|Final - 12.11.2011||1||2||Total|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||38||24||62|
"Obviously it's good to be back in the win column," Alabama head coach Anthony Grantsaid. "I thought tonight we came out with great energy and great focus. I think the first half, from a defensive stand point, was exactly what we needed. Going against a team as talented as Detroit was, coming off two great wins, we knew how they would come in and we had to do a great job on the defensive end and I thought our guys were really focused to start the game."
"The last two teams came in and they punched us in the mouth," Mitchell said. "We just wanted to come out and be the one to punch them in the mouth. "The stuff we usually do, we just wanted to get back to that, just play great defense and get out and run."
"I was disappointed in our slow start," Detroit coach Ray McCallum Sr. said. "Alabama had a lot to do with it. They came out focused and got us back on our heels. "It took us a while to settle down and find a rhythm. We got caught up playing their game."
On Nick Jacobs getting the start tonight: "Obviously it was the first opportunity he has gotten to start and we felt that we needed to make a change just from a lineup stand point. We needed to give us a different look with JaMychal at the four and Tony at the three, just to give it a different look. For us, it's going to depend on our ability to play on numbers. For tonight we had seven guys in double-figures. We got the chance to get some guys some extended minutes. Obviously Detroit did a good job in the second half of cutting into our lead, which meant we had to keep some guys on the floor probably longer than we would have liked to. But for us, the next step is to understand what the roles are and what we need to do to put our team in the best position."
JaMychal Green scored 21 points and No. 16 Alabama rebounded from a two-game losing streak to beat Detroit 62-54 on Sunday night. Tony Mitchell added 15 points and freshman Nick Jacobs chipped in 13 in his first start for the Crimson Tide (8-2), which returned to a more characteristic defensive form after losses to Georgetown and at Dayton. Detroit (5-7) trailed by 22 points late in the first half and failed to approach its 75.9-point scoring average. The Titans shot 32 percent (17 of 53) and missed all 12 3-point attempts.
"The focus for us tonight was to start on the defensive end," Grant said. "I thought this was a very dangerous team walking in tonight. Our guys came out in the first half with great intensity and great focus. There are certainly a lot of things we can take and learn from, but overall it's great to walk out with a win. "I realize we are a young team, and we've still got to learn to maintain focus and intensity for a 40-minute game."
Derrick Boyd — who serves as a mentor for the running back and coached Richardson in track and football during high school — said from the Best Buy Theater in Times Square that Richardson had no reason to hang his head. "I'm a little disappointed, but that's what happens when the guy who won gets to play during the last week and plays pretty well," Boyd said. "Trent has no reason to feel bad. He got beat by some guys who were pretty good."
"Looking at Trent, you would think he is a cold-hearted kind of guy. But the guy is really a sweetheart," Mathieu said, as Richardson broke out in laughter when the two shared the stage at a pre-Heisman media session. "His two kids (daughters), they are definitely the light of his world. I never knew that. It was interesting to find out."
He selected Alabama because it recruited him as a safety and because he wanted to play for Nick Saban. That doesn't mean he's not curious how his college career might have turned out had he signed with another school or played a different position. "Like Auburn, they were recruiting me and, if I had gone there, they wanted me to play running back, so I would have been a running back there," he said. "That's one of the things that helped me pick Alabama. After I decided I wanted to play safety, I decided I wanted to play for coach Saban."