Oct. 27, 2009
Opening Comments "We're very excited about this matchup; a great team is coming in here. They are ranked in the top 25 and we're able to come home in front of our fans again after last time we were here having such a great day and a great showing. We're really excited about it. We are going to have to have a great week of practice. We'll go back and start a new day and have a very physical practice like we always do and continue to develop our young guys.
"We are going to have our hands full this week versus a great pass rusher, great defensive line and an offense that has really come together; a quarterback that's playing well for them and a ground game that has started to get the ball moving for them. This will be a very intriguing matchup for us and we are going to have to have a great week of practice."
On defenses wearing down offenses in the SEC "You just have to come up with something every week and you have to find a way to move the ball. I think the difference in this conference than any other around is the front four -- then the front seven -- but especially the front four. Almost everybody you play is going to have a match-up to deal with, especially us. We give away a lot of size up there, we have to figure out ways to protect ourselves and continue to limit our sacks. I think our offensive line and pass protection with our backs, they have done a great job this year for the most part. We have played seven games and only given up eight sacks. It's pretty good, so every week we have to figure out ways to move our quarterback around and change things up so that we don't end up in a lot of one-on-one match-ups."
On his confidence in Jonathan Crompton
"I think he has put together 21/2 games of playing really well, going back to the last half of the Auburn game. We have a lot of confidence in the way that he is playing. I think a lot of it has to do with his receivers for the most part being healthy and having been there now for a few weeks, and the timing is better. We've made some moves up front in the offensive line over the course of the season and that has helped us as well. He's playing a lot and he is playing as well as anybody in the conference. I believe he has four more touchdown passes than Tim Tebow.
"He is doing things really well, so we need to continue to improve and build on that and continue to make really good decisions and limit turnovers. That's a big reason why we are in the (Alabama) game at the end, because of only having one turnover. That's a defense that has gotten a ton of turnovers over the course of the season and has beaten people because of that."
On being able to expand his play-calling with the improved passing game "I think when you have confidence about the decision-making at quarterback, there are times that we take some shots where we know he is going to come back and check the ball down or throw it away and not force the ball down the field. Since the day we got here, I have always talked to him about that. With our quarterbacks and our systems, the better decisions that you make as far as not forcing the ball, we'll come back to those. We will give you more shots, and we will give you more opportunities to throw the ball down the field. Just take what they give you, even if you have to throw it away. He has bought into that and he is doing a much better job, and he is protecting the football. Our offense is in general, I believe we ran 72 plays without putting the ball on the ground the other day versus the Alabama defense. It says a lot, as far as going in the right direction."
On Jonathan Crompton playing as well against Alabama's defense as he did against Georgia's defense "He played well. Alabama did a better job covering us than Georgia did, so there weren't quite as many down-the-field opportunities in that game as there were in the Georgia game. He played well again, and I think he is increasing his draft value by the way he is playing. He is making himself some money. The key is going to be how he plays down the stretch, because you are going to watch some games and he looks completely different than others. It will always be, `who are you?' Right now, he is kind of in the middle. Half of his games have been good and the other half have not been as good. How he plays down the stretch will have a lot to do with where he is picked."