Saban says Alabama made big step forward against Ole Miss

Saban praises players for effort against Ole Miss

By Hunter Ford

Nick Saban called Alabama’s 25-0 win over Ole Miss “a big step forward,” and praised several players in all phases of the game for their efforts.

The Alabama Crimson Tide coach said he was pleased with the way his team “competed,” and tapped 10 players with player-of-the-week honors. Still, Saban repeated one of his favorite mantras—“Are we going to be able to build on this as a team?”

Saban said practicing well was the key to better game performance. He said players have to “pay better attention to detail…do it this way…this is the way it has got to be done.”

Center Ryan Kelley was injured during the Ole Miss game, and according to Saban, is the only player expected to miss the upcoming Georgia State game. Saban said offensive lineman Chad Lindsey played well in Kelley’s place and praised Kelley for his game preparation. Lindsey will be the starter this Saturday. Offensive lineman Kellen Williams will take on the back-up center duties.

“Back-ups have to prepare for the game not knowing if they are going to play,” Saban said. “It speaks well for Chad that he prepared well, and was ready to play when he got the opportunity. It takes a certain amount of maturity to do that.” Saban said every back-up player is “one-injury away” from having to take center stage in a game.

Saban said the kickoff coverage unit has improved greatly from last season. Part of the reason for the improvement is the speed on that unit, another is a different approach for kicker Cade Foster. Saban said Foster kicks better toward the left side of the field, and the Tide special teams have employed that strategy. “Not that we won’t kick it to the right,” Saban added.

Saban also had high praise for punter Cody Mandell, a four-year starter. Mandell, Saban said, has worked hard to improve his punting each year. Last year, the Tide punter added the “Aussie” kick to his repertoire. Saban said Mandell was previously unable to kick the Rugby style, end over end punt. Saban said Mandell’s ball placement and hang time have improved each year.

Senior linebacker C.J. Mosely also received high marks from Saban. “He’s a fantastic player,” the coach said, also calling Mosley a “fantastic person.” Saban said Mosely’s “effort,” “intensity,” and “preparation for the game,” were a good example for the rest of the team.

Alabama football player C.J. Mosley was praised by Saban for his effort against Ole Miss.

Alabama football player C.J. Mosley was praised by Saban for his effort against Ole Miss.

Saban said Mosley has “true grit,” and “doesn’t know how to take a play off.”

Alabama Football Players of the Week:

Linebacker C.J. Mosley, receiver Kevin Norwood, running back T.J. Yeldon, offensive guard Anthony Steen, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, safety Landon Collins, linebacker Dillon Lee, kicker Cade Foster, punter Cody Mandell and receiver DeAndrew White were tabbed as Alabama players-of-the-week.

Alabama Has Day Off From Practice:

Saban gave the Alabama football team Monday off from routine practice. The team went through walk-throughs and “mental” preparation, Saban said. At this stage in the season, Saban said “two days off are as good as ten,” to allow his team to recuperate.

Winless Georgia State Still Deserves Respect from Alabama:

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said every opponent deserves respect. He pointed to Akron’s recent scare of Michigan.

“Nothing is to be taken for granted,” he said.

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5 Responses to “Saban says Alabama made big step forward against Ole Miss” Subscribe

  1. The Conduit September 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    I’d agree that every game has shown improvements so far, some smaller than others. The Ole Miss game, especially in the second half, looked more like what I think everyone seems to be expecting from this year’s Alabama team.

    I’m not willing to blame Kelly or champion Lindsey for the entirety of the O-line’s success, but just in case anyone forgot about Alabama’s depth, Lindsey is a backup at center.

    Having a smart 330 pound backup at center makes me feel rich, indeed.

    But halftime is always where the coaching differences shine the greatest. I don’t think it’s a coincidence Alabama often performs best against its toughest opponents in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

    One last thing, and I wish Saban would have said something about it just because it’s such a tough thing to do, but zero is my favorite number. Zero. Ole Miss took risks on 4th down, but Alabama came out with a zero.

    Zero.

    Don’t ever underestimate what it takes to get a zero (tOSU vs Hello Kitty Technical College notwithstanding).

    • Crimsonite September 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      Speaking of OSU. Giving up 24, being beaten in the statistics, and in a lot of danger giving up the ball to Whiskey with 1:42 remaining in a 7 point win; all against the #23 team with a new head coach. While Bama slaughtered and goose egged the #21 team is even more impressive. I think a lot of people, all over the country had big hopes for UM this weekend doing some damage to Bama and getting us out of everybody’s hair; and those hopes just got trashed. I think that’s why we’re not hearing a lot about what we did in that game – other than dumbass loser excuses about stealing plays. Bwaa Haww Haww! I think OSU goes down at least once. They still have to play Northwestern, Michigan and Iowa and I’ll guess Nebraska in the Championship game if they get there. RTR!

  2. almightytmc1 October 1, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    hmmm…hot up and coming coach, great recruiting class. hunh dippsey do trickeroo offense….yada…yada…yada…
    I am looking forward to the sandlot game between the rebel akbar black bears and the plainsman tiger war eagles,

  3. Rebken October 1, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    Should have been 16-9 going into 4th quarter. Coach simply had a brain freeze. Alabama is fun to watch though even when it’s your team they are dismantling. Good luck rest of the year. Auburn is another story. I’m glad they hurt msu’s feelings but they must be beaten. Auburn is not close to Alabama on every level

  4. Crimsonite October 1, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    You can’t say what it should have been. If you had kicked those field goals Alabama probably would have played a lot harder to get the score back to a safe level. By your reasoning, what if Bama had gone for it on the 4th downs instead of kicking field goals? It might have been 28-9. RTR!

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