TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ― Coming off a high-stakes, high-emotion win against Virginia Tech, Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t interested in the talk about overlooking his next opponent.He used Monday’s weekly press briefing to express his distaste for any such talk heading into Saturday’s game with Florida International, a 36-point underdog.One particular question set him off.“You’re a typical fan, which you all can be,” Saban said, volume steadily rising. “I respect the people we’re playing. I respect our opponents. I want our players to respect our opponents. … Whatever your perception about what they ought to be, I don’t think it’s that and I don’t want our players to think that either. “As fans, you can think that all you want. But you create that perception that just creates more problems for me. The players read the paper too.Earlier, he used a few pro basketball players to illustrate his point.“I don’t think Kobe Bryant cares who is playing against,” Saban said. “I don’t think LeBron James who is guarding him.”Florida International did not play last weekend and compiled a 5-7 record in 2008 as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
SEC honors for Ingram Sophomore running back Mark Ingram’s big night Saturday did not go unnoticed by the Southeastern ConferenceHe was named the league’s offensive player of the week Monday after picking up a career-high 150 yards on 26 carries. Ingram also had 35 receiving yards on three catches ― the last going for 18 yards and the Tide’s final touchdown.“It makes me happy” he said. “But I’m not really focused on that. I’m focused on getting prepared for this game this weekend.”The knee injury suffered late in the win wasn’t a major one and Ingram practiced Monday. A Hokie defender landed on it after a run, causing a bruise. Kentucky’s Trevard Lindley was named defensive player of the week by the league on the strength of his three tackles, three pass deflections and interception return for a touchdown in the Wildcats’ 42-0 win over Miami of Ohio.
Mistakes Cutting down on the self-inflicted wounds was part of the post game message from Saban to the Tide. The most glaring breakdown involved Rolando McClain’s two post-whistle penalties from the second quarter that involved a cheap shot on a Hokie and a contact with a game official.Saban called those fouls “self-indulgent,” but didn’t vilify the linebacker from Decatur who was one of three game captains along with Javier Arenas and Mike Johnson.“He obviously lost his cool in the game and that’s not good,” Saban said.
The flu The troubles with the flu continue within the Alabama football program.Monday, backup quarterback Star Jackson missed the Labor Day practice with the illness. He is the second quarterback to miss practice with the flu as AJ McCarron sat out early last week.