Following the 41-9 win over Arkansas, there appears to be no slowing down Alabama at the moment. The Tide are off to a 7-0 start to the season and now get a faltering Tennessee team at home before heading into the bye week.

Should the Tide win at home over the Vols, a near-lock considering Alabama is currently a 34.5-point favorite, Alabama will likely debut as the No. 1 ranked team in the initial College Football Playoff ranking which will be released leading up to the LSU game.

Here’s a summary of what the Alabama coach had to say during Wednesday’s SEC Coaches Teleconference:

  • Opening statement: “This is a big rivalry game, there’s a ton of tradition with this game. Our players need to focus with their preparation and that’s what we will focus on.”
  •  What’s the key to playing with a young QB in this league? “With any young QB, it’s about understanding and confidence. Taking what you learn in practice to the game. You have to have patience. How do you coach a guy to get better each week? We didn’t ask him to do much that he couldn’t do.
  • How much has he grown in Year 2? “It’s a huge difference. Trusting and believing in what he has been doing. We haven’t been great in the passing game but that’s on everyone, not just him.”
  • Is it tougher to rebuild in the SEC now than before? “I think that’s overblown. (Tennessee) could be 5-1 if not for one or two plays… The criticism is unfair… I have a lot of respect for (Tennessee and Arkansas).
  • How to manage to fight through disappointments during that process? “Stay focus in the process and keep doing it. Don’t compromise and you’ll get where you want to be.”
  • Thoughts on Mel Tucker? “He’s got a great personality, the players are really attracted to him. He’s enthusiastic and smart. He’s one of the best coaches we’ve ever have on staff here.”
  • Did you ever consider hiring Tucker as your defensive coordinator?  “I considered that, it just never worked out timing wise.”