NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- The Alabama defenders have done their best to downplay all the pressure Nebraska got on Colt McCoy a month ago.
The Huskers sacked McCoy nine times, 4 .5 of those by star tackle Ndamukong Suh, and kept the Texas quarterback on the run the entire Big 12 championship game.
Yes, the Crimson Tide have seen that film. Yes, they see their own opportunities to get after McCoy. No, they’re not really making a big deal of it publicly.
“They’re a very good offensive line,” Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain said. “Colt McCoy wouldn’t have the passing yards he has if he didn’t have anybody to block for him. Suh just had a career game. He was just unblockable. We’re going to try and do some of those same things and cause pressure. But you can’t take anything away from their offensive line.”
Still, don’t think for a second that Alabama hasn’t studied that tape in great detail to see what Nebraska did so effectively.
“They got a lot of pressure up the middle. That’s pretty much what we saw,” Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody said.
The Crimson Tide are also coming off a game against Florida in the SEC championship game where they were facing a mobile quarterback, and they were able to keep Tim Tebow in the pocket most of the game.
“It helps, because our D-line did a great job containing him and not letting him get out and run and make plays with his feet often,” McClain said. “I think he had one scramble. Other than that, he was in the pocket all day. So we have confidence in our secondary coverage. We just have to do a good job of containing [McCoy] and getting to him when we do blitz.”
Texas center Chris Hall, who had a rough outing against Suh, gets a chance to redeem himself against Cody.
“They are different players,” Hall said. “But as far as quality is concerned, they’re on the same level. They’re both great football players.”
Cody, who most of the time isn’t on the field in obvious passing situations, figures he’ll have enough chances to make his own impression.
“[Suh] had a good game,” Cody said. “I’m going to try and have, maybe not the same exact game, but something close to that.”