Nov. 25, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama head coach Nick Saban and select players met with the media Monday afternoon in the Naylor Stone Media Suite in the Mal Moore Athletics Building. The group was previewing the upcoming matchup with Auburn.
Coach Saban Opening Statement:
"After looking at the last game, we did some really good things in the game. I think we built some momentum in terms of this time of the year. That's what you would like to do by playing well, executing well. There are always things that we can improve on, on both sides of the ball and on special teams. We will certainly look at those things and try to get them corrected today.
"Our players of the week - you already have this information - AJ McCarron, Kevin Norwood and Anthony Steen. On defense, Jonathan Allen, Landon Collins and C.J. Mosley. C.J. keeps moving up in some of these awards, which is great for him. Special teams, Dee Hart, Reggie Ragland, Geno Smith and Altee Tenpenny.
"From an injury standpoint, the only guy that we will hold from practice today is Arie Kouandjio. He will practice tomorrow. I am just going to give him one more day. I think everybody else will be able to practice today.
"The Iron Bowl is a great rivalry game, one that is recognized all over the country in college football. If you are a competitor, it's a great opportunity to compete and to play in a game like this that means a lot to a lot of people on both sides. Our team has worked very hard to create an opportunity for themselves this year. The focus needs to be on playing your best football, which goes back to preparing the best, playing with the best fundamentals, having the best discipline, try to do the job the best you can against a very good team.
"Auburn has a lot of returning starters on their team. They have a lot of experienced players. They played extremely well all year long, especially their offense. Their offense is one of the leading offenses in the country. Gus (Malzahn) has always done a fantastic job with the offense with their ability to run the ball effectively and throw it when they need to, score the points that they have been able to score on a pretty consistent basis against just about everyone in this league. They have a good offensive line and good runners. Nick Marshall does a very good job of implementing their offense, and he's very athletic and makes a lot of plays as a rusher as well. Tre Mason is the leading rusher in the league. Nick Marshall has almost 1,000 yards rushing himself, so they create a lot of issues and a lot of problems. They have good receivers that can make plays down the field when you try to load up on them. Defensively they have played really, really well. They are hard to score on. That's the most important thing about playing defense. They create a lot of negative plays for you offensively. They have a really good pass rushing team. They have been able to create some negative plays in the passing game because of their pass rush. Very, very good in the kicking game. Most of the time [Cody Parkey] kicks the ball out of the end zone. They have very few punt return yards against them all year long. They do a good job on their coverage team. They have good specialists. All the way around, this is a very good team. I think their record reflects that."