When did Lane Kiffin know Alabama was in trouble vs. Clemson? When Nick Saban sat on the ball before halftime
If anyone knows what it takes to construct and call a successful offensive gameplan for Alabama, it’s Lane Kiffin.
While his hire in Tuscaloosa was met with some mockery, bringing Kiffin to Alabama to be the program’s offensive coordinator proved to be arguably the best coaching hire of Nick Saban’s career with the Crimson Tide. With Kiffin on staff, Alabama’s offense went from stagnant to dynamic immediately and never ceased to be a catalyst for the program’s championship aspirations.
Considering his history with Alabama, Kiffin was asked to make a guest appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” recently and was asked to share his take on Alabama’s 44-16 loss to Clemson in the national championship game.
During his appearance, Kiffin was asked when he knew Alabama was in serious trouble. The FAU head coach pointed to Saban’s decision to sit on the ball down 15 just before the halftime break.
“At the end of the first half, when they sat on the ball there, it was an aggressive gameplan by Coach Saban, went for it in his own territory, which is unusual for him, when they sat on the ball with whatever it was, 30 seconds left and all their timeouts, I was worried it was going the other way,” Kiffin said on the show.
Kiffin was then asked what he would have done differently to help Alabama win that game. While he refused to question Alabama’s offensive gameplan as he notes hindsight makes geniuses of us all, he did find it striking that Saban’s team didn’t run the ball more.
When Kiffin is calling for more running, you know something has gone haywire.
“You can’t fault the offensive coaches. You have some great receivers, got a great quarterback that has done unbelievable things with all the records but sitting there watching it, it’s always easier to watch than when you are in the moment calling those plays,” Kiffin continued. “You don’t see it as well, especially if you happen to be on the sidelines. Watching it, yes, that was the feeling, they were not stopping the run with that three-headed monster running backs. They were always fresh. All three guys are NFL running backs.”
You can view Kiffin’s appearance discussing the title game on the show below: