It’s no secret that this weekend isn’t just any regular game. It’s Ole Miss—Alabama’s only regular season loss last season, 23-17.
Coach Nick Saban said the team had a good week of preparation. He’s happy with the way players approached this week since they talked about how everybody needs to focus on what they need to do in order to execute playing better and improving in the long run.
“Poor fundamental technique leads to poor outcomes,” Saban said.
Saban said Ole Miss is a very good team and it’s going to be a challenging game for Alabama because coach Hugh Freeze has good, physical players to go along with his schemes that the Rebels run.
“I think the object is to not allow Ole Miss to get all the big plays that they’ve been having,” Saban said. “That’s the key to the game for the defense.”
Since Alabama’s vertical passing game hasn’t been there during the few chances the quarterbacks had in the past two games, Saban said the offense shouldn’t assume it has to make those types of big plays in order to win this game. Explosive plays will end up determining the outcome of the game.
“They can come in a lot of different ways,” he said. “They can be big play runs. They can be short passes that turn into long runs. There’s a lot of different ways that you can make explosive plays. It doesn’t have to be in the vertical passing game.”
Alabama needs to make sure it has more plays like that on Saturday and also prevent Ole Miss from doing so.
In order to do so, Alabama will have to be stronger than the Ole Miss defensive line, which Saban said does a good job of penetrating, getting off blocks and being disruptive with its movements.
“Their linebackers are fast and athletic,” he said. “They jump over quick when these guys declare the gaps upfront. It’s a real challenge to finish blocks, I mean it really is, and it’s going to be a challenge for our guys.”
Last year’s game against Ole Miss is in the rearview mirror and Saturday will be a new game. It’s redemption time, but it’s not going to be easy.
“This is the type of game that if you’re a competitor, you love to play in it,” Saban said.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports