Halftime Adjustments Critical in Tide Win
In describing his team’s performance against Vanderbilt on Saturday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban referred back to high school English class.
“I think that the Vanderbilt game was a tale of two teams,” Saban said. “We didn’t play very well in the first half, and I think this is probably a pretty good example of how average you can be when you don’t do things the way you need to do them.”
However, Saban said the team responded in the second half, and Alabama came away with a 34-0 victory.
“I probably got after them about as good as I’ve done all season [at halftime], and they responded,” Saban said “Whatever we did worked, because the players responded. But it’s more about them than what I did. I believed that they would respond and they did.”
Senior nose tackle Josh Chapman thought the change in performance was a matter of mindset.
“Everybody got their mind right,” he said. “That’s how we should’ve came out in the first half.”
Mosley, Lacy to Practice This Week
Linebacker C.J. Mosley, who missed the last two weeks with an elbow injury sustained against Arkansas, will practice today in hopes of getting back on the field next weekend.
Junior linebacker Nico Johnson said he’s eager for Mosley’s return so the defense can get back to normal.
“He has a lot of spots that he’s responsible for, a lot of roles in the defense,” Johnson said. “It’ll pretty much get back to normal.”
Saban also said running back Eddie Lacy will try to return to practice tomorrow. He sustained a foot injury and did not dress for the Vanderbilt game.
Redshirt freshman right tackle Arie Kouanjio could be done for the season as he is battling a knee injury.
“I think Arie may be out indefinitely and may even be a guy that needs to have surgery,” Saban said. “He could possibly be out for the year.”
Limiting Turnovers a Point of Emphasis
Alabama’s offense has placed a major importance on ball security. This season, Alabama has yet to commit a turnover in SEC play, and haven’t turned the ball over in 38 consecutive offensive possessions.
“I think making good choices and decisions are very critical. We really emphasize it and the players have responded and we haven’t turned the ball over,” Saban said. “Turnover ratio is the most critical factor, statistical factor, in winning and losing.”
New Celebration Rule Enforced
On Saturday, LSU punter Brad Wing became the first major victim of the NCAA’s new celebration rule that allows officials to take points off the board if a player celebrates or taunts the opposing team before entering the end zone.
Saban said he agrees with the rule and that the responsibility is on the players. Saban said if an Alabama player ever had a score taken away from him he would not be disappointed, but that he realizes it is the responsibility of the athlete not to get flagged.
“I would not be happy at all if it happened to us,” Saban said. “But I would be more disappointed in the player than in the call.”
Maze thinks Saban would be a little more than disappointed.
“If it ever happened here, you probably would get an earful and you would probably get a lot of ‘bleeps,’” Maze said.