Saban Recaps a Great October
Add one more: Crimson Tide Awareness Month
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban is its number one promoter.
"We want to have physical toughness, mental toughness, compete and play for 60 minutes in game," Saban said in his post-game press conference after the Tide's 45-10 win over Tennessee at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. "I think this group has done that especially well in about the last month."
"I hope everyone is really happy," Saban said to begin the press conference. "I'm really happy."
And why not? Saturday's 35-point victory was actually its narrowest margin of victory this month. You might need a calculator total Bama's side of the points ledger for October, while you can count opponents' points on your fingers and toes. Alabama outscored opponents 190-20 this month.
"We have played well in all areas," Saban said. "This is a tough, physical, competitive league, and I've been really pleased with the way our guys have come out and played the last four games."
The most improvement over that time has probably been with the offensive line, Saban said.
"I think that's important to us, especially with AJ," he said. "When he's got time in the pocket he can step up and throw, and make some pretty good decisions for us."
Saban noted the nearly flawless first half against Tennessee, marred only by a fumble near the goal-line as Kenyan Drake tried to rush for Alabama's fifth touchdown in five first half possessions. By the time Alabama gained its 15th first down of the game, Tennessee had run just 15 total plays.
Updating injuries, Saban said that Jalston Fowler left the game with injuries, and that Brandon Ivory did not play "due to medical reasons." He said that Cade Foster got "kicked in the shin" and was held out for precautionary reasons.
Saban said his focus in the by week will be on allowing players who have minor injuries to heal, and to get more work in practice for their back-ups. He said he will not spend two weeks preparing for LSU, but rather will divide time during the bye week on other opponents.
"We have two good other SEC opponents we will have to play at the end of the year and we'll spend some time trying to understand things that can help with what they do," he said.
You can bet things are going well for your team when the biggest controversy of the week is over fans leaving early from blowout games -- games your team is winning. Saban was asked about that issue again Saturday.
"I want to be clear on this," he said. "I want people to support our team. We have always had great fans, always supportive. We appreciate it."
"We feel like our image gets hurt when fans leave early," he said. "We have a right to fight for the image of our program, but everyone has the right to do what they want to do."
Saban said he didn't have a hand in some student groups losing their block seating for the game. He also said it is the students who he especially wanted to see staying in their seats until the end.
Saban was asked a clever question about a sign held up in the stands which read: "We'll stay for 60 minutes if you stay forever." A reporter asked him if he'd make that deal.
?"Sounds like a good deal to me," he said. "I love it here. I'm too damn old to go somewhere else and start over i'll tell you that."
He then added, "I don't really make those decisions. Mrs Terry likes it here. We have lots of challenges here and I'm not in stage in my career where I'm looking at some other sort of big challenges.
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