Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Young players being asked to step up due to injuries

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said he was frustrated with his young players’ inability to follow directions set forth by coaches during the Ole Miss game. Even so, young players will have greater opportunities to play this season due to injuries sustained by veteran teammates and Saban said these players must trust what their coaches tell them. The coach said the only way for the players to be successful is to listen to what they are told.

“We’re coaching one thing and they’re doing something else,” Saban said. “Well, you know, downstairs on the board it says you have to have faith, trust and confidence in the principles and values of the organization and what you’re being taught to do and how to do it. They obviously don’t have it because we teach it every day, we work on it every day and we get in the game and they go rat trap.”

Linebacker Nico Johnson said this occurs because the players take the field on Gameday and think about all of the wrong things. The senior attributes this to young players being nervous and not having the experience or reps that older players have.

Time to refresh and prepare for future opponents


When asked if the team would have time to rest during this bye week, Saban said while the team will have time to refresh, there is still work to be done. Saban said the team will be working on fundamentals such as tackling and being more consistent in the passing and running games. The players will also spend a “significant amount of time” preparing for future opponents, the head coach said.

“There’s a lot of catching up to do,” Saban said. “For us to practice on the teams that we’re playing down the road, we have to spend time preparing for that.”

The Tide players held the same sentiment as Saban in regards to their fundamentals. Johnson said having this Saturday off is important to get back to the basics the team worked on at the beginning of the season. The linebacker said it is important that the Tide improves even without a game looming at the end of the week.

“We still have a game the following week,” Johnson said. “We still got to take a step forward not backwards.”

Ball security: an ongoing improvement


Saban said the team must focus on maintaining control of the football and has had the players practice holding onto the ball. He said he was disappointed in the couple of times the football was dropped during the game against Ole Miss.

“If we have one fumble, I’m concerned,” Saban said. “The ball has been on the ground too many times. That’s one of the things we worked on last week and it was on the ground a couple times in the last game and it’s something that we need to continue to work on.”

Sophomore Christion Jones said ball security is important on every side of the ball whether it is passing, running, returning, or intercepting.

“From the center to the quarterback to the receivers or the running back to handing the referee the ball, you want to have ball security,” Jones said. “Ball security is the number one thing in football that you’ve got to have.”

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