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With help from Ingram, McElroy can lead the Tide. ::AP

It wasn't quite as dramatic as Tim Tebow's promise speech after Florida's 2008 loss, but if you like your national championship contending quarterbacks indignant, you have to like Alabama's chances after hearing Greg McElroy on Saturday night.

It took only a few weeks for the junior from Texas to morph from conquering hero to a bigger punching bag than predecessor John Parker Wilson, and McElroy couldn't shield himself from the barbs, many of which came from his team's own fans. So Saturday, after McElroy threw two touchdown passes in Alabama's 24-15 win against LSU, McElroy got a few things off his chest. He must have wanted to, because his speech began with a reporter's question about receiver Julio Jones.

"He's had a lot of pressure on him, too," McElroy said. "I've had to deal with a lot of animosity, a lot of hatred from a lot of different people, some of it undeserved I feel like, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. He's dealt with the same thing. The fact that he was able to make a play [a 73-yard touchdown catch] really made me excited for him and the team."

Then someone asked McElroy if he believes he has turned the corner.

"I'd like to think so. Every game is its own entity," McElroy said. "You can never say you won't face adversity again, because you will. This is the SEC and you play great teams week in and week out. Is it frustrating to me that people did lose faith in me? Yeah. It really ticks me off.

"But I never lost faith in myself, I never lost faith in my teammates, and I never lost faith in what we were able to do offensively. It really made me feel good to go out and silence everybody tonight and obviously get a big victory."

McElroy isn't a Heisman contender, and he isn't perfect. Fortunately for Alabama, the Mike Johnson-led offensive line and tailback Mark Ingram can keep the football moving even if McElroy isn't at his best.

Will McElroy outduel Tebow in the SEC championship game? Who knows? But McElroy's words - combined with his demonstrated fearlessness on the field - suggest he has the stuff in him to stare down Florida's ferocious defense in the fourth quarter. So keep the faith in McElroy, Bama fans. He has the stones to lead the Tide to a national title.

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