Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin Opening statement: "I would like to start off by saying I love my kids and I love my coaches. All I can say is we have to keep working hard and we'll eventually close the gap. We're going to work hard every day by developing our kids and recruiting. Our offense moved the ball well tonight but we didn't make the plays we needed to. When we had the chance to execute, we didn't do it. Also, we can't have missed field goals. Our two missed field goals killed our momentum. I thought our defense played well but they got worn down because they were on the field too long. We also didn't do a great job on third down, and our offense was inconsistent. We will get this fixed though. We're going to stay positive and stick to our plan by recruiting well. That's what they've done here. You ask me what their [Alabama's] secret is. It's what I've said all week. I have a great amount of respect for Coach Saban and they've done a great job here. They recruit well, they coach hard, and they have a great plan. That's their secret and that'll be our plan as well."
On the touchdown by Alabama to end the first half: "It's just a play. It didn't hurt our momentum. It just happened. We're going to have to fight through this and persevere through all kinds of situations like those. That was a play we gave up that we need to eliminate, but they do happen sometimes. We just have to bounce back and be resilient."
On Alabama's defense: "I think if you look offensively, we moved the ball well. We were able to get the ball out of the quarterback's hands quickly. We were able to get somewhat of a running game going. When we had opportunities to make big plays, we didn't come up with those plays. Against a good team like that, you have to take advantage of those opportunities. All I can say is we're going to stick to our plan and work hard. I thought we had a great plan coming in. We've had good plans all year especially on defensive. It just all comes down to execution. I'm not pointing the fingers at our kids though. We just have to execute better."
On Larry Smith's injury: "He's got a lower leg injury. He could have come back if we needed him to but I felt like we would give Jordan (Rodgers) an opportunity to see what he can do. I thought Jordan did some things well, but we have got to eliminate the negative plays. That's what we have to do offensively. We have to eliminate the negative plays that hurt us. Without getting into any detail, we just have plays that don't work well in our system. Sometimes we don't follow those rules and it'll hurt you."
#11 Jordan Rodgers, Quarterback On Vanderbilt's performance: "We saw on film that it was going to be a challenge, and we showed that we could move the ball. We just need to execute better. I thought we had a great game plan, the offensive line played great and guys were making plays. You've got to give them credit."
On the change in momentum in the second half of the game: "We just need to get better at executing the little things and being consistent in drives. I made a couple of mental mistakes that hurt us, and that's on me."
#36 Chase Garnham, Linebacker On the game plan and execution: "We came into the game wanting to stop the run. The stretch play is really big for them so all week we keyed in on that in practice. We actually did a pretty good job stopping the stretch play, but they came at us with power and they just drove the ball and put us away."
On the defense not forcing turnovers: "They [Alabama] did a good job of holding onto the ball and the quarterback made good decisions."
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Opening statement: "It's always good to win in the league. We obviously didn't play our best football game, especially in the first half. We didn't have the mental energy and intensity that we like to have, to play with the kind of consistency that we need to in order to improve as a team. I think it's a challenge for everyone to say what do I want to accomplish, what is important to me, what kind of ownership am I willing to take for that, and am I going to be individually responsible to make sure I do my job well all the time. It doesn't have anything to do with who you are playing. Vanderbilt has a great team. They are doing a good job with their team. They play hard and create a lot of problems for you on offense and do a lot of things to take advantage and play well with the guys they have. We played a lot better in the second half. AJ (McCarron) played pretty well, he didn't turn the ball over which was really important. We made some adjustments and played a lot better in the second half. We certainly have a lot of things we need to improve on and we will continue to work on that. Everybody's got to take the same ownership and responsibility to do that so we can get better as a team."
On Wide Receiver #2 DeAndrew White's play tonight: "Well you know, we have been waiting for DeAndrew to have the type of game that would help him develop some confidence as a player. He's a very explosive guy and has great speed and certainly would be a good addition to our group of receivers and complement them very well. He did a nice job tonight, but he is a guy that has played really well in practice that hasn't had any production or opportunities in games and I think as a young player, maybe this game will be something he can build on and develop some confidence. He did a really nice job."
