<script async src="https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js?client=ca-pub-1244273282732907" crossorigin="anonymous"> Nick Saban says Alabama Crimson Tide has to learn from near upset loss to Texas Longhorns - usanewsmart
Nick Saban says Alabama Crimson Tide has to learn from near upset loss to Texas Longhorns

Nick Saban says Alabama Crimson Tide has to learn from near upset loss to Texas Longhorns

Alabama football coach Nick Saban said Monday that players have to respect what it takes to win after narrowly surviving an upset bid on the road by unranked Texas on Saturday.

The No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide needed a last-minute field goal to beat the Longhorns in Austin, despite Texas losing starting quarterback Quinn Ewers to a shoulder injury in the first quarter.

Saban said there was a lot to learn after the Tide committed 15 penalties — one shy of a school record which was set in 2002.

“I think our guys played hard in the game,” he said. “They persevered in a game in tough circumstances. They overcame adversity. They showed great resiliency. But it’s also about playing smart, having good discipline to execute, focus on what’s in front of you and do your job. And not only do your job but do it fundamentally with the correct technique.”

Saban reiterated that cutting down on penalties comes down to making good decisions.

“We have officials out there [at practice] every day,” he said. “So, we get a penalty report every day. Every player is confronted with, ‘You made these penalties,’ whether it was offsides, pass interference, illegal motion on offense, whatever the penalty is. And those things are always emphasized. So, it’s not like this is sort of a resurrection of, ‘Wow, we need to start doing something about this.’ We’ve been doing it. Players need to make choices to have the discipline in the game. It doesn’t do any good to try to create an advantage for yourself because you’re not above the law.”

Saban brought up how his team was a three-touchdown favorite to beat Texas.

He then cited upsets over the weekend as Texas A&M lost to Appalachian State and Notre Dame lost to Marshall.

“There were two teams that I know of … that were favored by about the same amount that actually got beat,” he said. “So, I guess it doesn’t mean anything and that’s why we have to play the games. So, it’s important for players to learn that they have to focus and prepare for every team and every opponent, so that they can go out there and play to the best of their ability because sometimes even when you win, you can lose.

“The challenge for us is, from top to bottom in the organization, is to hold each other accountable, to make sure that we’re putting the players in the best position to have a chance to be successful, but we’re also teaching them fundamentally what they need to do to be able to have success.”

Saban expressed “total confidence” in an offensive line that gave up two sacks and 12 pressures against Texas, saying he believes the unit can succeed but needs to execute more consistently.

He also said he saw his wide receivers “come of age a little bit” in the fourth quarter after struggling to get open the rest of the game.

“I saw some maturation in the fourth quarter and those guys playing with confidence and making plays,” he said.

Alabama hosts Louisiana Monroe on Saturday.

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