September 7, 2006

Containing Nickson key

The Tide defense forced three turnovers in the season opener against Hawaii and now hopes to continue its playmaking ways against its first SEC opponent of the season, the Vanderbilt Commodores.

"I thought we did fairly well," said senior linebacker Terrence Jones who contributed three tackles and a sack in the Tide's opening effort. "There were some things I could have done better but I think our performance overall was pretty good. We had some lapses and gave up a few big plays but overall I think we did well."

Defensive coordinator Joe Kines is more concerned with keeping teams out of the end zone than he is with spectacular playmaking.

"This is not going to be a year for stats," Kines said. "The main deal is can we hold them off the scoreboard enough? Can we hold them to few enough points to help the team? We can get all bent out of shape this year over some things and drive ourselves crazy. What we've got to do is get this young team improved and get them better today than we were yesterday. If we can do that, we can lay down and go to sleep at night."

The Tide defense's main concern this week, according to Kines, will be containing dual-threat quarterback Chris Nickson who threw for 99 yards and ran for 64 against Michigan last Saturday. Kines said Vanderbilt's unconventional offense will pose another interesting challenge for the Tide defense to overcome.

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