SABAN: Bama Lost Focus

In one sentence, Nick Saban summed up the game against LSU better than any writer, TV commentator, or radio talker in the business will do all week.

"We had ‘em third and 14 where we could get the ball back and the end of the game, after all that, and let them hit a big play pass," he said. "When you do things like that I guess you really don't deserve it."

LSU did deserve its 24-21 win over Alabama in Baton Rouge Saturday afternoon. The Tigers out-blocked and out-tackled Alabama, and converted a third-and-long from its own 20 when a stop would have given Alabama a chance to tie or win it at the end. Alabama busted a coverage on the play, Saban said.

"We knew that we would have to play a complete game and play our best game of the year," Saban said, "and I don't think we did that, especially in the second half."

In his post-game press conference, Saban also reverted to the message he preached when he first arrived at Alabama: focusing on the process rather than focusing on results.

"I think that this whole year everyone around us has been very concerned about the results that the team gets in comparison to a year ago," he said, "and I think that has not been the best thing for the development of this team."

"You don't do the emotional things that fans do, and enjoy doing, as a competitor," he said. "You have to focus on doing your job."

"As the coach, I've always talked about playing to a standard," Saban said. "I've always talked about being the best you can be, and we're still going to work hard to try to get the team to be just that."

With national and conference championship aspirations apparently dashed, Saban talked about what the approach would be going forward.

"It's not about what you can accomplish and what you can't accomplish," he said, "it's about being able to answer the question: Did I play as well as I could play? Am I as good a player as I can be? Am I the best competitor I can be? Did I execute and do my job with discipline that it takes to play winning football? Those are the things we need to improve on because that's what leads to the errors that allows teams to get big plays and make plays in critical situations."

Saban said that Trent Richardson had a "sore knee" on the touchdown run that got worse as the game went on. There was no mention of any other injuries.

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