa. Alabama never called. UAB and Troy called but not with scholarship offers.
"They deserve all the hype they’ve gotten this year," Mullen said. "They’re one of the top two teams in the country this year, but we talk about that and we love that challenge. Guys come to Mississippi State and come play in the Southeastern Conference to play in these big games against the top opponents. In the next two weeks we play top 10 teams. On our schedule, there are six teams currently in the top 20 right now in the middle of November. Our guys love those challenges and they love playing those big games. I think Alabama has deserved all the hype they’ve gotten this year. They’re a very good football team."
"I've heard some about the news, but it really wouldn't be appropriate for me to make any comments, not having known a lot about it," Saban said. "I know it's a terrible, sad, series of events, especially that would lead to someone who has accomplished so much retiring. But I think the most important concern in all of this is for the kids. That would be my utmost concern relative to this circumstance."
Watkins has exceeded Saban's expectations. "Alex Watkins is an amazing guy," Saban said. "I don't get surprised much when guys come back from injuries, but this guy never missed a day. I mean, he gets his arm operated on and a plate put in his arm on Sunday or Saturday night, or whenever, and runs out onto the field on Monday like he's ready to practice. "I said, 'Well, at least put a black shirt on so you don't get hit.'"
Before anyone starts having a panic attack, let’s get this out of the way early: The likelihood that Mississippi State beats Alabama on Saturday – even a wounded Alabama team suffering from multiple injuries and a Cajun-flavored hangover – is very low. However, stranger things have happened, and often they happen in Starkville. Mississippi State nearly derailed Alabama’s 1992 national championship bid, a game that turned on a controversial call in Bama’s favor that today, would probably have been reversed by replay. In 1996, the Bulldogs played a part in ending Gene Stallings’ career, as a shocking loss led to a widely-rumored locker-room confrontation between Stallings and then-athletic director Bob Bockrath. And by the way, no one needs to bring up a certain 6-3 loss at the tail end of Paul Bryant’s Alabama coaching career.
The Southeastern Conference unveiled its eighth annual men’s basketball coaches preseason All-SEC first and second teams Wednesday, tipping off another great season of SEC men’s basketball. Thirty-two different players received votes for the teams and Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt led all schools with three selections each while Mississippi State had two selections
Vigor defensive lineman and Alabama football commitment Darius Philon's injured knee will require surgery, but Wolves coach Kerry Stevenson said it's unlikely -- but unclear -- if the star defensive lineman will play again this season. Philon has been diagnosed with a meniscus tear, Stevenson said, but doctors won't know the severity until he undergoes surgery, which has not been scheduled.