Alabama DB on last year's loss: "That game was last year and doesn't matter"


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Hunter Renfrow makes a catch against Alabama last January
Hunter Renfrow makes a catch against Alabama last January

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Alabama’s demeanor hasn’t changed. The Crimson Tide players still think last year’s loss was more about Alabama than Clemson and they are determined to right the wrong.

Alabama defensive players and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt met with the media Friday morning at the Marriott in downtown New Orleans ahead of Monday’s clash with top-ranked Clemson. Here are a few snapshots of their answers”

DL Da’Ron Payne

On Kelly Bryant

“He’s a really good runner. I think people try to overshadow his throwing ability, but he’s a really good thrower too. We’ve just been trying to pay a lot of attention to that.”

On being worn down on the last drive

“I don’t really think we felt anything, but we were just trying to do what we need to win the game. It was maybe too late because we didn’t execute beforehand.”

On Clemson’s OL

“I think it’s always going to be the same. It’s just going to be how we execute as a team and how we’re ready to play.”

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

On if he’s watched last year’s game:

“I haven’t watched last year’s game. That game was last year and doesn’t matter, so why would I watch it?”

On how much the final play has been on their minds leading up to this game

“I mean, I haven’t been thinking about it, for real. I mean, we lost the game, but we just took lessons from the loss and we applied them. You can’t really think about the last play. You can’t think about what you could have done differently. You just have to worry about how you can prepare differently, what decisions can you make differently throughout the entire process leading up to the game but, thinking about the last play isn’t going to help anything at all.”

On Kelly Bryant

“I mean, he’s a good quarterback. He’s a big guy. He runs the ball really well, almost like a wildcat every single snap, but he can also throw the ball. He makes smart decisions with the football. He has really good athletes on the outside that he can get the ball to. [He] gets the ball deep to Deon Cain. Gets the ball and fits it into tight windows with Hunter Renfrow. He does a real good job at what he does.”

On the attention to detail, focus and intensity in practice:

“It’s just like any other game. It’s just the next game. Obviously, it’s a high-level game but, you know, everybody’s been doing their job , focusing on what they have to do and that’s really been something we have been focusing on…just doing your assignment, focusing on execution. I think everybody’s been doing a good job at that.”

On Hunter Renfrow:

“He just does the job really well. He’s not going to out-physical you or outrun you. He gets the ball out in space, makes people miss, and he’s a real shifty guy, smaller guy, so it’s hard to tackle him in space. So you know, when he does that, then he also has great receivers around him, so you really just can’t focus on him. So when you have that challenge he proposes, it’s very hard in the secondary, linebackers, to stop a player like him.”
(on having someone special coming to the game to cheer him on): “My family, that’s about it. It’s really cool because they’ve been with me through everything, you know. And having come and watch me play on this stage of the caliber is really cool. They always come to the games to watch me play.”

DB Levi Wallace

On Hunter Renfrow

“I think people should give him a little bit of credit. I think he does a great job. Just looking at the film and the plays he made against South Carolina and Miami, he’s a great player all around. Even against us a couple of years ago. I think he’s one of the best receivers in the country. He’s a great athlete and a great competitor. I think he should get the credit he’s worked for.

“His quickness off the line (is one of the things that makes him special). I’ve seen him give people many different moves. His hands, he’s one of the best catchers we’ll face.”

On the other Clemson WR

“I think Deon Cain is the top receiver when it comes to yards. He’s definitely a deep threat guy. He runs a lot of deep routes and has great hands. He judges the ball very well. Ray-Ray McCloud is very explosive and really fast. He’s also the punt returner. They’re a really good group of guys that are really talented and we respect those guys a lot.”

DB James Harrison

What will this game mean?

“It definitely means a lot. Every time we play these guys, it’s a tough matched game. It’s physical. It’s almost like a rivalry game. We’ve seen these guys three years in a row and have one loss and one win, so this is a big game. It feels like a big rivalry.”

On watching last year’s game

“We’ve watched a lot of film. I’ve probably watched that game over 50 times. I don’t even know. That week after we lost, I probably watched that game 10 times. I just wanted to see how we lost, why we lost, what happened and how it all unfolded. I was just trying to learn from it going into this game.

“I feel like in the end, we just didn’t have enough. I feel like we didn’t bring. We just didn’t have the right answers. This year, guys know we have to finish, start fast and finish strong. We’ll be ready for them.”

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