Notebook: McCarron can scramble if need be

He may not be Denard Robinson or Johnny Manziel, but Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron can run the ball if he has to, and he's given a glimpse of his ability to do so over the past three weeks.

A.J. McCarron may not be a scrambling quarterback, but he's got some wheels and knows how to use them.

Over the past three weeks, McCarron has shown his ability to make runs when he needs to. Against LSU, it was nine yards up the middle for a touchdown. Against Texas A&M, he looked to pass but rushed three yards to the 2-yard-line in Alabama's final offensive series (he was intercepted on the next play). Against Western Carolina, he scrambled for a 24-yard gain, which happened to be the longest run of the day by any player, including Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon.

McCarron said this week that Alabama coach Nick Saban wanted him to get out of bounds on that play against the Catamounts, but he had other plans.

"I always mess with coach," he said. "He told me he was screaming for me to get out of bounds the whole time. When I came to the sidelines, [Phillip] Ely told me he was screaming in the headset, ‘Get out!' And I kept going.

"I came off after we scored on that long drive, came over and he met me. I knew what he was going to say, so I said, ‘I just wanted to show you who was the real athlete out of us two.' He started laughing and just walked away. Couldn't do anything but smile."

McCarron knows his role is not to be a Denard Robinson or a Johnny Manziel, but he always says he takes what the defense gives him and if they're going to make him run, he can and he will.

"I'm smart," he said. "I know when I got to get down and when I have an opportunity to get some extra yards."

Taking a stand

As BCS chaos ensued on The Strip Saturday night after Kansas State and Oregon were upset, Damion Square knew what he had to do.

And Sunday, he put his plan into action and spoke to his teammates.

"I was just trying to get their mind right, get them focusing on the right things, things that matter," he said. "It's easy to focus on things that we can't control because the media sets you up to do that. So you've got to get your guys together and let them know what they need to be focusing on, what's important."

And that is Auburn. Not the SEC championship, not the national championship.

"We know the situation," Square continued. "We know what happened. We watch SportsCenter. But we gotta humble our guys. It's not gonna be a free pass."

Square, who doesn't necessarily classify himself as an outspoken leader but is vocal when he needs to be, didn't consult with anymore before talking to his teammates. He just knew it was what he had to do.

"As a leader of my team, somebody's got to say something and I figured it'd be me, to get these guys focused in the right direction," he said.

Brown sugar over marshmallows

With Thanksgiving just a day away, some Alabama players were asked what their holiday plans and favorites foods are.

Barrett Jones said he is going to meet up with his family—most of which lives in Tennessee—in Birmingham before they come down for the Iron Bowl game and senior day.

"I've never been a turkey guy to be honest, it's probably my least favorite part," he said. "I do like sweet potatoes, especially when they have the brown sugar stuff on top. I kind of think the marshmallows are overrated. I think the brown sugar route is better."

Many players who do not get to go home will spend the holiday at Saban's house.


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