Alabama coach Nick Saban watches his team play Arkansas in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Head Coach Nick Saban Admits Alabama Has Room to Improve Following Narrow Victory in the Swamp

Following first-ranked Alabama’s win over 11th-ranked Florida, Nick Saban expressed his dissatisfaction with the Crimson Tide’s performance.

“There’s a lot of things that we need to do better, no doubt,” head coach Nick Saban said following No. 1 Alabama’s 31-29 road win over No. 11 Florida Saturday.

Credit Where Credit’s Due

Saban admitted the Gators are “a really really good team” and called Ben Hill Griffin Stadium a “tough environment to play.”

He credited Florida’s offensive game plan, which produced over 250 rushing yards and turned the ball over only once.

“We had a difficult time stopping the run,” Saban said. “They took out of a lot of things that we wanted to do when they kept running the speed option.”

Saban applauded Gators quarterback Emory Jones’ job in completing passes at key moments throughout the game.

“I thought their quarterback did a really good job of completing some passes when they needed to.”

Crimson Collapse

After they built a commanding 18-point lead in the first quarter, the Crimson Tide watched their advantage diminish to five points entering the fourth quarter. Saban thought his team let off the gas pedal and he stressed the importance of maintaining the same intensity level from start to finish.

“When we got ahead 21-3, our players played absolutely great football and then we go three plays and out three times a row on offense,” he said. “Eventually, they score a touchdown, get the crowd back into the game, and then it was difficult after that.”

Positive Takeaways

Saban did mention some positive takeaways after the win. He commended sophomore quarterback Bryce Young’s ability to adjust to Florida’s hostile atmosphere.

“I thought Bryce [Young] did a good job of managing the crowd noise. There were some times where it gave us issues, but it was really more of a snap-count issue more than it was his doing.”

Young threw three pass touchdowns in the first quarter before the Alabama offense stalled for the last three quarters.

Despite Florida’s comeback, Saban praised Alabama’s resiliency down the stretch of the game on both sides of the football.

“Our players showed a lot of resiliency,” he said. “We made the plays that we had to make on offense to stay ahead in the game as well as take the air out of it at the end of the game.”

With under four minutes left in the game, the Crimson Tide denied Florida’s two-point conversion attempt, which effectively silenced the crowd and allowed Alabama’s offense to run out the clock.

Week Four

Alabama will return to Tuscaloosa to face Southern Miss this Saturday before its SEC schedule resumes.

About Griffin Foll

Hello, I am currently a junior at UF studying sports media journalism with a concentration in Political Science. I contribute web and radio content weekly for WRUF ESPN Gainesville. Be sure to check out some of my recent articles!

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