Crimson Tide begins preparing for Texas A&M

By Marc Torrence

Head coach Nick Saban has a simple 24-hour rule for his players after games. They get 24 hours to either celebrate a victory or sulk in a defeat before moving on to the next week’s opponent.

After Alabama’s thrilling 21-17 win over LSU, it’s never been more critical.

“We’ve got to forget about this last game. We’ve got to move on,” Saban said. “I told the players that right after the game. I think they have a lot of respect for this team. It’d be pretty difficult not to respect this team based on their body of work and what they’ve accomplished this season.”

Alabama hosts No. 15 Texas A&M this week, which has surprised the college football world during its first season in the SEC.

“It was a crazy experience last week,” offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio said. “Now it’s time to move on. I had my 24 hours to reflect on the game. Now all I’m worried about is the Texas A&M team and its defensive front, which is pretty impressive.”

Linebacker C.J. Mosley echoed his coach’s words.

“It’s time. It’s time to get ready for Texas A&M,” he said. “So that game is done and over with. What happened, happened. We’ve just got to get ready for this game.”

Players reflect on final drive

Alabama’s last-minute drive to defeat LSU will certainly be remembered as a defining moment during the 2012 season. But it wasn’t exactly easy to watch from the sideline.

“My eyes were closed,” linebacker Adrian Hubbard said. “When they threw the ball, all I heard was yelling, and I looked up and there was T.J. running down the sideline for a touchdown. …All I saw was AJ [McCarron]. He caught the Holy Ghost sliding on the ground, and I kind of dragged him, telling him, ‘Get up, we’ve got 50 seconds still left in this game. We have to win.’”

On the field, wide receiver Kevin Norwood, who caught three of the four passes of the drive, said the mood was calm and collected.

“It was straight focus,” he said. “We knew we had to move the ball down the field. We knew we had to get something going, either a field goal or a touchdown. We held our fours to the sky, like we always do, and we changed the game.”

Alabama practices two-minute drills every Thursday. While the offensive and defensive players weren’t exactly in agreement on which unit has won more, they all agreed that it played a big role in creating the memorable play.

“When we got the ball back for the last drive? It was just two-minute drill. We do that every Thursday,” Kouandjio said. “Honestly, we looked in each other’s eyes and we knew we were all going to do our jobs. We all had extreme confidence. We had a job to do and it was time to execute.”

Injury update

Saban said that besides the routine bumps and bruises, the only injured player was running back Eddie Lacy, who would not practice Monday due to a tweaked ankle. Wide receiver Amari Cooper is still sore, but will practice this week, according to Saban.

Kickoff set for Western Carolina

Alabama announced Monday that the Crimson Tide’s game vs. Western Carolina on Nov. 17 will kick off at 11:21 a.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

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