Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

SEC: Alabama Notebook

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

SEC: Alabama Notebook

Article excerpt

HOOVER | It's a loss that hasn't gone away quite yet.

Ohio State's upset of top-ranked Alabama in the semifinals of the inaugural College Football Playoff still stings, leaving a desire to be better in 2015.

A year prior it was a shocking loss to Auburn that fueled the team to the playoffs. Now it's the Big Ten powerhouse that serves as motivation.

"We are definitely hungry," senior running back Kenyan Drake said. "The last couple years we haven't finished exactly where we wanted to. We won the SEC Championship, which is definitely the first move, but the next goal is definitely the national championship."

Senior linebacker Reggie Ragland said the goal is not just to get there, but to make the most of the opportunity once they're there.

"It shows that we have to finish," Ragland said. "The way the last two seasons ended shows we have to finish. That's not what we did the past two years. That's one thing coach has put into us, and we have a bunch of guys in the locker room that understand that, and the guys have been doing the things that are necessary to do."


Much like a season ago, there is no starting quarterback at Alabama.

Senior Jake Coker has the most experience, but redshirt freshman David Cornwell was nipping at his heels during spring practice.

Heading into fall practice in three weeks, the competition is as wide open as it was last season when Blake Sims edged Coker for the job.

"I know you're anxious to ask me about the quarterback situation, but that's going to be one of the keys to the drill in terms of somebody taking the bull by the horns at that position, being assertive, playing with confidence, distributing the ball and executing in a positive way, being a good decision-maker, and showing leadership at the same time," Saban said.

"We do not have an experienced player at that position. We need somebody to take the bull by the horns this year and be that kind of player for us at that position. I think we have several guys that are capable of it. I don't think anybody's come to the forefront as of yet, and I don't think it's something that we can force to happen. And I cannot give you a timetable of when that's going to happen. …

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