Alabama is not dead and buried, and the team certainly doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
That’s the closing message Alabama coach Nick Saban gave the members of the media that were present at his press conference on Monday.
Saban said he liked the response he saw out of his team on Saturday when Alabama beat Georgia 38-10. It was the type of victory the program almost had to have after starting off 0-1 in SEC play.
“[I’m] certainly proud of sort of the statement that they made in the game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “[That] effort and the toughness is what we need to have success in our league.”
On Saturday, Alabama was competing against more than just a talented Georgia team. The Crimson Tide also fought through the rain and the perception that Alabama’s time as one of the top college football teams had come to an end.
Victory in Athens wouldn’t have been possible without great focus. Concerned about his team’s mindset in the pre-game warmups Saban told his team to channel its energy into execution instead of talking trash.
“I can’t talk trash and focus on what I’m supposed to do,” Saban said. “I think that misplaced emotion is something that we had earlier in the year and we didn’t execute [because of it].”
One great game doesn’t make a season though, and Alabama still needs to win out and get a little help to get back to Atlanta.
“We are what we are as an identity only if it happens on a continuum,” Saban said. “Consistency is a human behavior that we all struggle with every day. Things don’t go right, everybody gets all fired up about trying to get it right. Things go really well, and everybody wants to relax.”
Saban said there are examples all over the country of teams who get big wins only to be met with disappointment two weeks later. He didn’t mention Ole Miss by name, but the Rebels lost on Saturday to then No.25 Florida 38-10 only two weeks after beating Alabama inside the confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium.
So don’t count on Saban or Alabama to enjoy the last win too much, and even though the Razorbacks don’t appear as dangerous as preseason rankings suggested Alabama almost lost to Arkansas on the road last year.
“Their defense is one of the tops against the run in the SEC and overall they have played better and better each week,” he said. Everybody knows what a physical game it was last year and they have 16 starters back.”
Arkansas running back Alex Collins is one of three running backs in the SEC that has more rushing yards than Alabama’s Derrick Henry. The Razorbacks’ starting offensive line also happens to be the heaviest in the Power 5 or the NFL.
Saturday will also be the first time this season that Alabama has had to face a returning quarterback in conference play. Brandon Allen will make his 27 consecutive start this weekend, and he is currently ranked third in the SEC’s total offense category with 1,462 yards.
“Bret [Bielema] has done a really, really good job there of creating a lot of toughness and [a] physical team that you really have to have your jaws set to play well against the type things they do,” he said. “This is going to be a really challenging game. We’re obviously looking forward to getting back home and playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports