|October 02, 2013||Alabama coach Nick Saban on the SEC teleconference|
|October 02, 2013||Alabama news in Wednesday's Anniston Star|
|October 01, 2013||Alabama practice report: Tide returns to practice after light Monday|
|September 30, 2013||Tickets available for Alabama home games|
|September 30, 2013||Alabama coach Nick Saban on Tyler Siskey's role against Ole Miss: 'He wasn't in any different pos...|
|September 30, 2013||Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley named SEC defensive player of the week|
|September 29, 2013||A look back: Alabama's 25-0 victory over Ole Miss|
|September 29, 2013||Alabama remains No. 1 in AP poll, USA Today coaches poll|
|September 28, 2013||Nick Saban's news conference following 25-0 victory over Ole Miss|
|September 28, 2013||Pregame notes: No. 21 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama|
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama coach Nick Saban fulfilled his weekly duty on the Southeastern Conference coaches’ teleconference on Wednesday morning.
Among other things, Saban fielded questions on quarterback play in the SEC, how to build a program and his relationship with ESPN radio personality Paul Finebaum.
NS: It was a great win for our team against Ole Miss, who we had a lot of respect for. I think they have a really good team. I think we really took a step forward as a team in terms of the way we competed in the game. It wasn’t always pretty, we didn’t always execute exactly like we needed to. But I think those are all things that we can improve on and need to improve on.
I think the focus for our team is really we need to get better. We respect our opponent this week, but the focus has to be on everybody getting better, on fundamental improvement, ability to do things a certain way and take them to the game that way based on how you practiced on. That’s what we’ve got to continue to improve on.
On if he detects defensive backs are playing hesitant because of the targeting rule:
NS: We’ve had two this year so far. One, the guy was kind of playing the ball and it was kind of a bang-bang play. I think it was officiated correctly but the guy was aggressive on the play. I think last week, the guy actually had a chance to pull off and should have and didn't. I didn't see that as a lack of being aggressive. I think there is an awareness in the room, when we're watching film or whatever with the players that if they see someone do that, they're all going, 'Oooh, that's targeting.'
I think that everybody's created and are playing with an awareness of what's a foul and what the consequences of a foul are. I don't see them being less aggressive, I just see them being more aware of, 'Hey, I've got to see what I hit. I can't hit guys in the head. I can't launch at unprotected players, and I think that's probably a good thing.'
On why there has been so many high scoring games in the SEC:
NS: I think there's some really good quarterbacks in our league this year, and I think that there's some really good offensive teams. I think these things sometimes go in cycles, but when you look at the stats of people in the league, everybody in the league's at almost got 400 yards a game or 500 yards a game of offense. I think the fact that a lot more people are going no-huddle and playing fast, probably playing more plays, probably enhances opportunities to gain yards, make big plays, score more points.
I'm not saying that in a negative way. I'm saying that in a positive way. The combination, I think, of really good offensive teams, really good quarterbacks, and guys actually getting more plays in a game probably have something to do with it.
On if he’s ever seen this many good quarterbacks in the SEC:
NS: We’ve certainly had our share of good quarterbacks in this league, there's no question about that. But to have five or six like we do now, maybe even more than that, I don't remember having more than that.
On Georgia State and how hard it is to establish or change a culture in a program:
NS: I think the first thing is you've got to develop the basic fundamentals of your program, whether it's everybody buying into the principles and values of the organization, however you define them, relative to the expectations that you have for personal, athletic and academic development of players. I think that's really important. You have to define the goals that you have in the program, and everybody's got to be very positive toward doing what they can do to accomplish those goals.
They need to be realistic, but far-sighted enough that there's enough foresight to see development in a positive way.
I think a lot of people have to be responsible for making it happen in terms of what they do, how they impact, how they lead, how they affect other people. I think it takes a lot of hard work.
I know that there's been a lot of progress made in this program since the last time we played them in terms of the quality of players they have, how well they're executing. I know it's not sort of equated itself in wins yet this year, but they do some really good things as a team.
On Alabama’s strength and conditioning program:
NS: We’re kind of old-fashioned in that regard. We still have a pretty vigorous offseason program in what we call the Fourth Quarter program, the conditioning program that we use. The work ethic that we try to establish. The discipline that we try to establish.
I think we have a great strength and conditioning program. Scott Cochran does a fantastic job in the weight room itself in terms of establishing a work ethic where players really have a chance to physically develop and improve themselves.
I think we've had a lot of players here who have made a lot of progress physically in their career here. I think those examples sort of enhance other players to say, 'Hey if I really work hard here, I really have a chance to develop physically and that can change the way I play.' All those things, I think, have been critical in helping us be successful.
On how playing in Atlanta, and against Georgia State helps recruiting in Georgia:
NS: I think that all the neutral-site games that we've played -- whether it be Atlanta, Dallas, Jacksonville -- in the time that I've been here all give the program national exposure as well as local exposure in those particular areas. I think it's a positive and I think it's been very, very helpful for us.
We've played a lot of games in the Georgia Dome and hopefully get to play a few more.
