Opening statement: “It was a good win for our team. I think we challenged our players to go out and see if they could be a dominant team. We challenged our players individually to see if they can dominate their box. There were times in the game were I thought we did that, and I thought we started out with big plays on offense. Pretty good drive the second time we had the ball.
“I think there were times when we got a little sloppy. I think we got really sloppy at the end of the game. We played a lot of twos, and I was not pleased with the way they executed. Our expectations for those guys are that they play the same standard as everyone else does. They practice. They know what to do. They should go out there and execute. We didn’t move the ball on offense. We didn’t take the air out of it at all. We didn’t take any time off the clock. Didn’t make any first downs, and the defense never stopped them for the last 10 minutes of the game. But we got to play a lot of players, so that will be good experience for them.
“This was a good performance for our team, and I think the question that everyone should ask themselves, ‘Did I play better this week than I played the week before?’ and that means that you prepare right, you have the right focus, you play with the right intensity in the game. If you can’t say that, then you are just developing bad habits. It’s not only setting you up for a poor performance in this particular game, but you develop bad habits that will affect your future games.
“So, obviously we start SEC play this next week on the road. We’re going to have to clean some things up and get more guys to play winning football. Try to be more efficient as a team.
“Anyway, I was pleased with the way the ones played, but when we put the other guys in, I was not satisfied with their disposition about playing well and what they need to do to play winning football.”
On the new combination on the offensive line: “Chris Owens was out of the game. So was Emil (Ekiyor Jr.). Chris Owens is the starting center, and Emil is the backup center. (Landon) Dickerson is the third center. If the first two guys are out, basic math says that he third guy has got to play. (Darrian) Dalcourt is the next guy, and he played today too. It was good to get them some experience. I think I made the statement that I thought we had seven guys that were starters on the offensive line that we felt good about, but we had to play with five today and a freshman center who we put in the game, and I think he did okay. That’s what led to that, simple math, guys get injured.”
On Jerry Jeudy being an elite receiver: “Jerry is a smart player. He plays hard. He’s got a good understanding of the offense, and he has a good understanding of what people do to try and stop him on defense. A lot of plays he is very effective on. He caught some RPOs today, some bubble passes and things like that. He is effective catching the linemen on a short gain, but he is really difficult to cover down the field. He is a pretty complete guy when it comes to being a really good receiver. Hopefully we will be able to continue to have production from all of our receivers. I think it’s important because those guys can all make plays.”
#15 Xavier McKinney, DB On the mindset of the defense coming in to the first home game: “The mindset for us was to get a good first outing for the fans and for us as a defense. We want to get a shutout every time, but it did not happen today. We had a couple of errors here and there. There is always room to improve, and we’ll work on that this week in practice.”
On leading the team in tackles: “I pride myself in tackling, even in practice. I do not worry about it too much, but when the play comes to me, I want to make the tackle. I want to make sure I’m set up in the right position to make that tackle. The plays just come, so I just try to make them.”
#4 Jerry Jeudy, WR On what his mindset is each week: “I just try to get better each and every week. I always want to do better than I did the previous game. We had a lot of missed opportunities last game, but, this game, I feel like we really executed well.”
On preparing for a road game in SEC play: “I don’t feel like our preparation is any different. I feel like we should have the same focus going into any game, whether it’s home or away, it doesn’t matter. We should have the same mindset of going in and dominating our opponent every time out.”
NEW MEXICO STATE Head Coach Doug Martin On what jumped out to him about Alabama: “No. 1 is their team speed on both sides of the ball. They've just got electric players all over the field, so their margin of error is so small. If you turn the ball over, they're going to make great things happen, and if you just give them a step, a wide receiver can get behind you and run it back without being tackled. They're just an elite team.”
On Alabama’s wide receivers: “I think they're all phenomenal. What makes them so dangerous is they're so balanced. They can run the ball, they can hit you with a pass, they can run the RPOs. They've got a lot of weapons. And he's (Tua Tagovailoa) just so accurate throwing the ball, and that's what makes the receivers so deadly is because when it's man coverage or something like that, he's so accurate with the football that they don't have to slow down to catch it. They can get it on a dead run, and they're hard to get down.”
On what makes Tua Tagovailoa special: “I think obviously it's his knowledge of the game. Probably from last year to where he is now, he's probably light years as far as checking plays in the line of scrimmage and checking protections. And you can see him, they're giving him more to do, it looks like. And he's handling it really well. It just looks like he understands the game really well.”
On what he saw from the Alabama defense: “Well, I think all of the problems start from them up front. They're really hard to block, and it's hard to pass protect long enough to push the ball down the field. You're really limited with how many deep routes you can run. It's hard to get explosive plays on them. You're not going to get many 80-yard drives against a team like that. You've got to have some explosive plays.”
#22 Shamad Lomax, DB On playing in an SEC stadium: “Man it was a great experience, great opportunity for us to see how we compete against the best. You know those guys are, the offense, they were probably going to be the toughest offense that we see all year, and we just want to see how we compete and play with those guys.”
On Alabama’s wide receiving group as a whole: “Yea that wide receiving group, that’s the best we’re going to see by far. We showed some glimpses that we can play with those guys and that we can cover them. They got some catches, and they got up the field, so we’ve just got to improve on those and then come back next week.”
#1 Jason Huntley, RB On playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium: “It’s a good experience, makes you open your eyes, see real football, like a lot of NFL-caliber players over there. Real competition.”
On Alabama’s defense: “Physical. I see their block. They’ve got corners, safeties hemmed up. Physicality is what I see in them.”
On Alabama’s defensive strengths: “They’re big you know, that’s what it is. They’re very fundamentally sound players, so it made it hard for us.”