Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Saban: Young team needs leaders


After the loss to LSU, Alabama’s record is now 7-2, unexpectedly the same record as this week’s opponent, Mississippi State. Saban said now is the time for leaders on the team to step up.

“When you have a young team – which we have a young team, only eight or nine seniors on the team – sometimes it’s a little bit more difficult to get the younger players to assume the responsibility of leadership,” Saban said. “It’s something that we need to continue to develop and grow. That’s going to be an important part of how the team responds. The true test of the leadership is how the team responds. I think the leadership is most effective when things aren’t going well; that’s when it makes the biggest difference.”

Now that national championship hopes are out of the picture, Tide fans are curious about where the team goes from this point. Ranked at No. 12, Alabama isn’t eligible for a BCS bowl game at this point but could possibly make one if it was to win out the remainder of the games this season.

“As a team, we just have to play for all of our pride,” said senior quarterback Greg McElroy. “Obviously, there is still a lot we can accomplish this season even though we can’t go to the national championship. This team still has a lot of character and a lot of pride. Every member of this team is very proud to be a member of this team, so they try to make the most of it.”

While some members of the team are concerned with rankings, others just want to see the team play a full football game at their highest level.

“I could care less about winning our division,” said junior defensive lineman Marcell Dareus. “I just want to see our young kids, I want to see the seniors, the juniors, I want to see everybody gel together for these last three, four or however many games we have. Let’s go out there and play the best football that we can play. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is. We’re just worrying about focusing in, doing what we can, getting extra film work and play the best football that we can play – everybody just has to show maturity as a whole, even me.”


On the injury front, Trent Richardson, Kerry Murphy and Chris Jordan are day-to-day. Head coach Nick Saban said their return is based on how they respond throughout the week. Richardson was not wearing a black jersey at either Monday or Tuesday’s practice, but he did have a black wrap on his left knee. Murphy also practiced in normal attire with the team but had a black wrap on his right leg. Jordan, on the other hand, was wearing a black practice jersey and was working out on the stationary bike during the media viewing.

“I think [Richardson’s] been doing better,” junior running back Mark Ingram said. “He’s just trying to take care of his injury. He comes out, he walks around and rides the bike and stuff like that. He’s just trying to get loosened up.”

Players of the week

The Alabama coaching staff selected junior wide receiver Julio Jones, junior defensive lineman Josh Chapman, sophomore linebacker Dont’a Hightower, junior wide receiver Marquis Maze and freshman John Fulton as the Crimson Tide’s players of the week based on their performances in the LSU game. This was Jones’ seventh time this season to earn the honor after catching 10 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. This was Jones’ second straight double-digit reception game.

On the defensive side of things, Hightower and Chapman both were selected. Hightower led the team with 10 tackles with one tackle for a loss and one quarterback hurry. The 10 tackles were a season high for Hightower and the second most this season by an Alabama player. Chapman had the Tide’s only sack for a loss of 12 yards against the Tigers. He finished the game with a career-best eight tackles.

On special teams, Fulton and Maze were recognized. It was both players’ second time to be honored this season. Fulton worked on both the coverage unit and the return unit, while Maze made one tackle on special teams and returned three kickoffs for 73 yards, the longest return being 26 yards.

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