On Paul Finebaum and how he thinks Finebaum will do on the SEC Network:
NS: I can't speak for Paul on whether it's a good move for him.
He's been a good friend for a long time. I think he's a guy that is one of the most acutely aware guys in college football -- I can speak for that -- in terms of what's happening in college football and the issues in college football. Maybe sometimes a pretty good opinion of how they should be managed. I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for Paul and actually used him at times from a public relations standpoint to try to figure out and brainstorm the best way to manage and handle certain situations.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, and I think he'll do a fantastic job for the network. If he's happy with the opportunity that he has, we're certainly happy for him.
On the root of his relationship with Finebaum:
NS: That goes all the way back to LSU, I think. I got to know him then. The guy's always treated me with respect and I've always tried to treat him with a lot of respect. I don't listen to a lot of the negative things that people maybe call in and say on a radio talk show, so I'm not really offended or upset by that. I think it's really hard to please everybody. I don't really feel that some of the comments that were made, positively or negatively, were necessarily reflective of Paul Finebaum and his professionalism. I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for that. It goes back all the way to LSU days and I've just always had a lot of respect for him. He has created a lot of interest in the state of Alabama in Alabama and Auburn football and SEC football and college football in general. I sort of respect that.
TUSCALOOSA -- ESPN’s camera captured Alabama associate director for player personnel Tyler Siskey in the coaches’ box at Saturday’s game, and Ole Miss fans are calling foul.
Siskey was seen using binoculars while standing in the Alabama coaches’ area in the press box during the fourth quarter of the Crimson Tide’s 25-0 win over Ole Miss.
Rebels’ fans took to social media and accused Siskey, a former Ole Miss staffer, of helping the Crimson Tide’s defense stifle the Rebels’ offensive attack.
On Monday, Tide coach Nick Saban said Siskey “wasn’t in any different position than he’s ever been in any game” and had no effect on the Tide’s game plan or in-game adjustments Saturday. Siskey is an Anniston, Ala. native.
Once the cameras spotted Siskey, ESPN analyst Todd Blackledge said Siskey was “very involved” with Alabama’s defensive preparations during the week.
“He didn’t really assist in the game plan,” Saban said during his Monday news conference. “He wasn’t on the headset, didn’t talk to anybody during the game. I don’t know if there’s any rule that says he can’t go in the press box and watch the game. He wasn’t in any different position than he’s ever been in any game.”
If Siskey was coaching during the game, it would be a violation of NCAA bylaw 11.7.2, which states that Football Bowl Subdivision teams are limited to one head coach, nine assistant coaches and four graduate assistants who can coach during a game.
Siskey worked as Ole Miss’ coordinator of recruiting development last season and worked under Hugh Freeze as the wide receivers coach at Arkansas State the previous year.
He was Alabama senior AJ McCarron’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Mobile’s St. Paul’s Episcopal School.
“I don’t know where he typically is, but certainly I’ll say that Alabama had a wonderful defensive plan for us,” Freeze told reporters during his Monday news conference. “Give them a lot of credit for the work that they put in, in preparing for us, whether it was in the summertime or whether it was just in the week.
“Nick and Kirby (Smart) are two of the best in the business and not that they need a lot of help in preparing a game plan, but I’m sure Siskey helped in some way. Tyler Siskey is a good man, and I hate that it’s been quite the drama.”
Freeze said he has not contacted the SEC offices about an investigation into the situation. Freeze said he was ready to move on and focus on Ole Miss’ upcoming game against Auburn on Saturday.
“I don’t think for one minute that Nick would put himself or his program at risk in doing something. I have confidence,” Freeze said. “I don’t want to get involved in something like that. They beat us. They lined up and beat us. I’m ready to move on to Auburn.”
Watch Nick Saban's Monday news conference (via 247Sports)
TUSCALOOSA -- Top-ranked Alabama’s defense came out and set the tone early against Ole Miss.
The Crimson Tide shutout the Rebels 25-0 on Saturday to improve to 4-0, 2-0 SEC.
Alabama remained No. 1 in the Associated Press poll and USA Today coaches poll following the victory.
Despite all of the criticism the Tide has received, the team showed it may not have as many problems as people think.
It wasn't a complete game, but it was Alabama's best game to date.
-- After its opening play went for 38 yards on a pass from Bo Wallace to Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss gained just 167 yards of offense for the rest of the game.
-- Alabama ran the ball 40 times on Saturday after just 21 rushing attempts against Colorado State. The Tide ran the ball 25 times in the second half.
-- Alabama gained 218 of its 254 rushing yards in the second half behind long runs by T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake. Yeldon and Drake have emerged as the Tide’s one-two punch in the backfield.
-- Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron was 5 of 9 for 45 yards in the second half.
-- Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace said he believed the Rebels would be able to score on the Tide’s defense. That was false.
-- Wallace also said Ole Miss has better wide receivers than Texas A&M. Donte Moncrief caught six passes for 60 yards while Laquon Treadwell had four receptions for 51 yards. Treadwell also threw an interception.
-- Ole Miss freshman tight end Evan Engram was expected to be a big threat in the passing game for the Rebels. He had two catches for 14 yards.
-- In his second start, true freshman cornerback Eddie Jackson made his first career interception. If Deion Belue is healthy, Alabama may have found a permanent cornerback duo in Belue and Jackson.
-- Nick Saban said linebacker C.J. Mosley is “just as much of a quarterback on defense as AJ is on offense.” That’s very high praise considering how complex Alabama’s defensive schemes can be. Mosley leads the team with 35 tackles.
-- Mosley called Alabama’s defensive performance, “Pure domination.” The Tide had three fourth down stops, intercepted a pass, forced a fumble and had a safety.
-- Denzel Devall stepped up for Alabama’s pass rush and had two sacks. He stripped Wallace on one of the sacks and Brandon Ivory was able to recover the fumble.
-- Cade Foster showed he’s a big game kicker. Foster made all three of his field goal attempts from 28, 53 (career-long), and 42 yards out.
-- After starting against Colorado State, Jalston Fowler only carried the ball two times for nine yards.
-- Punter Cody Mandell has been one of the best players on the team so far. Mandell punted five times for an average of 46.2 yards and a long of 56 yards. He also saved a bad snap and was able to get off a decent punt.
-- Ole Miss came into the game averaging 490 yards of total offense, with 250 coming on the ground and 240 coming through the air.
-- Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott entered the game averaging 110 yards per game and 9.4 yards per carry. He finished with 28 yards and averaged 3.5 yards per carry.
-- Freshman defensive end A’Shawn Robinson continued to play well. He had three tackles and two quarterback hurries. On the season, Robinson has nine tackles and two sacks.
The game broke open when: After an Ole Miss penalty and a short pass by McCarron to DeAndrew White, Yeldon took the handoff, made a defender miss with a spin move, and ran 68 yards for the touchdown to give Alabama a 16-0 lead.
It was probably over when: Ole Miss started its drive from its own one-yard line. Bo Wallace dropped back and was swarmed by linebacker C.J. Mosley with help from defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan and a host of other Tide defenders. Wallace was stopped for a safety to give Alabama a 18-0 lead.
It was really over when: Following the safety, Alabama got the ball at the 50-yard line on a free kick. Not to be outdone by Yeldon’s long run, Kenyan Drake broke to the outside for the 50-yard touchdown scamper to give Alabama a 25-0 lead.
Injury news: Alabama center Ryan Kelly left the game late in second quarter and didn’t return. He went to locker room for knee ligament tests, according to ESPN.
“Ryan Kelly has a stretched MCL,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “He will probably be out for a couple of weeks, maybe even three. I don’t know for sure, but he will be out for a couple of weeks.”
Kelly was replaced by redshirt junior Chad Lindsay, who along with right guard Anthony Steen, paved the way for T.J. Yeldon’s 68-yard touchdown run.
“We have a lot of confidence in Chad,” Saban said. “He did a really good job when he went in there. Made all of the line calls. He played solid and we got good movement.”
Running back T.J. Yeldon spent much of the second half with the trainers for what Saban called a “butt bruise.” Postgame, Yeldon said his butt “is alright.”
Total yards: Alabama 434, Ole Miss 205
Passing: Alabama 180, Ole Miss 159
Rushing: Alabama 254, Ole Miss 46
First Downs: Alabama 21, Ole Miss 11
Penalties: Alabama 2, Ole Miss 1
Turnovers: Alabama 0, Ole Miss 2
Time of possession: Alabama 38:29, Ole Miss 21:31
Third-Down Conversion: Alabama 8 of 17, Ole Miss 4 of 14
Passing: AJ McCarron 25-32-1, 180 yards
Ole Miss - Bo Wallace 17-31-0, 159 yards
Rushing: T.J. Yeldon 17 carries, 121 yards, 1 TD -- Kenyan Drake 12 carries, 99 yards, 1 TD
Ole Miss - Jeff Scott 8 carries, 28 yards
Receiving: Christion Jones 5 catches, 61 yards
Ole Miss - Donte Moncrief 6 catches, 60 yards
Defense: HaHa Clinton-Dix 8 tackles (2 PBU), C.J. Mosley 7 tackles (tackle for loss, PBU), Eddie Jackson 4 tackles (interception, 2 PBU), Denzel Devall 2 sacks
Ole Miss - Serderius Bryant 9 tackles, Tony Conner 7 tackles (tackle for loss, QBH)
D.T. Shackelford 6 tackles (tackle for loss), Cody Prewitt 4 tackles (interception)
Qtr Time Scoring Play V-H
1st 06:23 UA - Cade Foster 28 yd field goal, 11-61 6:19 0 - 3
2nd 05:44 UA - Cade Foster 53 yd field goal, 9-43 4:45 0 - 6
00:00 UA - Cade Foster 42 yd field goal, 13-56 3:09 0 - 9
3rd 14:08 UA - T.J. Yeldon 68 yd run (Cade Foster kick), 2-75 0:52 0 - 16
4th 05:43 UA - TEAM safety 0 - 18
05:32 UA - Kenyan Drake 50 yd run (Cade Foster kick), 1-50 0:11 0 - 25