Saban: Reaching SEC Championship is a ‘significant accomplishment.’

By Hunter Ford

Winning the SEC West and advancing to the SEC Championship Game is something to be proud of, Alabama football coach Nick Saban said at his Monday press conference.

Alabama will face Eastern Division champion Missouri this Saturday in Atlanta.

“Right now, this is a new season,” Saban said.  “We look forward to the challenges of the future.  The SEC Championship is a great opportunity for our players.  It’s one of the most exciting venues, one of the most exciting games I’ve been involved in.  It is a special opportunity.  Our conference is very difficult, so this is a significant accomplishment to be in this game.”

Saban noted that Missouri is making its second straight trip to the SEC Championship and will have experience playing in the game.  He praised Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel for the job he has done at Missouri.  Pinkel and the Tigers have won the SEC East twice since Missouri joined the SEC in 2012.

The Tigers feature sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk, who started 11 games for the Tigers in 2013, including the SEC Championship game.  Saban said Missouri has talented receivers and backs, and on defense, has been “very opportunistic.”

Saban said Missouri has a plus nine turnover ratio and has a defensive line that has “created a lot of havoc up front.”

He said Missouri is one of the best teams in the country.

“I wouldn’t expect to play any team in the SEC Championship that wasn’t one of the best teams in the country,” Saban said.

ONSIDE KICK IN IRON BOWL

Saban said the opening kick-off of the Iron Bowl was indeed an attempt at an onside kick.

“It was supposed to be a bloop kick (over the front line of the defense).  It didn’t ‘bloop’ very good.  It didn’t turn out well, but that’s what it was supposed to be,” he said.

UP TEMPO OFFENSE FOR TIDE

Saban said running a fast-paced, up-tempo offense is not something Alabama will do all the time, but he said it will continue to employ the strategy in the post-season.  Saban said the strategy has helped quarterback Blake Sims manage the game.  “We function better as a group when we play with tempo and pace,” he said.

EXECUTION AND TECHNIQUE CRUCIAL FOR DEFENSE

Saban said Alabama defenders were burned on deep passes against Auburn.  He said that will be an area the Tide will strive to improve in.  He said the long plays were the result of “technical” errors from the defensive backs.  He also said the defensive line was often out of position on several run plays.

Saban said he was pleased with the Alabama defensive effort in the red zone against Auburn, but allowing big pass plays must be eliminated.

“If you play well in the red zone and don’t give up big pass plays, you get hard to score on even if people are moving the ball on you,” he said.  “It comes down to execution.”

WALK- ONS UNSUNG HEROES

Saban was asked how important walk-ons are to a major college football team.  An Ohio State football walk-on was recently found dead in Ohio, of an apparent suicide.

He said walk-on players, or players who participate without a scholarship, are often “unsung heroes” of a football team.  He said some develop into starters, but many more play vital roles as scout team players helping starters prepare for games.

“They don’t get their picture in the paper,” he said.  “But they are very important.”

FATE OF UAB FOOTBALL

Saban was asked if he had any thoughts on speculation that UAB football may be dropped.

“I don’t have any thoughts.  That’s not what I’m focused on,” he replied.  “My thoughts are with the players and the people in our profession who may lose their jobs.”

Saban said he feels for players who might have to transfer schools to continue playing football and for coaches who could be out of work.

“But I understand the other side of it,” Saban said.  “There is a business side that has to make sense.  I don’t have any opinion on what should or shouldn’t be done.”

Saban said those decisions were “above my pay grade.”

 

 

22 Comments

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  1. 1
    emily bearden

    Allow me to respond to yall’s lovely open letter to all Auburn fans. First, I must say that the major difference between Alabama and Auburn fans is class. As is completely obvious by this open letter. Yall have some dickhead on the staff that thought the letter was cute, or funny, or whatever. But class is not something that can be bought or taught. You must be born with it. My sainted southern mother always said that class is knowing how to respond to adversity. That you may want to cuss and fuss, but class dictates that you will respond in such a manner as to make the other person feel better than they did before you opened your mouth. And let me say that I have 4 brothers, 3 of which went to Bama. My father went to Auburn, and played with the Auburn nights; so I bleed orange and blue. Always will. And I know that there are plenty of Bama fans that may actually feel the same way the writer does, but have the good sense not to say it out loud. It’s just low class and tacky. And what was that you said about our athletes not being able to pass their classes. Can yours? I seriously doubt it. And if you really want to be truthful, I know yall were absolutely scared shitless Saturday, before we shot ourselves in the foot. In closing, I would like to say what I’ve said to all of my Bama friends after the game…….Good game. Well fought. Neither teams has anything to back up from. Until yall’s moron opened his mouth. But I understand. Yall have called us “Cow College”, “Low Rent”, etc. And I understand that, too. You kept saying that Yeh, you get it that we love Auburn. But you don’t. And THAT’S what bothering you! I would try to explain, but you can’t fix stupid.

  2. 6
    Hunter Ford

    Emily,

    Bless you heart! It is just a game until someone gets hurt… or butt hurt. Take it in stride. Parody and sarcasm are protected under free speech right? Get over it and give peace a chance. Auburn milked the got a sec? What is this Iron Bowl even called? OMG the Gus Show is on right now and they are replaying the Kick Six AGAIN I’m serious right now! This very umm second.

    When I was a kid I used to see Punt Bama Punt bumper stickers on Gremlins and Pintos and 1957 Chevy Pick ups.

    This was about 1980. I would ask my dad what that meant. He would say… Auburn fans… holding on to all they got to hold on to.

