Nick Saban explains Alabama's head-scratching decision on fake field goal
Aside from Clemson’s blowout win and stellar QB play from Trevor Lawrence, one of the biggest things fans will remember from Monday night’s game was Nick Saban’s decision to attempt a fake field goal.
As it turned out, it was a horrific decision by the Tide’s staff. Facing 4-and-6 and trailing by 15 points with nearly 10 minutes left in the third quarter, Alabama elected to try and run it with QB Mac Jones (the holder) with his kicker Joseph Bulovas as the lead blocker. Seriously. After watching the play over and over, Clemson was in a safe field goal coverage thinking the Tide would attempt the fake. The Tigers’ defense wasn’t even close to being fooled.
Following the game, Nick Saban was asked about the attempt.
“I think it was a poor decision on my part not to kick the field goal the first drive of the second half,” Saban said. “We thought we had a really, really good fake, and somebody didn’t block the guy they were supposed to block, so it didn’t work, so it was a bad call. It’s always that way.”
Alabama’s special teams coordinator Jeff Banks also commented on the attempt.
“(Bulovas) not hitting the ball real well, missing the (extra point) off the upright (earlier in the game), I think at the end of the day that’s somewhat of what went into the decision,” Banks said, via AL.com, “and then the fact, you just look at everything as the game develops, you think maybe there’s an opportunity there to capitalize. Unfortunately, we didn’t.”
Rather than run the fake, Alabama should have left QB Tua Tagovailoa and the offense out there. No doubt the Tide would have had a better opportunity to pick up the first down in such a crucial moment of the game.
You can watch Saban’s full comments below, via AL.com’s YouTube video: