South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, in absolutely no way being disrespectful to Alabama, said there is a difference between perception and reality.
Following the 35-21 win, Johnson said, “I’m a little bit different than most people. I said some things before the game I’m not going to share with y’all. But I told our players a lot of people are into perception. We beat Kentucky (in basketball last year) when they were #1, but they didn’t end up number one, okay? We beat the number one team in the polls today, but we don’t know they’re #1. The season isn’t over.”
“Perception and reality. What happens, when you come into games, and you put somebody on a pedestal like that and you think you gotta play out of your skin to beat ‘em. You start doing things, and make mistakes and stuff. If you don’t, you realize you gotta play them the same way you play everyone else, and you don’t do things wrong. You play up to your ability. You find out whether you have recruited good enough. You line up and play.”
“I just think there’s a lot of difference between perception and reality. The polls in America are perception, let’s face it. Everybody votes.”
Some have wondered why Alabama didn’t stay with the running game for longer in the game and into the third quarter. Johnson said, “I don’t know if that was their approach. I think what happened is when our offense was able to score, stay on the field, move the ball…I think you have to start thinking on the other side ‘Well, how much do we hammer the ball?’”
“The second thing is other than maybe a couple of runs that had a little electricity to them, they never got the running game going. Had those 2 things not happened, they would have still run the football.”
The key to the game?
Johnson explained, “I thought the fact that they couldn’t run the ball was the key stats in the game. Period. Go back and look at it. They’ve been able to run the ball on everyone.”
Mark Ingram rushed 11 times for 41 yards. Trent Richardson rushed 6 times for 23 yards.