"It was a great game," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "The reason we schedule this game is obviously because we have great respect for UAH and coach (Lennie) Acuff and the program they have. If you look at last year, it took a double overtime for us to come out with a win. I felt like we had an opportunity in that game to learn a lot about our team and I felt like we did that again tonight."
The players are trying to keep Shelley and Foster’s confidence up, in case the kickers are needed again in a game. "We don’t bash one player for the team," Lester said. "It’s a team game, and if we lost, it’s a team loss. No one player lost the game. We want to keep him up, he plays a big role on this team."
Quietly, like the Homecoming Queen candidate who’s neither the head cheerleader nor the teacher’s pet, Arkansas has gotten very little national media attention this season. As the SEC West’s "third" team this year, the Hogs have been relegated to a string of ESPN2 Saturday night contests and showered with zero media spotlight. After their September loss to Alabama, the Hogs were — perhaps fairly — written off as one of several second-tier SEC squads in a season where the conference’s strength rested with just two teams. Sure, Arkansas was capable of a favorable season and a Chick-fil-A or Cotton Bowl showing, but a BCS Bowl? Well that Alabama loss came six weeks ago, and since that humbling September defeat in Tuscaloosa, the Hogs have very quietly rattled off five straight wins, including a Saturday night 44-28 victory over one-loss South Carolina that barely even made the ESPN bottom line ticker. The Razorbacks are now 8-1, with wins over three different teams that were ranked in the top 15 when they played them, and in the very thick of the BCS hunt.
The next two unbeaten teams in line — Oklahoma State and Stanford — aren't ready to start their full-scale lobbying efforts just yet. "I don't really need to at this point," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "I would prefer to just continue with what we do each week and then get prepared and take care of our business on the field. That would be my first choice." "I'm sure if business is handled," added Stanford star and Heisman favorite Andrew Luck, "we'll be in the situation that we'd like to be."
The question is exactly when Williams lost control, and SEC Supervisor of Officials Steve Shaw said video evidence supports the call made on the field, that Williams did not maintain possession of the pass all the way to the ground. "Following the on-field ruling of the interception, the play was reviewed and the replay confirmed the decision on the field," Shaw said in a statement released in response to questions about the call. "The replay showed that before the Alabama receiver made contact with the ground, he lost control of the ball. The LSU defender obtained possession of the ball prior to the ball hitting the turf, thus giving the defensive team possession of the ball. "By rule, to complete a catch, a player must have possession as stated in NCAA Playing Rule 2-4-1 (a), which says, 'A player "gains possession"
South Carolina President Harris Pastides told his school's student newspaper the SEC will play nine conference games by adding Missouri. The SEC office says that's not the case -- at least not yet. "No, not at this point," SEC Executive Associate Commissioner Mark Womack said Monday. "I think (Pastides) believes it's something we're certainly going to look at or thought it might be an idea. But it's a topic that really hasn't had a lot of discussion at this point." Would the SEC ever go to nine games? "I don't know," Womack said. "That would be up to our ADs and presidents to look at it. The past has indicated there's been little support of that."
Alabama coach Nick Saban was on the attack Monday, cautioning reporters not to launch questions about the Tide's first loss. He also fended off about the Tide's BCS standings. "We're moving on," Saban said. "We need to do what we need to do to take care of business on things that we can control. So when you ask me questions about things I have no control over, those are the kind of answers you're going to get. I am focused on the things that we can control, which is how our team plays." Alabama's immediate concern is getting its players healthy after one of the most physically taxing game for many on the Tide's roster.
After starting the past two games at right guard, Alfred McCullough is working at left tackle today. Anthony Steen, who started the first seven games at right guard, is working at right guard today with the first-team line. At least he was taking snaps to the right of center William Vlachos. When players were spread into three groups of twos, John Michael Boswell was working next to right tackle D.J. Fluker.
"Me, personally, I thought it could have been avoided, for real," Richardson said. "But it happened like it happened. In a game like this, you don't know what's going to go on. ... "I mean, with Dre's situation, it probably was dirty and stuff like that. But it happened like it happened. Like I said, you got two teams going at it like that, you don't know what's going to come out with the end results."
"We had no intentions of playing him in the game, but he is getting closer and closer to being ready to play in a game," Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday. "This was just like another step, if we need to do that. No, we probably won't do that, unless we have to do it, or need to do it, relative to the health of some other players. We're certainly not going to put him in a situation that he's not ready to physically be able to be safe in, and that's going to be up to the medical staff, but he is at that point now where he's starting to get very close to being able to come back."
For just the second time in the history of the program, the Alabama soccer team (10-8-3) earned a berth into the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. The Crimson Tide will head to South Beach to play the University of Miami (9-7-1) on the weekend of November 11-13. An exact date and kickoff time has yet to be announced. "I am happy for the players," Alabama head coach Todd Bramble said. "They worked so hard, not just this year, but over several years to get the program to this point. They have really bought in to what the coaching staff has asked of them. This is a really big victory for the program."