Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker returned to the field Saturday night against Mississippi State…
SABAN: Tide Showed Pride
With Championship hopes dead for 2010, Saban committed to correcting the focus this week against Mississippi State. The result was a 30-10 Alabama win Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
"They showed that they have some pride in terms of trying to develop an identity for our team," Saban said. "I was pleased with how anxious they were to bounce back and compete, to be relentless in the game, to try to be physical and to establish the kind of identity for our team that we want to have."
"The goal has always been to play to a high standard; be the best team that we can be," he said. "I think we are still working on that, but I thought we made progress towards being the best we can be in terms of the way we played tonight."
Quarterback Greg McElroy contrasted the way the Tide bounced back in Saturday night's game with Alabama's 2007 season.
"I've experienced teams that haven't fought back like this," he said. "I think back to 2007 when we lost to LSU in a tight one and we just weren't able to recover. It's good to be able to get the bad taste out of our mouths."
Saban said the Bama defense did a good job rushing the passer, stopping the run, limiting big plays, and tackling well. On offense, Saban saw an effective passing game but inconsistency running. D.J. Fluker was back on the offensive line after an injury and played well.
Bama also concentrated this week on getting big plays for itself, and Julio Jones and Mark Ingram both had long touchdowns against Mississippi State.
"We got some guys that can make explosive plays," Saban said, "and we want to put the ball in their hands so they have the opportunity to do it."
Now Alabama has just five days before its next game. Fortunately for them, that game is against Georgia State, a team in its first year of football competition. Still, it counts on the record and the Tide must prepare.
"Every game is important to us, and this game is the next game," Saban said, "so it is very important to us. That is what we are focused on right now."
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