Tide moving on from Florida Atlantic, ready for Ole Miss
On the heels of a 40-7 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls, Alabama head coach Nick Saban met with reporters on Monday to discuss the past week’s game, the Tide’s upcoming game against Ole Miss and a number of other topics.
The Tide used a dominating performance against Florida Atlantic to improve to 4-0 on the season as it heads into the bulk of its conference schedule beginning Saturday against Ole Miss.
“Our players really played hard in the last game. I was really pleased with the intensity that they played with,” Saban said. “We obviously have some areas that we still need to be more consistent in our execution and ability to finish. We have a lot of work to do. We have a lot to prove as a football team.
“Sometimes what gets you here doesn’t really get you there, which is where you want to go. We have to focus on being a little more competent, have a little more attention to detail, do the little things right so that we can continue to grow and improve. I think that’s going to be critical for us especially getting back into SEC play against a very good team this week.”
Alabama was able to manhandle the Owls and take a 30-0 into halftime without having to break as much as minor sweat. The Tide used that manhandling to its advantage in the second half when the coaching staff elected to give the second-team offense and defense more reps.
The experience gained from being able to play for a majority of the second half is something that is invaluable to a team stockpiled with youth and inexperience. The second team defense allowed the Owls to score, breaking the streak of 134 unanswered points scored by Alabama, but the coaching staff was still pleased with how the unit played.
“I do think that even though they (Florida Atlantic) scored on the last drive, a lot of the guys that got an opportunity to play this week learned a lot about what happened when they played at Arkansas, and that really helped them improve. It improved their preparation,” Saban said. “It improved their sense of urgency about getting ready to play, and that they may have an opportunity and they need to be prepared. There was improvement made and I think that’s a good thing and I think that helps the depth of our team.”
The Tide now sets its sights on Ole Miss, a team that is breaking in a first-year head coach and is transitioning to a different style of play.
“Their no-huddle style, like Auburn used to be with Gus Malzahn, just to give our folks something to relate it to,” said Saban. “They are playing hard, playing with a lot of spirit. They’ve got some really good skilled players.
“This is a team that is a completely different team. I think Hugh Freeze has done a really good job. It’s obviously going to be important for us getting back into SEC play.”
Players of the week
Head coach Nick Saban has made a habit of revealing the coaching staff’s players of the week during his Monday press conference. This week was no different as a number of Tide players made the list for the first time this season.
“The players of the week were D.J. Fluker and Eddie Lacy (offense), who did a really good job. Robert Lester and C.J. Mosley (defense), Cade Foster, Dee Hart and Vinnie Sunseri on special teams.”
Fluker put forth a phenomenal performance on the offensive line, helping block for fellow player of the week Eddie Lacy and the rest of the running backs as the unit ran for 256 yards. Lacy carried the ball 15 times for 106 yards and one touchdown.
Linebacker C.J. Mosley led the Tide in tackles with six including half a tackle for a loss and half a sack.
The only major injured player coming out of the Tide’s 40-7 thrashing of Florida Atlantic was noseguard Brandon Ivory. Nick Saban noted during his press conference following the game that Ivory’s injury was merely a sprained ankle. On Monday, he gave another update on Ivory’s status.
“The only injured guy we have is Brandon Ivory, who is going to be day-to-day,” Saban stated. “He won’t practice today. It’s probably going to be questionable for this week.”
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