Roman Harper played at Alabama from 2003-05, and he’s surely watched plenty of Crimson Tide games since then. While he never played for Nick Saban, he’s seen how much success the program has had under the longtime head coach.

But Harper had never seen a game quite like Alabama’s 41-38 loss at Texas A&M last Saturday.

“I’ve never seen a Nick Saban-coached Alabama team have that many players play that bad all in the same game at one time before,” Harper said during an appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show” on Friday. “It’s almost like they were sleepwalking. Or I saw how good they could be against an Ole Miss team when they were motivated, when they were talked about in the newspaper that they actually felt challenged. Then, they walked into Kyle Field and thought Texas A&M was going to be the same team they were the last few weeks and you did not get that same opponent. …

“Alabama made so many unforced errors when it came to coverage breakdowns. I was so happy at the end of the game that they lost that game. I was, Paul. It just kind of lets me know that ball don’t lie. You get exactly what you deserve in this football game. If you do the right things all the time, you’re probably going to get the results that you want.”

Harper went on to discuss defensive coordinator Pete Golding, whose unit had trouble stopping the Aggies during the Tide’s first loss of the 2021 season.

“I think he definitely has his hand in it, you can’t divorce him from it and just blame the players,” Harper said. “At the end of the day, in this college space, I never try and blame players. I was always told that you’re either coaching it or you’re allowing it to happen. It’s some thing that execution-wise, that if you’re not doing them, you either need to not run the play or you need to explain to the players what you’re trying to get accomplished within each call.

“So we at least generally understand conceptually, ‘What are we doing when we call this defense?’ … Somebody at some point needs to step up and say, ‘Hey, I want to get my name in the newspaper, and this is how it’s going to get done.’ So going out there and making that big play to get your name in the newspaper, somebody needs to say, ‘I want to be that guy.'”

Alabama will be looking to bounce back when it plays at Mississippi State on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.