TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Mark Ingram’s eye is fine and he’s not accusing Mississippi State of dirty play.
Contrary to initial television reports following Ingram’s 1-yard touchdown run in Saturday’s second quarter that ended with a bloody eye, Ingram said the Bulldog who fell on him did not do anything intentional.
“I was really just trying to look at the ref to see if I scored or not,” Ingram said. “But I couldn’t see anything. Then I touched my forehead and just saw a whole bunch of blood on my hand and I just kind of laid there. I wasn’t panicking, but I was hurting a little bit.”
He wanted to reassure worried fans by jumping up and running back to the bench in the early stages of his 149-yard game that kept him atop most Heisman Trophy projections. Of the 12 voters on HeismanPundit.com, 10 slotted him first and has 59 overall points to second-place Colt McCoy’s 35. On ESPN.com, 12 of the 15 experts put Ingram fist on their ballot.
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The hype surrounding the award means hearing about it all the time on campus.
“A lot. I can’t really count,” he said. “I really don’t try to pay attention to it, but people bring it up all the time and I hear it an awful lot out there.”
Already thinking Pasadena
Although most in the Alabama football program are avoiding talk of the weeks that follow Saturday’s visit from FCS opponent Chattanooga, one senior wasn’t afraid to talk about this team’s ultimate goal.
“I just envision us going to Cali and doing what we’re supposed to do,” Chris Rogers said in reference to the BCS title game site in Pasadena, Calif. “That’s why we came to ’Bama.”
The constantly smiling defensive back who shook hands with reporters after taking questions also addressed his changing uniform number. He’s wearing No. 1 right now, but he was sharing the No. 8 with a certain well-known wide receiver for part of the season.
“Julio (Jones) put me on the map,” Rogers said. “Everybody was like ‘You’re the other No. 8.’ And I kind of liked it.”