Saban: I've never been prouder of our team

Mike Griffith
Tennessee defensive end Wes Brown (94) was unable to stop Alabama running back Roy Upchurch (5) during action Saturday in Neyland Stadium. The Crimson Tide of Alabama beat the Tennessee Volunteers 29-9.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee defensive end Wes Brown (94) was unable to stop Alabama running back Roy Upchurch (5) during action Saturday in Neyland Stadium. The Crimson Tide of Alabama beat the Tennessee Volunteers 29-9.

Alabama coach Nick Saban isn't normally one to heap praise on his team, but Saturday night was just such an occasion.

"I've never been prouder of our team ... this is the best we've played, in my opinion, since the Clemson game,'' said Saban, whose No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide moved to 8-0 (5-0 SEC) with a 29-9 victory over Tennessee (3-5, 1-4) at Neyland Stadium.

"That was a complete game for our team, and it certainly needed to be,'' Saban said. "(Defensively) it was probably the best we have played for an entire game.''

The Tide kept the Vols out of the end zone until there were 7 minutes, 26 seconds remaining, when a couple of pass interference penalties led to Josh Briscoe's 10-yard TD reception.

Saban said Alabama's ability to hold UT to a field goal after a fumbled punt in the first quarter gave the Vols possession at Alabama's 5 was key.

"That was huge,'' Saban said. "It was a fantastic punt; I'll say that 47 (Britton Colquitt) is an outstanding punter. That ball was a bomb.''

The Vols also started a drive at the Alabama 32 after a partially blocked punt, but again, the Tide defense rose to the occasion, leading to a 51-yard missed field goal.

"It was a big momentum boost,'' Tide sophomore linebacker Rolando McClain said. "We feel we can control the game with our defense.''

Alabama held UT to 10 first downs and 173 total yards.

The Vols trotted Eric Berry on the field on offense on one occasion, throwing a quick screen to him for 3 yards.

McClain said the Tide was prepared for more.

"We knew him (Berry) or 4 (Gerald Jones) would be in the game,'' he said. "We had a defense set up for them, and we were ready.''

Alabama's offensive line also was ready in the trenches.

"I don't know if we wore them down, but they had a few injuries and ended up rotating some guys,'' Tide guard Mike Johnson said. "They lost 55 (Dan Williams), and he was an excellent player. That was a pretty big blow to them.''

Williams had four tackles and a QB hurry before leaving the game in the third quarter with an injury.

Crimson Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson was 17 of 24 passing for 188 yards as Alabama came out throwing.

"We were having trouble handling the blitz,'' Saban said. "We knew going into the game we had to get their defense off balance and break some of our tendencies of being a run-heavy team.''

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Comments » 13

bigorangetrain writes:

That offensive showing was down right shameful..... It's time for a change at the top.

stormblast writes:

I, for one, am proud of Eric Berry. I'm proud of Robert Ayers.

That's about it.

MemphisVol writes:

eric berry is one of my all-time favorite vols. right up there with the best of them. IT's time for a change tho... come on hamilton!!!

tenuscvol writes:

Coach Saban: I couldn't care less....

You also had some very fortuitus calls by the refs...

Some poster had warned of that a few days back....

You have worn out your welcome so please return with all of your elephant people to your fair state at your earliest convenience...thank you.

GoVols!

4EST writes:

in response to tenuscvol:

Coach Saban: I couldn't care less....

You also had some very fortuitus calls by the refs...

Some poster had warned of that a few days back....

You have worn out your welcome so please return with all of your elephant people to your fair state at your earliest convenience...thank you.

GoVols!

and please take CPF with you..he has a subpeona to be there anyway..but you can keep him...please!!

murrayvol writes:

Q: When did you know it was over?

A: When Chris Scott false started 1st & goal from the 5 on a play where his primary responsibility is to not false start.

Saban_Palin writes:

in response to tenuscvol:

Coach Saban: I couldn't care less....

You also had some very fortuitus calls by the refs...

Some poster had warned of that a few days back....

You have worn out your welcome so please return with all of your elephant people to your fair state at your earliest convenience...thank you.

GoVols!

Yeah, it was the refs. Nothing to do with Saban's defense holding the Vols rushers to 30 yards. Even without Mt Cody. Classy! Brilliant!

madcow26#524674 writes:

clawson is clueless...

mattnchatt writes:

Glad to make your highlight reel coach Saban. Way to go coach Fulmer!

dvols writes:

saban being proud of a team is honorable......

go joepa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rockytoptilidie writes:

in response to Saban_Palin:

Yeah, it was the refs. Nothing to do with Saban's defense holding the Vols rushers to 30 yards. Even without Mt Cody. Classy! Brilliant!

Correct, it wasn't the refs, and IMO, I don't think Saban did half as much to hold our offense to those meager gains as Fulmer did. The Fulmer/Clawson combo is the best defense you could throw at the Vol offense.

I want to slap the piss out of the idiots on this board that coined the term "Clawfense".

New names for it:

-Cryfense
-Penaltyfense
-Terriblefense
-Crapfense
-Lossfense
-Subparfense
-Atrociousfence
-Mysonspopwarnerteamisbetterfense

I guess it's a version of the spread - make the scoring as thin as possible by spreading rare touchdowns out over as many games as possible.

Rebuild around Berry. I'm not impressed with anything on our offense. But while I think Berry is a true Vol and would like to win something while here, I also recognize the fact that he probably knows a sinking ship when he sees it, and may be better off taking NFL riches earlier than originally planned.

To be honest, I wouldn't blame him.

Colliervol writes:

I'll give the devil his due. Saban should be proud because he has them playing exactly how I'd like to see UT do it.

-Great line play. Our O-line couldn't block me.
-Don't make mistakes. Penalties are killing us at crucial times.
-Play excellent man to man pass defense. Challenge every throw.
-If you don't have a great QB, at least have one that can manage the game and not make critical mistakes.

Simple but effective.

VOLinDAWGland writes:

Yep, can't stand Saban and Bama, but Bama is playing blue collar, intense and solid football. You can win a lot of games like that even without flashy playmakers. Our O-line play is just dreadful.

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