What Nick Saban said after Alabama's 48-45 loss at Auburn
Alabama coach Nick Saban was very disappointed in the post-game press conference following the 48-45 loss at Auburn on Saturday.
In his opening statement, he gave his reaction to Alabama being flagged late in the game for an illegal substitution, which became the deciding play in the game, and allowed Auburn to run out the clock.
“I thought they should have given us a little more time to substitute and get Waddle out as a returner, we get called the 12 guys on the field,” he said. “So, that was very disappointing were responsible for that as coaches, but it was a very unusual circumstance, to say the least. And I think, you know, sometimes when you have those that, you know, they should be viewed that way.”
Alabama was flagged for 13 penalties, the most for an Alabama team under Saban.
“You know the disappointing thing to me is, you know, we came here with the idea that we needed to play with a lot of discipline, not get a lot of penalties, do a great job of executing and doing our job on a consistent basis, people holding and being accountable, so that we can get the kind of execution that we’d like to get. And people make decisions, through their discipline, that’s going to put the team first and help the team enhance the team’s chances of being successful. And I don’t think we did that great. We got way too many penalties for ourselves and a lot of bad situations.”
Mistakes near the goal line were ultimately difficult to overcome.
“Certainly moved the ball well enough,” Saban said. “Struggled in the red zone a little bit. Obviously when you get the ball on the 2-yard line and you throw a pick six and they go back 98 yards, that’s a huge play in the game. We still battled back even after that. We just didn’t play well enough, you’ve got to give their team a lot of credit because they fought back and did a great job in the game as well.”
Saban said he knew players and fans are disappointed, and it’s his job to get the team to do these things better, and that certainly will be the goal in the future.
Asked about the controversial last-second field goal by Auburn to end the first half.
“The guy beside me said they won’t be able to get it off anyway,” Saban said. “And they waited and waited and waited and wound the clock and the guy snapped the ball and kicked it and they said it was good. I think you can snap the ball with a second to go in a game, but whether they did or didn’t, that’s not my judgement.”
Saban said QB Mac Jones played well, the offensive line played well and they were able to have great balance on offense.
“We struggled in the red zone a bit and I think that was the difference in the game,” Saban said. “The two picks for touchdowns, those are the kinds of plays you never want to have happen and I’m sure Mac wishes he had those back. But he was actually pressured pretty good on the one down on the goal line and had to get rid of the ball. But I thought overall, he did a really, really good job in the game.”
He called Jaylen Waddle a dynamic returner with great speed and reads the blocks well to make big plays.