Wilson Sets Another Tide Passing Mark
John Parker Wilson was among a number of pleased Alabama football players following the Crimson Tide's win in Athens Saturday night. It was no surprise that he was asked if his performance gives him some vindication against his many critics.
"I don't worry about that," Wilson said. "We beat a good team. This is how we're capable of playing and how I'm capable of playing. We just beat the number three team in the country and I'm happy. We beat a pretty good team on the road. A bunch of guys had to play well for that to happen."
With 205 passing yards, Wilson surpassed Brodie Croyle (2002-05) on the Alabama list. Wilson now has passed for 6,398 yards, eclipsing Croyle's total of 6,382. The record fell on a 29-yard pass to Roy Upchurch that carried to the Georgia 13-yard line with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Wilson said, "We played really well in the first half. We had a good plan and we executed it.
"We're getting out of the blocks fast. We need to sustain, though. The third quarter killed us. We were lucky to get it back and get those drives for scores in the fourth quarter. We did make some plays in the second half."
Wilson said that Alabama's excellent offensive start—scores on the first five possessions of the game as Bama took a 31-0 halftime lead—was a matter of "taking what they were giving us. They played a little soft on the outside, so we took the short shots and went downfield when we could.
"We clicked on every drive in the first half. Now we need to sustain for the second half. It wasn't a matter of emotion. We just didn't execute."
Alabama Coach Nick Saban said that Wilson has been managing the game well all years as the Crimson Tide has rolled to a 5-0 record. Bama has not trailed in a game this year and has wins over two teams ranked in the top ten. The Tide coach said that he was pleased with Wilson's decision-making in the Georgia game. "I don't think he missed a read," Saban said.
Wilson was asked if he thought Alabama should be ranked number one in the nation. That brought a smile. "Deciding who is number one right now is for the people who do the voting," he said. "We just have to keep doing our work."
That work continues this week when Alabama hosts Kentucky at 2:30 p.m. CDT in Bryant-Denny Stadium. CBS will televise the game. Alabama is 5-0 overall, 2-0 in Southeastern Conference games. Kentucky is 4-0, but has not played a conference game yet.
"We have to get ready for Kentucky," Wilson said. "They are undefeated. We know that in the SEC we have to be ready every week."
Wilson completed 13 of 16 passes for 205 yards and did not suffer an interception against the Bulldogs. He had one touchdown pass, a perfect throw to freshman wide receiver Julio Jones, who made a picture-perfect reception on the 22-yard play that made it 31-0 at halftime.
"Julio is great now," Wilson said. "He blocks, he catches, he does it all. We saw they were playing him one-on-one with no safety over the top and we're going to take advantage of that."