Wednesday, November 26, 2014

3 Alabama stars named finalists for major national awards

Alabama safety Landon Collins, receiver Amari Cooper and punter JK Scott were among the three finalists for their respective awards.

Collins made the cut for the Thorpe Award, Cooper made it for the Biletnikoff Award and Scott's up for the Ray Guy Award. Winners will be announced Dec. 11 at the Home Deport College Football Awards Show.

The Tide Talks Auburn Running Attack

"(Artis-Payne), he's a power back," Alabama safety Landon Collins said. "He runs straight-line, downhill, north and south. And (Grant) is more of a side-to-side runner, east and west. "Just basically, you got to contain them. All of them are blindside runners. If they have to, they'll hit the hole. We just try to contain them as much as possible, that defensive line, and just run to the ball."

"He has great vision," Collins said. "He hits the hole hard. He follows - he uses his blockers to the fullest. He just can make a big play.

"I think some of their most effective plays that complement their inside running game is the way they run the ball on the perimeter," Saban said. "I think that's the thing that makes it so hard to defend so it's not that they're one or the other. I think it's the combination of the two and their ability to throw play-action passes vertically down the field to some very good receivers that make them one of the best offensive teams around."

Saban also said Alabama has to watch for Auburn's Quan Bray with the speed sweeps around the perimeter.

"They always have a really good combination of guys to be able to do those things and (Artis-Payne and Grant) have played extremely well," Saban said. "But I think you also have to give them a lot of credit because of the way they use those guys and how effective they are in terms of how they are used."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Video-Alabama's Reggie Ragland shifts focus to Iron Bowl, says 'this game is circled on our calendar 365'

Amari Cooper could've returned with bruise knee, Nick Saban says while updating Alabama injuries

Nick Saban said none of the injuries were too serious, but a few could be questionable for practice entering Auburn week.

Tight end Brian Vogler, and receiver ArDarius Stewart "stretched knee ligaments," Saban said.

"They're probably the guys that are most questionable," Saban said.

Saban said it was a bruised knee for Cooper and he could have gone back to the game if needed. 
"I was a little worried when Amari Cooper went down," safety Nick Perry said. "But apparently he's fine and he was walking around on the sideline. So, it's all good."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

WR Amari Cooper focused on drops, not his highlight-reel catch

"I'm more focused on the plays I didn't make," Cooper said. "I had two dropped balls I know I could have gotten. I just have to go back to the drawing board and work on my fundamentals and look the ball all the way through."

Video-Blake Sims breaks down Alabama's pivotal 4th quarter TD drive in post-game interview

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mississippi State will 'do what we do,' use single coverage on Alabama's Amari Cooper

"We do what we do," Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins said. "The emphasis all year and all the time is to stop the run.

"At times, there will be kids put in 1-on-1 situations on pass rush or an open-field tackle, so the kids understand that we move stress around throughout the game and sometimes you're going to have some stress on you, so the challenge is to make that play when it comes.

Cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend, who starred at Alabama in the late 1990s, said the Bulldogs would rotate players on Cooper, but wouldn't change what they've been doing.

"We're going to do what we do," Townsend said. "It's always a challenge at corner to go out and stop those guys from catching it. This week, it's just another guy. (Cooper is a) really great player, has a lot of catches and the challenge always comes to us on the back end.
"The main thing is, he really accelerates coming out of his cuts, he's really good in press, makes spectacular catches, so they find a lot of ways to get him the ball. It's going to be important for us to recognize where he's at and try to stop him from getting those catches."

"We cannot do the same thing over and over again," Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said. "They will find out what we are doing and will take advantage of it. We have to change up the looks and the people that are covering him. He is going to catch the ball, but when he catches it, we have to get him on the ground. He is really good before the catch, but he is even better after the catch."

Secret to Tide getting fresh legs after big games?

Nike officially lists them as Pro Combat Hypertights. They work as compression pants to work on the leg muscles after competition. 

They're designed to be tighter on the lower leg than above the knee.

"Graduated compression is important because it applies the highest compression where you need it the most," according to the Nike website. "Due to gravity, edema is typically worse in the lower legs. Therefore a graduated compression tight has the highest compression levels at the lower leg."

Cornerback Cyrus Jones said he's worn the tights a few times.
"You just feel like a little fresher," he said. "Your legs feel a lot better. It definitely has an effect on you.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blake Sims promises T.J. Yeldon a win after late-fumble

On the bench, Alabama quarterback Blake Sims comforted Yeldon who was helped off after the fumble.

"T.J. was fine," Sims said. "I went up to him and told him to keep his head. 'We're going to go win this game. Don't think you lost the game for us because the game ain't over yet. Just go watch, we're going to win this game for you.'"

Reuben Foster's big hit on Leonard Fournette Fires the Tide before overtime

"When he came out, I was wondering why (Fournette) was going kind of slow," Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland said. "Knowing how Reuben is, if he catches you slipping, he's going to bust you up real good. That's what he did and it gave us momentum."

"He's becoming a monster and he's going to keep becoming a monster," Ragland said last month. "He watches film all the time. He's doing the things he's supposed to do on and off the field and the sky is the limit for him."

"It elevated our energy as a team, which I think kicking a field goal elevated it. That kind of energy and enthusiasm is contagious and really helps," Saban said. "We didn't have a lot of that in the second half today. I was running up and down the sidelines trying to create it, trying to get the coaches to create it, but we got it at the end and finished strong."