Ingram Says Every Tider Must Improve

Mark Ingram

Both historically and recently, Alabama has been the team that other Southeastern Conference teams have been chasing. But with the Crimson Tide's loss at South Carolina last week, the inference is that Bama is now chasing the leaders of the SEC Western Division pack, LSU and Auburn.



That is not the perspective of Alabama tailback Mark Ingram.

"We're not chasing anybody," Ingram said. "We're not focused on that. We're focused on ourselves. That's it. Nobody else. We're focused on our team and how we can improve in all phases of the game and how every individual can improve the team to be successful. That's our main focus. We're not really worried about anybody else. We're focused on ourselves."

This week Alabama is back in Tuscaloosa after the disheartening loss to South Carolina in Columbia. The Crimson Tide has homecoming and hosts Ole Miss at 8 p.m. Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. ESPN2 will televise the game.

Alabama is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in SEC games and ranked eighth in the nation. Mississippi is 3=2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

Ingram said he knows where to look as Alabama attempts to rebound from its first regular season loss in nearly three years. "Every person just needs to look in the mirror," said the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. "It's gut check time, and everyone needs to improve."

Ingram said the team still wants to achieve goals, winning the SEC Western Division championship and having an opportunity to play in the SEC Championship Game. "We still control our own destiny as far as that goes," Ingram said. "Our main focus is on just getting better."

Ingram said Alabama was humbled by the unexpected loss last week. "I think some of the guys that have never experienced a loss here at Alabama thought we could just show up and because we're Alabama we'd win. That's definitely not the case. We have to work hard and practice hard. We have to play with a lot of intensity and we have to execute."

And he expects that to happen.

"I think we're going to grow from it," Ingram said. "We'll bounce back strong. I think everybody will come back with a positive attitude; just try to bound back strong in a positive way."

In last week's loss, Ingram and his tailback running mate, Trent Richardson, were held in check. Ingram had 11 runs for 41 yards, Richardson six for 23.

Ingram attributed that to South Carolina having "a good game plan. They lhad two weeks to prepare and they had a great game plan and they executed. Obviously, their number one thing was to stop the run. They were successful. We have to get back to the drawing board."

It was also because Alabama fell behind in the game, 21-3 in the second quarter, which forced the Crimson Tide to a passing game.

Ingram expects another difficult game against Ole Miss Saturday.

"They are a good team," he said. "I know they had their troubles earlier in the season. They're a good team. They're solid. They have playmakers all across the board, offense and defense. They have a great coach. They're going to come ready to play. We know that. We know every team in every game from here on out is going to come ready to play."

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