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November 18, 2013

Insider Report: Senior class wildly successful

Saturday's game is Senior Day at the University of Alabama, a contest marking the final game inside Bryant-Denny Stadium for a wildly successful class.

Fifth-year seniors like AJ McCarron, Kevin Norwood, Kenny Bell and more have gone a combined 59-5 during their time in crimson and white. Those who spent four years on campus like C.J. Mosley have won a total of 45 games.

Those accomplishments are just part of why UA head coach Nick Saban want fans to come out and recognize the seniors.

"When the thing comes on Saturday, it is a little bit emotional for me because I can't believe how fast it goes by," Saban said. "When I shake hands with these guys, I remember going into their house. It just seems like it was yesterday.

"It's a lot of hard work to be a good football player. These guys have dedicated themselves to being good people. They've certainly done a really good job and had a great academic record in terms of the graduation rate of this group and how well they've done academically, as well as what they've been able to produce on the field.

"...this game is Senior Day for a very, very successful class of seniors who have contributed a tremendous amount to the program over the last four or five years, or wherever their career stands, in terms of their record, in terms of how they've represented the University of Alabama and the football program and the success that they've had."

iPads for all
Alabama players didn't wait long to review their performance after Saturday's game. Some watched the film on the bus ride back from Starkville, Miss. to Tuscaloosa on iPads.

Each football player was assigned an iPad, which are owned by the university, during fall camp.

"It's great, the communication guys, you know, you can just ... an hour after the game you can plug your iPad in, they have it on their laptops while you're on the road trip back and you're already watching the game," center Ryan Kelly said. "It's pretty crucial. We can take it home so we don't always have to be up here."

Junior tight end Brian Vogler sprained his ankle during Saturday night's win and remains day to day this week, Saban said.

"He probably won't do anything today and I don't really know what day this week he'll be able to get back into it," he said. "We just have to evaluate those things day to day."

Sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon was spotted in a protective boot after the game, also sustaining a minor ankle sprain.

"I don't think it's a bad thing," Saban said. "He finished the game on it. We put a guy in a protective boot pretty much for anything. If you had a corn on your toe, we would put you in a protective boot. It does help the guys recover, helps eliminate some swelling. We've had guys in boots two hours before the game."

Iron Bowl
The annual grudge match between Alabama and Auburn, a game that determines the SEC West champion, will air Nov. 30 on CBS at 2:30 p.m., the league office announced Monday.

Florida versus Florida State will kick at 11 a.m. on ESPN, followed by Wake Forest at Vanderbilt at 11:21 a.m. on SEC TV, Tennessee at Kentucky at 6 p.m. on ESPNU, Clemson at South Carolina at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and Texas A&M at Missouri at 6:45 p.m. on ESPN.

Players of the Week
A total of 11 were recognized by the UA coaching staff for their efforts against Mississippi State,. Tight end Brian Vogler and T.J. Yeldon were named offensive players of the week. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, C.J. Mosley, A'Shawn Robinson and Jarrick Williams were chosen as defensive players of the week. Special teams players of the week included Landon Collins, Cade Foster, Dee Hart, Cody Mandell and DeAndrew White.

Knock it down
Alabama players didn't see Auburn's miraculous win against Georgia on Saturday as it happened Saturday, but the players know what took place.

Should a similar situation play out against the Crimson Tide in a game later this season, sophomore safety Landon Collins said the secondary knows what to do. They've practiced it weekly.

"First of all, Coach Saban tells us to bat it down," Collins said. "That's the first thing that comes out of his mouth. If you get the pick, fall down. But the first thing is batting it down to play the next play. He doesn't want anybody being a hero.

"Every Thursday we practice that type of play and that's what he harps on. 'Bat the ball down. We don't need any interceptions.'"

Reach Aaron Suttles at aaron@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0229.


Reach Aaron Suttles at aaron.suttles@tuscaloosanews.com or 205.722.0229.

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