Nick Saban wonders if Ole Miss stole Alabama’s defensive signals
Did Ole Miss know what the Alabama defense was going to run before they even ran it on Saturday night?
That’s what Alabama LB Dylan Moses said after the Crimson Tide’s thrilling 63-48 victory over Lane Kiffin and the Rebels.
Nick Saban also hinted at the possibility when asked a question about the atmosphere on the sideline during a shootout (via AL.com):
“Well I’m not really calm,” he said. “I’m boiling and bubbling, trying to be encouraging to the players. Trying to make the best adjustments we could make at halftime. It seemed like everything we did, though, they had an answer for. I don’t know if they had our signals or what. I’m not — that’s not anything unusual. But it seemed like every time we called something, they had the best play they could have against it. They had a really good plan. Lane is a really good coach. They got a good offensive team. They’ve got some good players on offense.
“We didn’t do a very good job of executing what we needed to do on defense to stop them. We tried to play with a more athletic nickel team in the beginning of the game and couldn’t stop the run. So we went back to our regular nickel stuff at halftime and played a little better. But still had lots of opportunities to get off the field. When you’re against these teams that go fast, when you get a chance to get off the field, you gotta get off the field. We didn’t do that. Our guys competed, man. They played hard. They tried to stop them right ‘til the end. We didn’t execute very well. You could say it was ugly at times. Again, I’m responsible for that and we just got to do a better job with our players.”
As Saban says, it’s not unusual for teams to know other teams’ signs. But, against a team with as many offensive weapons as Ole Miss, things can get out of hand fast.