Vanderbilt vs. Alabama - Game Quotes

Sept. 8, 2007

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson:

"That was a tough one to go through. Alabama played physical and we had too many errors in the first half. We had a long punt return that we couldn't afford to [give up]. To have a chance to win, we can't help the other team. We worked right into their plan."

On Chris Nickson:
"Chris wasn't performing because he was injured. You can't ask him to throw when he's injured. We came out in the second half and tried one throw and it didn't work and we took him out. It's his hamstring."

On Vanderbilt's Game:
"Our problem was execution. We couldn't get the ball to people to continue drives. I'll stick with the same game plan, but we need to be tougher."

On Mackenzi Adams:
"He can be a good player. He had to come off the bench today and take over a game that wasn't going well. He has skills and is a tough guy. I wouldn't hesitate to put him in again."

On Vanderbilt's Rushing Defense:
"Alabama ran well in the second half and I thought we did well defensively in the first half. We kept asking our defensive line to stay out there and Alabama wore us down in the second half. We're always concerned about our depth at defensive line."

On Vanderbilt's Punting:
"We had one bad punt today. The rest of the punts are designed to do that. We had a 39 yard punt with no return. It's not pretty, but it's effective. We netted 41 yards last week and we were doing the same thing."

Vanderbilt Players

Vanderbilt Wide Receiver Earl Bennett:

On the offensive pass interference call in the first quarter:
"Coach came out and wanted to go deep on the first play. He wanted to see how they were going to play us. The ref made the call and you got to live with it."

On how Chris Nickson's injury affected the offense:
"It didn't really affect us. We got a worthy backup in Mackenzi Adams who came in and did a pretty good job. It kind of threw our rhythm off but it was hard for us to get a rhythm in this game."

Vanderbilt Linebacker Marcus Buggs:

On the defensive performance:
"The defense in one word today was porous. We gave up too many rush yards. We have to come out tomorrow and work on our tackling. We had too many missed tackles today."

On his sack in the first quarter:
"It was a good play call by the coach. We had been watching their blocking schemes and we had some plays to counter their blocking schemes. That one worked."

Vanderbilt Quarterback Chris Nickson:

On moving forward after the game:
"We look at the game and say that it should never happen again. I really wasn't expecting that today. Some guys will look at this game and say we made too many mistakes. I look at it and say that it should never happen again."

On the play of Mackenzi Adams:
"Mackenzi came in and did a great job. He got some momentum going for our side of the ball. He did a great job, especially in that situation."

Vanderbilt Safety Reshard Langford:

On the defensive performance:
"Defensively, I feel like we played ok but it's not up to our standard. We have to do better and in order for us to do better, we have to practice harder this week."

On if the team was over prepared:
"I don't think so. We just didn't play well. We have to be the better team. We have to go out and perform."

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban

"I'm very pleased and proud of how we played today.  We played with a lot of conviction and played for the full 60 minutes.  We tried to dominate for 60 minutes, and that's what we're trying to do here. Our defense did a good job with their players.  Our guys did a good job playing their pass patterns.  We played a lot of three-deep zone, and I think we did a good job cutting down on their explosive plays.  They've had a lot of those in their last few games."

On early game fortunes:
"We were very fortunate early in the game.  We got a couple of breaks early in the game."

On special teams:
"Special teams was an asset for us today, and it started with the long punt return to start the game."

On the running game and RB Terry Grant:
"We did a good job running the ball today.  Grant did an outstanding job, especially in the second half.  He did his best running the second half, and didn't really run that well in the first half.  I was also pleased with the way Glen Coffee played."

On the passing game:
"We really need to work on the passing game so we can have a more balanced attack.  We've just go to throw it better, and that means all facets - blocking, catching, and throwing - from everyone.  It should be a strength of our team."

On late Red Zone opportunities:
"We had some opportunities in the red zone to put the game away, but we didn't convert.  We missed a couple of field goals, although one was nearly 50 yards."

Alabama Players

Alabama Running Back Terry Grant:

On the slow offensive start in the first half:
"We just missed a couple blitzes and got of to a little bit of a slow start. We just came out in the second half, we adjusted at halftime, and were able to get it going a little bit."

On the offensive unit's progress this season:
"Through two games, I'd say we're doing pretty good as an offensive unit. I don't doubt our running back system."

Alabama Linebacker Darren Mustin:

On the defense's performance:
"That one [touchdown] drive we were kind of sloppy. We tried to do our part. If we do our part and offense does their part, we should get a win. It felt good to get a win. Everybody did a good job."

On the game plan going in against VU Quarterback Chris Nickson:
"We tried to get in his head a little bit. Early on, when we had a chance to hit him, we tried to hit him pretty hard. Their back-up came in and I wasn't expecting that. I hadn't seen too much film on him, but he did a great job for them."

Alabama Quarterback John Parker Wilson:

On getting a road win in the SEC:
"It felt good to win. It seems like it's been a while since we've done that on the road. The defense played great and we ran the ball well, so we were able to get the win."

On the passing game:
"The passing game needs to be better. I think we're just off a little bit, myself and the receivers. We're not hooking up like we would like to be. We run the ball well enough that if the passing game is a little weak, we can still win some games. I think we're on the right track though."

On what the team can take away from this game:
"We're prepared to play each week. We're winning games, that's all we care about."



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