Found September 02, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- C.J. Mosley and his Alabama teammates have never embraced the label of defending BCS national champion. Neither has coach Nick Saban. This is the 2012 Crimson Tide, a group already establishing that it too will be a championship contender. "We made a great statement. But we're not the defending champs," Mosley said. "That was last year's team. That's what coach put in our heads two days after the championship game." In what was considered the marquee matchup of college football's opening weekend, the second-ranked Tide had a dominating 41-14 victory over a Michigan team with Denard Robinson coming off an 11-win season capped by a BCS bowl victory of its own. Alabama showed it can still dominate defensively even after three starting defenders from last year's title team were first-round NFL draft picks. The Crimson Tide manhandled the eighth-ranked Wolverines while doing quick damage to the Heisman hopes for Robinson, the dual-threat quarterback who was mostly contained. "The whole summer and camp we talked about setting an identity for this defense," said Mosley, the junior linebacker who returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown. "Everybody was talking about 2010 and 2011. ... We came out with great intensity and great tenacity. We showed the world what the 2012 defense is going to do." And the Crimson Tide can still run the ball after Trent Richardson was the third overall pick by the Browns. T.J. Yeldon, one of four running backs to share the load, became the first Bama freshman with a 100-yard game in his debut. He ran for 111 yards with a touchdown on 11 carries. "It was definitely a step in the right direction. We have high hopes for this team," senior offensive lineman Barrett Jones said. "This kind of shows the nation this is not the complacent Alabama people were expecting. We're hungry and we're playing for the national championship." Alabama is intent of avoiding another letdown like the 10-win season in 2010, the last time after a championship season. Jones started all 14 games as a freshman on Alabama's 2009 championship team, and is among several players who were part of that title and the year that followed. There appears to be no complacency or sense of entitlement this time. For Michigan, which trailed 31-0 before Robinson threw a 71-yard pass to set up his 6-yard TD run just before halftime, there have to be concerns. Second-year coach Brady Hoke long referred to the Alabama game as a measuring stick for his team. He's got to hope that this isn't really Michigan after the worst season-opening loss ever for the Wolverines. "I would think we're on the short end of the measuring stick right now," Hoke said. "I mean, we've got a lot of things that I know we can do better. I've seen us do it better, and we've got to go back to work." Michigan, which obviously can still recover to contend for a Big Ten title and possible Rose Bowl bid, plays its home opener Saturday against Air Force. Without suspended running back Fitzgerald Toussaint behind him, Robinson accounted for 227 of the Wolverines' 269 total yards. But he was only 11-of-26 passing with two interceptions and got most of his 200 yards on just two throws (the 71 yarder and a 44-yard TD to Devin Gardner). He needed 10 carries for his 27 rushing yards. "We've got to try to move forward because we've got a goal, and that is to win the Big Ten," Robinson said. "And in order for us to win the Big Ten, we can't let Alabama beat us twice." Alabama, which has even bigger goals, had scored 70 consecutive points over three games before Michigan finally got in the end zone. The Crimson Tide scored the final 18 points in their 2011 regular-season finale against Auburn before the 21-0 victory over LSU in the BCS championship game. While Saban believes his latest talented and tenacious team took a step toward creating its own identity, he already sees room for improvement going into the home opener Saturday against Western Kentucky. AJ McCarron, the second-year starting quarterback, was 11-of-21 passing for 199 yards with two touchdowns. Saban said the Tide has to throw more effectively, though it's not anything he blames on McCarron. "In the passing game, we just need to clean it up, clean up the protection," Saban said. "And if we're going to be the kind of team we're capable of, we're going to have to be able to create balance on offense, because AJ's really too good of a quarterback for us not to utilize his talents in throwing the football."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
EASY TIGER

Nick Saban didn't like reporter's comment

Poor Heather Cox, she had no idea that her question [which was more like a compliment] to Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban at halftime would cause him to get angry. Cox asked “how running back by committee has really helped the offense,” because three different backs combined for 126 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Saban’s response is classic Saban. “Well, you...

