It’s hard to define exactly what the Bama factor is. Nick Saban said this past spring that it’s not a slogan, and it can’t be put into an equation because it’s made up of intangible things.

But Saban knows what it is and is well aware when his team has it. On Wednesday during his SEC media teleconference, Saban admitted that “we have players that don’t even know what the Bama factor is.”

This year, Alabama has been forced to rely on a lot of young players, which Saban called “a big challenge” during the teleconference Wednesday. Furthermore, he cited the defensive signal caller as a point of adversity for his young players as well.

Alabama isn’t playing its usual elite defense this season. Not only did the Crimson Tide give up 46 points against LSU at home last Saturday, but Alabama is ranked fourth in the SEC in yards allowed and sixth in yards yielded.

The Crimson Tide have not finished outside the Top 3 in the SEC in yards allowed this decade, and they’ve finished No. 1 in total defense in the conference seven times this decade.

Here’s what else Saban said on Wednesday:

  • On Tua Tagovailoa: He has soreness in his ankle from playing in the game. He is a game-time decision regarding whether he can or cannot play. I don’t even know if he can practice today. It’s kind of day-to-day.
  • On how the team has responded this week in practice: We obviously need to do better, we have to do better, I have to do better, the coaches have to do better. we have to give them more confidence, get them to tackle better, execute better.
  • On MSU LB Erroll Thompson: He is a very good player, though he was a good player in HS. plays hard, instinctive, does a good job for them… He is also fitting where he is supposed to, he is probably their most productive player and I have a ton of respect for him.
  • On the impact on the SEC with so many big games week to week: I think it’s great for the conference. the more good teams you have in the conference the better. It’s good to be challenged. When you have to play good teams, it helps you have a good season (if you can defeat them).
  • On the Bama factor and where this team is in regards to that: I think the players are trying to do things the way we would like to do them, we have had some adversity this year, whether it’s the signal-caller on defense, we have players that don’t even know what the Bama factor is… we have players that are playing with toughness… some of the young players, it’s been a big challenge.
  • On mindset of his team entering the LSU game: I think if anything, we were, I don’t have a gauge on how every player is thinking but I try to tell our players to stay focused on what they need to do and if they get too emotional, it’s tough to stay focused and I feel like that was an issue in the first half.
  • Thoughts on Chad Morris firing: I have a lot of respect for Chad, always thought he was a good coach. His offense poises lots of challenges… I never want to see someone get fired. I have respect for him and I hope he has success somewhere else.
  • How good of a job is Arkansas? I think it’s a good job. History is the best indicator of what will bring and other than the last couple of years, they have given us some good games… I think that’s always a tough game for us. I do think in the last couple of years, maybe due to turnover, the personnel is not what it used to be but that can be fixed with recruiting and staff continuity and some good coaches.