With four days until the College Football Playoff National Championship, No. 1 Alabama finds itself in an unlikely scenario. The Crimson Tide has a new offensive coordinator, and whether it will affect the team remains a mystery.
Head coach Nick Saban does not think much will change when going from Lane Kiffin to Steve Sarkisian.
“The guy [Sarkisian] has been with us the whole year, the whole football season,” Saban said. “He knows the offense, he knows the players. He’s worked on the gameplans every week. He knows the system inside-and-out.”
A lot of the mystery lies in how Alabama’s play calling will be different against No. 2 Clemson. Kiffin brought a new style to Alabama’s offense, and the team flourished under his leadership. Alabama adopted the spread when Kiffin arrived, and the team’s personnel fits this system, Saban said.
“I, philosophically, do not want to change a lot of the things that we are doing, because I think it features our players well,” Saban said. “I just think that we have other guys that we need to get involved in what happens in the game.”
Alabama practiced today with Sarkisian calling the shots for the offense. The Crimson Tide have many players that will have to get used to Sarkisian being in charge this week and during the game.
Alabama is also coming off of a game where its offense struggled. Outside of running back Bo Scarbrough’s 180-yard game, the team struggled to find a rhythm. Saban believes the team is ready to correct those mistakes.
“I think a lot of people were frustrated with the way things went,” he said. “They are working hard this week to get all of those things corrected.”
The game features a rematch between Clemson and Alabama. Both teams find themselves in familiar situations as they have to plan for many of the same players on either side of the ball.
For Alabama, it has the tough task of defending against an offense that features multiple weapons. Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in last year’s game, has a duo of wide receivers- Mike Williams and Artavis Scott- who are as deadly as anyone in the country.
“This is a team [Clemson] that does not have a lot of weaknesses,” Saban said. “I think you have to be fundamental in your execution and not make mental errors that are going to give them opportunities, because they will take advantage of them.”
Alabama and Clemson will play in Tampa Bay, Fl. on Jan. 9 for the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports