The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 5, 2012

Bama must come back to earth with Aggies coming

(Continued)

"It wasn't hard at all," Mosley said. "We have a goal, we have a mission that we have to do every week and it's our job to get past that game and move on to the next team."

Saban makes it easier to refocus by pointedly declaring it "by far" the team's worst defensive performance of the season. Alabama allowed 475 yards, the most since Saban's first season in 2007.

The Tide also pulled out a game that seemed to be slipping away during the 2009 national title run.

Massive nosetackle Terrence Cody blocked two low fourth-quarter field goal attempts to preserve a 12-10 win over Tennessee and keep the perfect season going. Last season, the Tide won every game by at least 16 points except for a 9-6 overtime loss to LSU.

Defensive end Damion Square was asked if Alabama needed such a test after trailing for all of 15 seconds in the first eight games.

"I don't think you ever need a game like that, but you know they come," Square said. "I've been playing college football for a while and every year we have one like that. You never know when it's going to show up, but coach always says to practice your best so when your best is needed, you can bring it out. And our best was needed and we brought it out."

The challenge is far different this week. Texas A&M brings quarterback Johnny Manziel and a no-huddle offense of the sort that Saban wondered aloud in October: "Is this what we want football to be?"

That came after the Tide had played Mississippi, which also employs a fast-paced style. Saban's reasoning was that it limited substitution by a defense and created potential safety issues for players.

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