On Quarterback #10 AJ McCarron's play tonight: "I don't think that anybody played really well in the first half. We didn't execute very well, and you don't get a very good feeling about what you're doing if you know you're not out there sort of having the kind of mental energy and intensity that you need to keep the focus and discipline to do things the right way. And I think when you're playing quarterback, you feel that with the people around you, but also when you're playing quarterback you're sort of responsible to get those other guys from a leadership stand point to shape up for you. The first half was really the first time this year that I felt we were flat and we were a little bit that way in pregame and we practiced well this week and prepared well for this game, so we just didn't have the sense of purpose that we need and this is the moral challenge that we all have--- to overcome human nature, and to get satisfied too easily, and it wouldn't make any difference to me if I'm trying to be the best player I can be but I was playing Arkansas, Florida, or Vanderbilt. I would be trying to play the same way, and that's what we are trying to get our players to do and I know that's not human nature, but that's what we want to try and get them to do so that we can improve and get better as a team."
On Vanderbilt's Quarterback #11 Jordan Rodgers play versus the play of Quarterback #10 Larry Smith and his play: "No, I think they did a lot of the same stuff. We saw every play tonight that we have given up anywhere this season. You know, a team has a bye week before they play you, and they hit the wheel route Arkansas hit on us, there were a lot of plays that, especially in the first half, and there weren't very many repeats. They did settle down a little bit in the second half and so did we, but we made a lot of mental errors in the beginning of the game and didn't do things correctly defensively, didn't adjust to the formations, got a little bit confused, but we settled down in the second half and played a lot better. I think they did what they were going to do."
On reestablishing the run in the second half: "We just felt like we should be running at these guys and if they were going to move and try to give us bad plays that we need to finish the blocks and we did a really good job in that particular drive and we went ahead 14-0, it was kind of critical, they got the ball first and we went three and out on defense and got the ball and went 90 some odd yards for a touchdown drive, which I think was probably the turning point in the game."
#4 Mark Barron, Defensive Back On defense's performance keeping them out of the end zone: "I felt like we were fortunate in the first half to keep them out of the end zone because we didn't play to our best ability. But in the second half, we came out with better focus and we came out and executed better. I felt like it showed as far as the yardage we were giving up."
#35 Nico Johnson, Linebacker On how much pride he takes in the shutout: "We take a lot of pride. We try to shut our offense out in practice every day, so when we shut somebody out, we're kind of pleased with ourselves. But the way we executed today wasn't our best, so we're going to come back and work hard."
On getting ready for another SEC road game at Ole Miss: "We're going to have to do better than we did tonight. We're going to have to focus and be on our stuff and execute better, because that's where it starts. We're going to go from there."
#73 William Vlachos, Offensive Line On the offense today: "There were times when things look great and there were times when things broke down. Hats off to Vanderbilt. They had a good plan coming off their off week and they did some different things and confused us a little bit. But you're always happy when you get a win, especially a shutout and the defense played great and they continue to get better."
On going to the passing game early: "I think everyone on our offense is doing their job for the most part. I think it's a great call there by Coach Mac to go empty almost the whole drive and take us down the field because the running game is up front but there was a lot of room for our receivers to make plays and they did that and AJ did a pretty good job, he did a very good job tonight."
#17 Brad Smelley, Tight End On the overall performance of the passing game: "Yeah well they were kind of loading the box and they were bringing a lot of people down and blitzing and coming off the edge so there were a lot of holes in the defense. They were playing a lot of zone defenses behind them and we were able to find a lot of those open holes with everyone doing a good job in the passing game. AJ played really well and the receivers got open and I think we all made some good plays tonight."
On having so many people in the box and being able to go to the passing game: "I definitely think we are an offense that can run and pass at will when we are clicking on all cylinders. I think we showed that tonight that if you try to load the box, we can definitely make plays over the top and find the zones and the spaces that are open in there. We are a two phase team so we can run and pass."