Nick Saban's Week 8 presser: 'Vols could arguably be undefeated'
Nick Saban’s Alabama team improved to 6-1 with a 41-23 win at Texas A&M on Saturday. The Crimson Tide will host Tennessee in Week 8.
Here’s a summary of what Saban had to say at his weekly presser on Monday:
- Saban classified last week’s win at Texas A&M as “a tough, hard-fought game” in a “difficult atmosphere and environment.”
- Saban was highly critical of his team’s effort in the punt game after last Saturday’s mistakes, which included a punt blocked and a punt returned for a touchdown.
- He made special mention of Derrick Henry (SEC offensive players of the week) and Minkah Fitzpatrick (SEC freshman of the week) for what he termed as “outstanding performances” against the Aggies.
- Saban acknowledged the rivalry with Tennessee and what it means to the two fan bases: “It’s most certainly a special game for us and our team.”
- He praised Butch Jones for his development of the Tennessee program, said the Vols “could arguably be undefeated or a one-loss team very easily this year.”
- RB Kenyan Drake is supposed to practice on Monday after being nicked up against Texas A&M.
- C Ryan Kelly is under concussion protocol. “He’s not that bad right now. We feel like he’ll be okay in a few days.”
- Saban acknowledged that his team has played better on the road than at home this season. Said he’s unsure of what the distractions might be to cause that, said he has been preaching to players about “being able to stay focused on what you need to do to do your job play in and play out.”
- He attributed the defense’s six sacks against Texas A&M to the defense’s ability to stop the run and put the Aggies in situations where they are forced to pass, allowing his defense to “pin its ears back.”
- On Shaun Dion Hamilton’s ejection for targeting in Saturday’s game: “You’ve got to see what you hit and you’ve got to lower your target.” Said the hit was not intentional and that he’s a “good person.”
- He elaborated a little further on the targeting rules, and said he’s in favor of them and anything that keeps players from getting hit in the head: “I think these are good rules and I think it makes us coach better in terms of how they should hit and should block in terms of player safety.”
- Saban said he doesn’t want to take away QB Jake Coker’s aggressiveness running the ball: “Sometimes I wish he wouldn’t take the hits, but I like to see the other team’s reaction when he does that.”