Video and Transcript of Nick Saban’s Flexbone Triple Experience

Watch it here.

Head Coach Nick Saban

Opening statement:

“In my opinion that was a good win for us. That’s a good little team we played out there today. When I say little team, I don’t mean literally. Those guys played hard and played with a lot of toughness. They really did a good job of running their offense. It’s a tough offense to get prepared for. It’s totally different than what we do all the time. We obviously didn’t execute the way we wanted to on defense all the time. We did a better job in the second half. That was really important. I think it was really important that our offense did a fantastic job of controlling the ball. They were always able to answer the bell and do a really a good job of not allowing them to have the ball. The time of possession was really good for us. I was really pleased with the way we competed. We played a lot better in the second half than we did the first. We did a good job on third down to keep the drives going. We always answered when we needed to. I was very disappointed on the kick-off return. We had good kick-off coverage until that one. We had a guy miss a tackle and a couple guys dodge a block the wrong way. The safeties were not in a good position. It was not very good execution. I think we are all responsible in terms of the way this team’s able to run the ball against us. We had a lot of guys hurt up front. We were down to about three or four defensive lineman toward the end of the game. We did get a chance to play a few other guys on defense. This is a tough team. They are a good team. They are very good at what they do. It’s a tremendous advantage for them when you only have a few days to prepare for something that they do extremely well. I thought our players adapted and adjusted and did a good job in the second half. Even though I thought the scout team did a really good job giving us a look at this, it happens a lot faster than what you see in practice. The ball gets on the perimeter quicker.  The lead blockers get out there faster. The big problem was that we didn’t have support and we got chopped a lot. It’s a good win for us. I’m really proud of the seniors. I’m glad that we could go out there and get a win for them.  Georgia Southern is 9-1 for a reason. They really should be 10-0. They are one of the better top couple teams in their division. They run an offense that is very difficult to defend, especially when we don’t play against them a lot. Our offensive line did a good job and Trent Richardson did a really good job of running the ball. AJ McCarron played extremely well for us. This has been a tough week for us from a defensive standpoint and I’m glad it’s over.”

Coach Nick Saban

On the offense and maintaining a lead throughout the game:

“Well, they never changed. I was hoping that they would get in the gun and pass the ball, like they did against other teams, but they did that very little. I was hopeful that when we got ahead that they would start doing that, which is a little more into what we could defend a little better, what we were used to, and have some opportunity to maybe give them more negative plays that way, but they stayed right there and kept running the option and it was successful for them, and they checked about every play based on what we were doing. I still think that when it comes right down to it, and I still think when we look at the film, it’s going to be about playing the blockers. I tried to convince our players that you have got to play the blockers. You have to strike the blockers upfront, and I think that we were soft at times, and I think guys were worried about reading, whether I have to close for the dive or if the guy is arching me, so I’m supposed to play the quarterback. We were probably too aggressive on the quarterback at times, and that made the ball get pitched, and there was nobody out in the alley – and that is where they make most of their big plays. There was nothing about what our players did this week, they worked, they respected this, and they worked hard to try and get this stuff right. It’s just difficult to defend, especially when you don’t play against it much.”

On defensive lineman Brandon Ivory’s play today:

“Brandon Ivory did a good job, I mean really. Sometimes, you get snake bit at a position. Josh Chapman has been playing all year long with a bad knee, and doctors felt like we needed to shut him down, and try to give him some time to heal up, which we did. So that decision got made right after the last game, and he was not going to play in this game. Then, for violation of team rules and policies, we suspend a guy. Then, Brandon Ivory misses two days of practice this week, because he twisted his knee in practice, he was the next guy to go in. So we moved Jesse [Williams] to nose guard, which he did a really good job, he gets food poisoning and gets sick last night and is up all night. We moved [Undra] Billingsley in there, who we practiced some at nose guard just for emergency situations, but he does a pretty good job when he plays three and five technique, because that is what he plays all the time, and in this kind of offense, the way they are coming off the ball low and scramble blocking you all the time, you need to have some guys in there. And when Jesse is playing nose, he is not playing five technique, so we got a different guy playing five technique. [Damion] Square was really the only guy that was playing at the position that he plays.”

On Quarterback Jaybo Shaw’s touchdown pass:

“Do you want me to explain it all to you, about this offense and how you got to squirm the coverages and all that kind of stuff, I mean nobody is going to understand it. The guy arches to block the corner, so on the motion, you squirm to three corner on both sides. Then, on the diagonal takeoff, the guy that is coming out there blocking you every time as a corner, you have to figure out that he is not blocking me this time and he is running a diagonal takeoff. Dre [Kirkpatrick] came, he ran a diagonal takeoff and went right by him, Mark is supposed to be rolling over in a deep third and he fell down. So, that is what happened – and I hope we don’t see that play again.”

On Georgia Southern’s fourth down conversion success:

“Well, it was fourth and inches, fourth and one, and when you play this offense you know that if it’s third down and six or less, they’re playing the game to go for it on fourth down. They are going to try to gain three or four yards on third down, and it is going to make it fourth and one or fourth and two and they are going to go for it on fourth down – I mean they went for it in bad field position too, but it was fourth and one. So you have got to make a decision, do we want to play the kind of defense where we can stop the quarterback sneak on. But if they didn’t run the quarterback sneak, then they get a big play, because you are going to minimize the number of players you are going to have on the perimeter. So we tried not to do that and they ran a couple of quarterback sneaks and made first downs. The key is giving this offense negative plays and we gave them negative plays and they got behind in the down and distance, that’s when we stopped them every time. When we didn’t do that, we could not create the situations where it wasn’t a four down situation, where they have to gain two and a half yards, and they do a good job.”