|Final - 11.23.2011||1||2||Total|
|Alabama A&M Bulldogs||20||25||45|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||48||34||82|
The Crimson Tide opened the game on a 10-0 run and continued to build the lead from there, playing smothering defense throughout and limiting the Bulldogs to one field goal in the first half. "I thought we had a lot of guys step up tonight," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "We really did a good job on the backboard, did a good job defensively, and did a good job taking care of the basketball. There were a lot of things we were pleased with."
"Obviously we were a little limited today. JaMychal suffered a hip pointer over in Puerto Rico so we felt like if he wasn't healthy (he wouldn't play). He and I talked before the game, he was still sore, so we decided to hold him out. Obviously Tony going down in the first eight minutes wasn't good. We think it's an ankle sprain, nothing more than that, so we hope that he'll have a quick recovery and he'll be back. I'm proud of the way our guys responded. I thought we had a lot of guys step up tonight. They really did a good job on the backboard, did a good job defensively, did a good job taking care of the basketball so there were a lot of things we were pleased with."
Despite playing mostly freshmen and substitutes, the Crimson Tide held Alabama A&M to 1-for-17 shooting (5.9 percent) — 0 for 5 from 3-point range — in the first half. Alabama also out-rebounded the Bulldogs 31-15. "I thought our defense very early in the game was very good. We established the tone of the game from the defensive end," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "On the offensive end we had a lot of guys who stepped up. I was pleased with the effort that everybody else gave." Senior forward JaMychal Green, who is averaging 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds a game, didn't play because of a hip pointer. Grant said that Green was sore but that he could have played. Junior forward Tony Mitchell, voted MVP of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, left the game with 12:05 left with an injury. Cooper, who had the hot hand starting the game, only played six minutes in the first half after picking up three quick fouls.
Charles Hankerson Jr. had 16 points and nine rebounds, Nick Jacobs added 15 points and 10 rebounds and Alabama won its 23rd straight home game Wednesday night, beating Alabama A&M 82-45. Rodney Cooper scored 15 points, Trevor Lacey had 12 points and Levi Randolph 11 for the Crimson Tide (6-0). "It was awesome seeing the whole team do well, seeing everybody succeed," Hankerson said. "We worked so hard and we put everything into this. It was good just seeing everybody doing their thing out there. We just wanted to step up whenever our number was called. I felt the freshmen played real hard."
There was a 40-minute basketball game at Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday night, but all the drama took place in a few short moments in the first half. No. 13 Alabama defeated visiting Alabama A&M 82-45, but the game's memorable moment came when Crimson Tide junior forward Tony Mitchell, defending in the Alabama A&M backcourt, went down in a heap and had to be helped from the court by two teammates to the locker room. A hush fell over the Coleman Coliseum crowd for the rest of the first half, although nerves were calmed somewhat when Mitchell returned to the UA bench, with crutches, during the second half. "Our medical staff does a great job, and they told me that it was a sprained ankle," Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant said. "We will proceed from there and see where we are in a couple of days."
The Alabama basketball team was on a mission in San Juan after what happened in last year's preseason tournament, and it showed. The Crimson Tide won all three games and took home the Puerto Rico Tip-Off title, due in large part to the play of four freshmen. Anthony Grant's heralded recruiting class made plays on offense throughout the tournament, but it was their defensive effort that set them apart. Here is a breakdown of what I saw from UA's freshman class.
The Crimson Tide are not an offensive juggernaut, but when they get going, it is awfully hard to defend against their balanced attack. The team is averaging 35.5 ppg in 2011, while churning out 436.7 yards of total offense. The ground game sets everything up at 220.5 yards per game and features one of the nation's best backs in Trent Richardson. Finally the workhorse in the backfield for Alabama, Richardson has not disappointed, rushing for 1,380 yards this season with 20 TDs. Richardson understands the importance of the Iron Bowl and all that comes with it. "It means a lot. We are fighting for the best Alabama team out there. Alabama doesnt have a pro team, so its just college football for us. It means a lot to this program and all the people who have played here and made this legacy go on. Im hoping to make my name part of this legacy."
RB Mike Dyer on the keys for Auburn's offense "First downs. Keep our heads up even after negative plays. Try to fight and make sure we get a hat on a hat. Make sure we give Clint (Moseley) time to read. Play solid offense, run the ball. We just have to be smart in some of the things we do and make first downs. We have to give 100 percent every play. We can't take one play off."
In the second half of the Samford game, Auburn took more snaps under center -- instead of from shotgun formation -- than at any other point this season. But offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said that wasn't a sign of desperation or a change in philosophy. "We just had certain formations we were going to (use) and that kind of seemed like the thing to do," he said. "I wouldn't read anything into how much we were under center."
“I don’t watch that tape,” Barron said sternly. Asked if it was simply too hard to watch it, Barron responded, “I just don’t want to see it.” After a brief pause, he continued. “It eats at me knowing that people think I was just out there playing like that and didn’t know I was hurt,” Barron said. “ I don’t like that, and I don’t like that I couldn’t make the play. But it is what it is.”
"If you sit there and think about it like that, coming from Leroy and playing and (ESPN) GameDay is going to come and it matters to so many people throughout the state ..." Moseley said. "There's a lot to think about, I could out a lot of pressure on myself. I'm not going to let myself do that. I'm going to work hard so I'm ready for the moment. So I'm not scared, so I'm not nervous, so I'm not worried. "I'm going to do everything I possibly can to be as ready as I can." That includes emphasizing the power of positive thinking instead of worrying about what can go wrong against one of the nation's best defenses. "I look at it as an opportunity instead of a huge stage to mess up," Moseley said. "Like trying not to mess up — I try not to look at it like that. What a great stage to make Auburn look good, help win the game. I could go on and on."
It's unfortunate but to many rank-and-file college football fans the face of the uber-intense football rivalry that is Auburn-Alabama has become Harvey Updyke. It was Updyke, a self-described Alabama fan, who went on statewide radio last February and bragged that he had poisoned the beloved oak trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner. It was Updyke who came to represent the wretched and unhealthy excesses that this game brings out in portions of the populace about this time every year. It was Updyke who had talking heads and media intelligentsia from sea to shining sea wagging their collective fingers about the great unwashed in the South who would -- tsk, tsk -- invest so much anger and emotional energy in a mere college football game. With all due respect to my media colleagues in other parts of the world: That is simply a load of crap.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson ranks first on ESPN.com's Heisman Watch this week, second on the list at CBSSports.com and third on Heismanpundit.com's weekly poll. Richardson received five of 15 first-place votes in the ESPN poll of its own experts. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck ranks second and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III ranks third.
Quick, name the last Alabama running back to produce a single run of 10 yards or more against Auburn. Mark Ingram? Nope. The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner was mostly a dud in the Iron Bowl with two carries of 10 yards or more on 41 rushes. Both came in 2008 with a long of 14 yards. Trent Richardson? Nope. The 2011 Heisman Trophy candidate has also struggled in the Iron Bowl. He hasn't ripped off a 10-yard run or longer in his 25 carries against Auburn. The answer: Roy Upchurch, who produced an 11-yard run near the end of the 2008 Iron Bowl. That's 53 straight carries and counting by Alabama running backs vs. Auburn without gaining the equivalent of a first down.