Head Coach Nick Saban

Opening Statement:

“Obviously, this was a tough game. I told the players before the game that we had not had a hard test yet. Hard defines you in terms of who you are and we did not play a great game today. We had a lot of self-inflicted wounds but you can’t be disappointed with the way our players fought, hung in there and did what they had to do to win the game. You have to give LSU’s players a lot of credit. This is always a tough and physical game, and it was certainly all of that tonight.

“It is a great win for us but it was a costly win as well. Shaun Dion (Hamilton) is probably out and so is Mack Wilson. We already have a couple linebackers who are already out, so this is going to be a challenge moving forward, but the guys who were in there today did a pretty good job.

“We missed a check when they got in the wildcat and (Darrel Williams) was the quarterback. It was a big run to set up their touchdown. Half the team checked and half the team did not, so we were half in and half out, and that’s not a good thing to be. If everyone had done it wrong, we probably would have been okay, and if we all did it right we would have been alright. We didn’t have a lot of consistency on offense, but we made plays when we needed to make them and we scored enough to win. Getting off the field on third down was a problem in the first half, which is how they kept the ball. We did a little better job on that and on pressuring the quarterback in the second half.

“Again, this is always a tough game and they have a good team. They are playing very well, so this is a good win for us. We have a lot of other tough teams to play in the future. We need to look into the things we need to improve on and try to not have the self-inflicted wounds in the future.”

On quarterback Jalen Hurts’ play:
“Jalen played a really good game. They played an eight-man front on us and made it really hard to run the ball. They ran people at the quarterback to try to take (Hurts) away from the running game. Some of the scrambles on third down were really key in the game, and he made some really good throws, as well. When people play like that, you make some big plays, but it can get ugly in between, and that’s how it was today, but I think he did a really good job out there”

On Minkah Fitzpatrick playing with injuries:
“We just played him in one situation – he was a short-area player – and most of the time with those things its long speed that will get you. We don’t know how bad (his injury) is; we’ll probably do an MRI on it tomorrow and make an assessment, but the fact that he was able to go out there and play probably was an indication that it wasn’t too terrible. We will have to assess him.”

On the running game:
“It wasn’t good. They played an eight-man front most of the time. They were playing mint defense so you have to be able to throw the ball effectively. They played man-to-man a lot and you have to be able to beat man-to-man. I think we beat man-to-man at times, and at times we had two or three balls that we could have caught that we didn’t catch. You have to be able to execute in those kind of situation, and being able to execute is the most important thing. Discipline to execute is the most important thing – I don’t care how big the game is, how much emotion you have; you have to channel it in the right direction. You have to have discipline to execute and be able to focus to make plays and be the best player you can be when we need you to be the best player. Some of the younger guys on the team, they probably learned a little bit tonight (about being the best player you can be) and they’ll grow from that and get better. We need our whole team to learn from this and get better.”

#33 Anfernee Jennings, LB

On his leadership role as a game captain in tonight’s contest:

“That’s the type of stuff I dream of. Being a captain on this team is a big honor, and I take pride in it. I always want to play at a high level for my teammates, and getting to lead them on the field tonight was amazing for me.”

On the atmosphere of tonight’s game:

“We always know this game is going to be a dogfight, no matter what the rankings are. We look forward to it every year. It was another battle this year, and I’m really thankful our guys came out with a great win against a really tough LSU team.”

#10 JK Scott, P

On importance of every kick:

“It’s funny that you say that because I was talking to Javier Arenas last week about being a specialist and he emphasized the importance of taking every rep in practice like it’s a game. I’ve been told that before, but the way he put it made it real to me. Being game-ready is what I worked on this week and that was my mindset coming into the game. It’s the best mindset you can have because it gives you the best shot to be successful each time.”

On his big game tonight:

“I just wanted to punt well for my team and I was looking to do anything I could to help us win. I’m thankful we came away with a victory, and I’m glad I could contribute to that.”


Head Coach Ed Orgeron

Opening Statement:

“Tough, hard-fought battle. Those guys fought. They played to win the game, we just didn’t make the plays when we could. We had problems with coverage.  They (Alabama) made the big plays when they were supposed to. We didn’t.”

On the game being close and if he was proud of his team:

“We came here to fight, and nobody likes losing, but you know what? These guys believed the whole week. I’m proud of this football team. There’s some good young men in there. I hurt for them. I wish I could’ve made better decisions for them to help them win the game. That’s all.”

On failing to cut the lead in the third quarter:

“We just got to make those plays. We’ve got to be able to move the football. Obviously, they’re very good on defense, but we moved ball sometimes. We had 306 total yards. They had 299. But we just didn’t make the plays we’re supposed to make, convert when we’re supposed to and put the ball in the end zone.”

On the difference between the two teams:

“I did not think that their receivers would challenge us like they did. I thought that was the difference in the ball game. We could not cover their receivers man-to-man like we usually do. Obviously, on offense, I think that we need to be able to score points against these guys. We moved the ball. The last two times I was here, we didn’t move the ball too well. Tonight, we moved the ball. We just didn’t convert. We need to continue to do the things we’re doing and believe in it.”

#16 Danny Etling, QB

On moving the ball against Alabama this year versus years past:

“We had a good game plan. We executed what we were trying to do and we were pretty comfortable in moving the ball. We’ve just got to finish and make the plays.”

How to finish the season strongly:

“Just do the same thing last year where we refocused (after losing to Alabama) and we didn’t let this affect us and we just move on from there.”

#23 Corey Thompson, LB

On moral victories:

“I believe in moral victories to a certain extent, but at the end of the day we have to win. We did a lot of things well so we have a lot of things to be proud of.”

On the competitiveness of this Alabama vs LSU game/rivalry:

“It’s always competitive. We made some mistakes, but we will correct them and get better. We are going to continue to improve every year and keep looking forward to doing better in the future.”