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Fresher playlist in stadium fires up Crimson Tide

TUSCALOOSA -- There was an undeniable difference in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday for the Crimson Tide's win over then-No. 1 Mississippi State.

Bryant-Denny had an updated musical playlist featuring more hip-hop and rap songs.

A fair warning before anyone searches the Internet for the songs: The lyrics are surely Not Safe For Work, containing plenty of expletives.

But the players love the tunes and are visibly excited when a song is played. Whether it's during a commercial break, before a big third down on defense or as the Tide is kicking off, the players can be seen jumping around to the beats.

"We're already a fired-up team," Tide defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson said. "So you play music we like, we jam up to it and get more fired up with it."

On third downs, the instrumental for C-Murder's "Down " blasts through the speakers in Bryant-Denny. While the actual lyrics are harsh, the song can be translated as a group of friends having each others backs no matter the situation.

After the Tide's loss at Ole Miss, the team adopted an "Us against the World" mentality, which makes that particular song relevant as they're trying to get a big stop.

After a pass breakup or a big play from the secondary, Rae Sremmurd's "No Flex Zone" blares at a defeaning level. For the Tide's secondary, replace "flex" with "fly" as the group has taken on the mantra of being a "No Fly Zone" which means no receiver is allowed to catch a pass in their zone or coverage area.

Tide safety Nick Perry said that one is his favorite.

"Definitely. We kind of remixed it, call it No Fly Zone," Perry said. "So in our head, every time they play that, No Fly Zone, it's like this song is definitely for us."

The Tide's defense held the Bulldogs to 13 points before a late touchdown made the final score closer. Alabama also forced three turnovers. While all of that can't be attributed to the music alone, there was a noticeable difference in the team's energy level throughout the game compared to other contests this season.

Perry credited the Tide's defensive front for getting the team energized throughout the game. Perry said that while on the field, it's tough to hear the words, but added that when he looks over and sees the defensive linemen "jumping up and down, I know they're playing something good."

"Really, it's the D-line. The front seven, those guys are monsters," Perry said. "And when they're hyped and they're jumping up and down and when they're putting pressure on the quarterback it makes our job a lot easier. So whatever can get those guys hyped like that, whatever song they're playing, they need to continue that."

Another well-timed play came after the Tide recovered Mississippi State's onsides kick attempt. Jay-Z's "On to the Next" let everyone know the Tide had sealed the victory and was moving on to its next opponent, Western Carolina.

Tide coach Nick Saban may not be as hip with the times as some of his players. Saban, 63, takes more to the classics like Michael Jackson, Al Green and The Eagles.

Asked how he felt the team responded to the music or if someone in the program has any control over it, Saban said "that is off the wall" in reference to the question before giving a light-hearted response.

"First of all, I can't answer the question because I know nothing about it," Saban said. "If it's helping us win, I'm all for it. I never really put that down in my notes that I thought that was a significant factor in how we played.

"But it very well may be, and we need to probably put it on the film so we can analyze that and look at the plays that we run. Then we'd probably have a better idea of how it's working."

Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Marq Burnett at mburnett@annistonstar.com. On Twitter:@Marq_Burnett.

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