Tag Archives: Western Carolina

Freshman corner Geno Smith passes WCU test with flying colors

As cornerback John Fulton sat out of the Western Carolina game with turf toe, true freshman Geno Smith took over in his place and helped the defense shut out the Catamounts.

Smith accounted for one tackle and one pass break-up while predominately playing solid man coverage to hold Western Carolina to 93 passing yards.

Fla Atlantic Alabama Football “He’s come a long way. He’s continued to progress,” Lester said. “He’s one of the guys I’ve mentioned before that takes it upon himself to prepare for the games, learn the defense, which is such a complicated defense, go out there and execute the way the coaches and the players expect him to.”

Smith’s performance could be attributed to a breakthrough of sorts for the freshman.

“Geno has made nice progress this year, and to be honest with you I wish we could have played him more,” Saban said on Wednesday before the WCU game. “Sometimes with young guys they kind of all a sudden the light goes on and they got it, and they get it, and they start to play with confidence again and feel like they know what they’re doing, and they quick making a bunch of mistakes. That happened with Geno in the last couple of weeks.

“Maybe he sees a better opportunity to play, maybe that’s been a motivating factor for him, but I’ve been really pleased with his progress.”

Smith’s teammates saw his epiphany, as well.

“Being a freshman and not starting and not being one of the guys who everybody is depending on to play, he’s just kind of sitting back and taking everything in,” Lester said. “I think he realized, ‘I’m this close to playing.’ That light came on.”

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Coaching Staff Players of the Week: Western Carolina

The Alabama coaching staff has selected its Players of the Week for the week of the Western Carolina game.

Offense: Anthony Steen, Chance Warmack and Michael Williams. The guard duo of Steen and Warmack helped the Tide’s Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon rush for 154 yards in limited action. The starters accumulated 338 yards and 42 points in their 30 minutes of play. Williams caught one pass for 22 yards.

Defense: C.J. Mosley and Nico Johnson. Mosley led the team in tackles (again) with six, one for a loss. Johnson also notched a tackle for a loss on his way to a four-tackle performance.

Special Teams: Landon Collins and Brent Calloway. Collins, a true freshman,  contributed two tackles in kickoff coverage, as did Calloway. Both of Calloway’s stops in kickoff coverage were inside the 20. Collins had one tackle inside the 20 while also downing a punt inside the 10-yard line and forcing a fair catch on another punt.

BrettAtBama Radio: The Student Section

Yet again, Richard Lee and Alex Simpson will alongside me as I host The Student Section on 90.7 WVUA-FM today from 4-6 p.m.

This week, we’ll preview the Western Carolina game plus the other big games going on around the country, plus bring you some Alabama basketball talk and give you our Crimson Classics, as we go through Alabama football’s great history and bring some memorable games back to life.

Click here to listen from 4-6 p.m. for two hours of sports talk, or you can listen on you car radio, or any radio, in the Tuscaloosa area on 90.7 FM.

Cyrus Kouandjio Interview Video: Nov. 12, 2012

Saban describes “the Bluegrass Miracle phenomenon”

Devery Henderson (9) celebrates scoring the final touchdown of the Bluegrass Miracle game as Kentucky fans who stormed the field try to get out of the way.
Wire photo courtesy of The Baton Rouge Advocate

To help describe the Texas A&M letdown in Monday’s press conference, Alabama head coach Nick Saban referenced his time as the head man at LSU.

In the 2002 season, the Tigers traveled to Kentucky and earned a 33-30 win that prompted Saban to say

I don’t know what to say. I feel bad for Kentucky’s players. But this is a big moment for us and I’m happy as heck for our team….Well, sometimes you gotta be a little lucky and I think that was our luck right there.

 

And Kentucky’s radio play-by-play man at the time, Tom Leach, to say

How much heartbreak. Kentucky fans are up on the goal posts. I don’t know why.

But it wasn’t the game that LSU was lucky to escape with that Saban was focused on, it was the game after: when Alabama came to Death Valley and handed LSU a 31-0 defeat.

“It’s kind of the Bluegrass Miracle phenomenon,” Saban said. “You play bad, you win the game, then the next week you get your ass kicked because nobody responded to playing bad. Because you won on the Bluegrass Miracle.”

This time around, it was a game versus the LSU Tigers that gave Saban’s team the Bluegrass Miracle phenomenon.

“You guys don’t think so because we won one and lost the other one. If we’d won this one, you wouldn’t be concerned, either. I was concerned then,” Saban said. “But you all live in the results world, we kind of live in the process world. It’s hard to get people to respond.”

Watch other hits from Saban’s press conference earlier today by clicking here, plus my story the third down struggles for the Tide, including Saban’s thoughts, by clicking here.

Finally, be sure to follow me on Twitter to get up-to-the-second updates on everything Crimson Tide: @Brett_Hudson.

Lacy moving from student to teacher

In 2010, Eddie Lacy was a student in more ways than one.

Outside of being the student-athlete as labeled by the NCAA, he was also being taught by Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson the valuable lesson of ball control.

“When you fumble, it’s always a tough thing to get over. That’s why you have  your teammates,” Lacy said. “They’re here to support you and make you feel better about it.”

Mark Ingram (22) and Trent Richardson mentored Eddie Lacy to be a dependable ball-carrier, and now he is trying to do the same with T.J. Yeldon.
Photo courtesy of The Birmingham News

Lacy lost two fumbles in the 2010 campaign, both within the 5-yard-line as he was entering the endzone.

Although Lacy’s new student was not on the brink of the endzone, true freshman T.J. Yeldon has had two fumbles in the last two weeks, one nearly costly and the other very costly.

Yeldon let the ball slip out of his hands on the LSU 10-yard-line with 1:06 left, which LSU recovered and eventually scored on.

Yeldon did it again with 9:10 left in the Texas A&M as the ball fell into the hands of Dustin Harris. The Aggies, like the Tigers the week before, also scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession.

Lacy is trying to mold Yeldon just like Ingram and Richardson molded him and not let the fumbles derail a successful freshman season.

“It’s football, bad plays are going to happen. You’re going to make a lot of good plays, as well,” Lacy said. “You just have to get the rest of those out of your mind.”

“If a bad play happens at a bad time, you’re going to think about it a lot, but you just have to get over it and keep playing no matter what just happened.”

Nick Saban Press Conference Video: Nov. 12, 2012

Alabama head coach Nick Saban addresses the media to open the week of preparation for Western Carolina. Saban discusses dealing with losses, plus gives an update on freshman wide receiver Chris Black and more in the video below.