The Alabama bulletin board received its first official entry Monday, courtesy of the ever-talkative Rohan Marley, a Miami redshirt freshman linebacker whose father was the late Reggae singer, Bob Marley.
In the grand tradition of Miami bowl-week boasting, Marley declared the run-oriented Crimson Tide "one-dimensional" and took exception to Alabama's claim (and the NCAA rankings that support it) as the nation's best defense.
"We're going to show them defense," he said. "We're going to show them what D is."
Later, he added: "They're going to have no passing game. It's a one- dimensional team. We're going to stop the one dimension. Yeah, it's going to be a good night."
Reminded that Miami's offense has struggled at times this season, Marley said, "We're not one-dimensional. We throw a lot."
Marley wasn't through. He said Penn State, not the undefeated Crimson Tide, was the best team he has seen this season. And then, with a scowl on his face, Marley predicted an easy Sugar Bowl victory at the Superdome in New Orleans.
"We're going to go there Friday night . . . we're going to kick (butt)," he said.
Wasn't Marley afraid that his comments would be used as motivation by Alabama's players?
"They'll see it and they'll love it," he said. "They better love it."
They did. Said Crimson Tide running back Derrick Lassic, who smiled when told of Marley's remarks, "Miami . . . talk? I didn't know they did that. It will motivate us a little more. He's a freshman. Anyway, the more you say, the more you have to take back."
Then Lassic issued his own warning, of sorts.
"I can see he's not very well taught in manners," he said. "Kids make statements like that. You know, come Jan. 1, I'm really going to be (a straight-ahead) runner. He's really cocky and I've got something for him. You know us, we're not going to back down."