  3. 7
    Hunter Ford

    Since we are off- topic

    Does anybdy have a3-5 grade kid that thinks 5 nites at Freddy some kind of real thing?

    You can only do so much monitor what kids hear

    And Google some School House Rock

    RTR

    Give Peace a Chance

    Keep Rockin in the Free World

    • 9
      emily bearden

      Dear Hunter………bless your heart. I KNOW what Punt Bama Punt means, because I was there. I didn’t drive a pinto or any of those other cars, because I was driving a first year ‘vett racing at Road Atlanta. And as for milking the got a sec…….well, hell, boy, your beloved and exalted leader is the idiot that insisted on that second. Not us. And you might as well learn to live with it, because it was the single best play of all time in college football history. And it’s not just Auburn fans who are saying that. Parody and sarcasm are one thing. Spewing venom is another. Whoever wrote that article has less class than a snake. As for low-rent, might I comment that we had 2 planes and a yacht. Well, actually it was one foot short of a yacht. I might also mention that Dixie Carter was my 2nd cousin. And she had class in spades. Like I said you can’t buy it or learn it. You must be born with it, and he obviously wasn’t. If you really want to give peace a chance, then you need to let these idiots know that, because that’s certainly not their agenda.. And you, Hunter, sound like a lovely gentleman with class and a brain whose mother taught you that trying to hurt others is just not nice. And between us, I hope we BOTH keep rockin’ the free world!

      • 10
        Hunter Ford

        RU related to the late great Lewis Grizzard?

        Do you know Rick Bragg simultaneously writes a book about The “Killer” and a column in a women’s magazine with recipes for green bean casserole?

        What do you know, and when did you know it?

        More White space please and my old eyes can read more of the great literature on here.

        Love ya Emily
        Block HEad

      • 12
        Pete4tide

        @Emily, dear. If you’ve got it, you really don’t have to report it. If you’ve never had it, all the relations and possessions in the world won’t give it to you.

        Sorry, darling, but first you posted a response on the wrong article, then you got all uppity with your “2nd cousin” and such. That’s not the way it works. It’s a football GAME, which means we can mouth off and smack talk and cuss your goofy customs and traditions all we want. Because it’s a GAME. We won it, so we get to do all that stuff and more.

        Last year, you Boogs won, and you did the exact same stuff. Quit trying to deny that the boog fans did all these things and more. You look like a fool or a cult member, not a reasonable adult.

        And I also remember “Punt, Bama, Punt”‘ and “Honk if you sacked Brody”. I also remember “Wrong Way Bo”, and any number of Iron Bowl wins in my lifetime. I love it when Alabama beats Auburn, but it doesn’t define my life, and it certainly doesn’t change my day-to-day when Bama loses.

        Learn to laugh, Emily. It makes the world more colorful than getting all upset over a blog.

        • 14
          emily bearden

          Bless yall’s hearts, I DO laugh. I’ve been fighting breast cancer for years. They gave me 18 months 11 years ago. Still laughing, because my Oncologist was a Bama graduate.

          • 15
            emily bearden

            Sorry, I was interrupted…….Anyway, I demanded another PET scan to make sure that I even HAVE cancer , since my doc was a Bama grad. If yall knew me, you’d knows I laugh ALOT. After 5 rounds of chemo and 6 months of radiation, I have developed full-blown fybromyalgia and seizures. I had a crippling stoke 5 years ago, because of the chemo. But I’ve got a little place in the country that God hand picked for me. I woke up this morning, so it is an awesome day!! I hold no ill will against ANY man, because we are all, after all, God’s children. And it is, after all, ONLY a football game. I was Assistant to the Controller at Birmingham Southern, and I bartended off and on for 35 years. I was in ballet for 23 years and danced under Stephen Grebel at U.A.B. until I had my 2nd heart attack and it wound that up. My advice to yall would be……….stay in school and get your education. But get it in something that you TRULY love, so you won’t hate going to work every day. Try to be a nice person, because you don’t know what anyone else is going thru. And, after all, God IS keeping score. But don’t be so uptight that you forget how to have a good time. Laugh long and hard and often. And keep checking with that guy in the mirror. He won’t steer you wrong. But most of all……..Be a Leader, not a follower. Don’t blindly follow an asshole, just because he writes for yall’s paper. Anybody with a brain can tell that he was just a jerk. Taking jabs at the next guy after the game is fun, but he took it too far. And whether you will admit it or not, you know that to be true. So follow someone who is an inspiration to you. Not this idiot. Hunter, I have a nephew named Hunter who I love dearly. Love you, too. And Pete. I’m one of the original hippies, so you’d better KNOW know how to rock it in the free world!!!!!!!!! Rock on, my brothers on this rock! Rock On!

        • 16
          emily bearden

          Pete, I had to tell you, because you will never have the pleasure of meeting me. And unless you are some great wizzard, you would never know. And I would be honored to be related to Lewis. Have all his books.
          Rock On!!!!!!!!

          • 17
            Hunter Ford

            Peace and Love Emily

            I took time to read you post and am moved.

            Thank you for your kind words for me, I appreciate your friendship. Come back… ya hear?

            Hang in there!

            Hit a break every now and then.

            I’m not foolin… I can’t read these long posts with no breaks… old eyes in fact wait for it and I will send you a song

  4. 22
    Hunter Ford

    That would be interesting. I think Fla pulled the plug MusCramp too early he wen from4-8 to 6-5 beat Jawja n would have been 7-5 if Idaho game was not cancelled.

    From 4-8 to 7-5 ain over Bulldawgs and put a scare into Seminoles

    Anyway Jim Mac is an interesting scenario

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