Jake Coker flashed both sides of his 2015 season — horrid and brilliant — in front of the home crowd during Alabama’s 27-14 win over Arkansas on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide quarterback tossed two interceptions in the first half as ‘Bama stumbled to a 7-3 deficit.
But his final two quarters were nearly perfect, and Coker finished 24-of-33 for 262 yards, two touchdowns and two picks on the night. His most memorable play came on a deep 81-yard strike to Calvin Ridley to give the Tide their second lead of the night.
“I had to pick the team up somehow,” he said. “I guess I tried to find a way to do it.”
Here’s what else he had to say during his postgame presser:
On the 81-yard touchdown: It was big. It changed everybody. Momentum kind of came our way. We’ve just got to help the defense out more than we’ve been doing.
It was something we’d been working on all week, and Calvin did his job. Ran the right route, and got the job done.
On failed red zone opportunities: We just didn’t execute. Had good plays called. But we just couldn’t follow throw. And I was throwing bad balls, so it was really my fault.
On the turnovers: I don’t even remember one of the interceptions. I didn’t even see it. Whoa, man. It wasn’t a good reaction, though.
On Ridley: I’ve always thought he was really talented since the day he got here. Now that he’s getting more and more comfortable, it’s getting exciting to see what he can do.
On his sideline outbursts: I don’t think I’ve ever changed. I’ve just kept the same mentality the whole time. I get angry at times, but a lot of times, it makes me play better, I feel like. There’s no way I manage it. I just go out there and do what I do.
On finding a comfort level: It’s nice to play by all these guys. I’ve just got to do a better job of getting the ball out quick and making sure I do my job. ‘Cause that first half… most of it was one me. So I’ve just got to pick it up.
On Arkansas’ failed fake punt: That was another one of those turning points we were really excited about, and it helped us move forward.
On his second-half groove: We just had a bunch of plays that I felt comfortable with, and coach Kiffin did a great job calling the plays and everybody did a good job of being where they were supposed to be.
Quotes via video (AL.com)