Video: Nick Saban is a jerk to Heather Cox

New ABC Saturday Night Football sideline reporter got a taste of primetime when she tried to ask Alabama head coach Nick Saban about his running back situation and the multiple backs getting playing time and playing well.  Saban, in the type of gentle warmness that has seen him take Alabama to the top of college football, responded by shooting arrows of fire into Cox. ...

Saban: Nothing has changed for Alabama after romp

Alabama coach Nick Saban says the only thing that has changed for the second-ranked Crimson Tide is the buzz. Saban said Monday that the talk before the 41-14 rout of No. 8 Michigan was that ''we were too young, too inexperienced, couldn't handle success.'' But he says nothing else is different about the team and ''it's going to be all about the...

Saban cares about winning games

Nobody from Alabama can quite remember when "Nick Satan" became a part of vernacular. Or if they do, they will not say for fear of him making their life hell. Suffice it to say that enough people believe the nickname fits that T-shirts were made, pitchfork and all. There are a lot of people who do not like the Alabama coach, though none of them are the houndstooth-clad...

Simply the best: Saban has Tide rolling

Plenty of other coaches do what Nick Saban does. They preach about the process, focus on getting better every day instead of the trophies and championships that await, and want their players to be accountable. Thing is, Saban does it all better. He's the best in the business, and just in case anybody had forgotten that fact after a long offseason, the Crimson Tide's 41...
THE RICH GET RICHER

Mayweather cashes in big on Alabama

Entering this weekend’s mega-showdown that wasn’t between Alabama and Michigan, there were plenty of stories that captured the attention of college football fans. How would Nick Saban’s defense handle Denard Robinson? How would Michigan hold up against the Crimson Tide’s running game? How much would Floyd Mayweather lose betting on the Wolverines? Wait, what? Oh yeah...

Saban: "There’s plenty of room for progress"

Despite being the new No. 1 in the polls and despite beating a then-Top 10 opponent 41-14 in college football's opening weekend, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is focused on correcting the mistakes his team made and said there is plenty of room for progress.

Opening Victory Pleases Saban

Alabama Coach Nick Saban will know more about the specifics of his players after he views the videotapes of Saturday night’s 41-14 win over Michigan in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas. But he’s seen enough football to know that his second ranked Crimson Tide competed well.

Saban: "Everyone thought we were too young.."

QUICK HITS: Alabama coach Nick Saban pokes at the media, discusses where his team needs to improve, his thoughts on young T.J. Yeldon and more at Monday's press conference.

Alabama focused on BCS run

With an eye-opening win over a highly ranked opponent, Alabama showed that it might have a strong shot at another national title. Coach Nick Saban, though, doesn't want his now No. 1-ranked team to forget about all of the steps needed before another potential trip to the BCS championship. The Crimson Tide will try to build on their dominating season opener Saturday against...

Tide Coaches Pick Dandy Half Dozen

Although the message of the day from Alabama Coach Nick Saban on Monday following the Crimson Tide’s impressive Saturday night win over Michigan was that Bama needs continued improvement, he reported that a number of players had good games.

W. Kentucky-Alabama Preview

With an eye-opening win over a highly ranked opponent, Alabama showed that it might have a strong shot at another national title. Coach Nick Saban, though, doesn't want his now No. 1-ranked team to forget about all of the steps needed before another potential trip to the BCS championship. The Crimson Tide will try to build on their dominating season opener Saturday against...

SoundOFF: Crimson Tide Talk Win

We hear from Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, quarterback A.J. McCarron and others following Saturday night's 41-14 season-opening victory over Michigan.

Ohio State jumps to 14th in latest AP poll

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alabama is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, moving past Southern California after its resounding victory against Michigan. The Ohio State Buckeyes jumped four spots to 14 after a 56-10 dismantling of Miami on Saturday. The Crimson Tide swayed more than enough voters with its 41-14 win Saturday night in Texas to overtake the preseason No...

Oklahoma falls to No. 5 in latest AP poll

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alabama is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, moving past Southern California after its resounding victory against Michigan. The Crimson Tide swayed more than enough voters with its 41-14 win Saturday night in Texas to overtake the preseason No. 1 Trojans, who beat Hawaii 49-10. USC entered that game a 40-point favorite at home. The Tide...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.