As good as the offense was, the defense was even better. All-America Shane Conlan, perhaps the best linebacker ever to play at Linebacker U, held the Tide's leading receiver, flanker Al Bell, to one catch for four yards. Said Conlan, who runs a 4.6 40, "It doesn't matter what people think of us. We know how good we are." Conlan and Co. also sacked 'Bama quarterback Mike Shula five times, intercepted him twice and allowed him just 14 completions in 30 attempts. What's more, the D forced five fumbles, three of which it recovered, and shut down the vaunted 'Bama sweep.
Said a succinct Shula afterward, "It was a tough day for us." Said the Tide's equally succinct coach, Ray Perkins, "They just lined up and played. The best team won today."