Nick Saban Postgame Press Conference After Win Over Louisiana-Monroe [VIDEO]
Alabama coach Nick Saban won’t need to reference any catastrophic events in American history after the Crimson Tide’s most recent meeting against Louisiana-Monroe, a 34-0 shutout win in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Still, it wasn’t always pretty on the offensive side of the ball.
Alabama did, however, look better in the second half, where it scored 20 of its 34 points on four separate drives.
Quarterback Jake Coker, making his third start in four games, went 17-of-31 passing for 158 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Of his incompletions, though, several were drops.
Defensively, Alabama had its best performance of the season, allowing just 92 yards of total offense in addition to giving up zero points.
To watch Saban’s full postgame press conference, watch the video provided by AL.com. For a full transcript of his comments, scroll down below.
Near the bottom of the page, you will also find postgame player interviews, including one of Coker.
“I was pleased with the fact that our guys went out there and competed hard in the game. We really tried to take a step in a direction of sort of establishing the kind of identity that we want to have as a football team. We played with a lot of toughness, especially on defense. To give a team around 90-something yards is really good. I thought we tackled well in space and we got a couple turnovers. We did a good job on third down, especially in the first half and that was really positive.
“I thought offensively, we stopped ourselves way too many times. We had five dropped balls and several of those were on third down. On fourth-and-1, when we were going to make a first down, we had an illegal motion, so we really to need to clean up some of things. We played it pretty tight to the vest today and I think we probably need to do a little more. I thought Jake (Coker) did a good job, and however you look at the stats, you’ve got to look at the drops. That’s not really his fault, he made some good throws. There was probably a couple times that he wishes he would have done it a little different, in terms of going to somebody else, and those are the kinds of things we need to work out and get better at.
“I thought special teams was a little better today, but I think the focus for our team needs to be on what we need to do to improve. Obviously, we’ve got some young receivers out there playing who have not played much that need to develop more confidence. I think Calvin Ridley is playing well and I think ArDarius Stewart can be a really good player for us. We’ve just got to get a little more consistent with what we’re doing, and we’ve got to bring some of the young guys along. Richard (Mullaney) has done a good job all year long.
“Derrick Henry was sick part of the week, you know that, he practiced on Thursday, but I just didn’t want to wear the guy out today. I wanted to give some of the other guys some opportunity to play, and I thought they both did a good job.”
(2:21) On Jake Coker’s improvement in the second half.
“Well again, you quote statistics. He had four drops in the first half, so what was he in the first half? Four balls that were just flat dropped. You couldn’t throw them any better. So if he was 10-for-21 that means he was 14-for-21, so he was not perfect. I thought he played well in the first half, but I thought we dropped too many balls. We dropped a ball so we should have been 8-for-10 the second half for a touchdown.
I think it helps when we go no-huddle and the other team gets a little tired. They don’t play quite as aggressively and I think that’s always helpful, but I am just pleased with the way Jake played today in both halves.”
(3:20) On Adam Griffith performance and confidence.
“Well, you know, we have a lot of confidence in Griff, I’ve always said that. I think that getting his plant foot right is something that he is now doing and has confidence in. So hopefully he will be able to build on the success that he had today and continue to do a nice job for us in the future. We have a lot of confidence in him that he is capable. I think he just has to think the right things and focus on the technique that he needs to use to have success and when he does that he is a very good kicker.”
(4:02) On defensive line pressure and injury status of Jonathan Allen.
“Jonathan Allen has a shoulder that every now and then gives him a problem. We think he'll be OK and be able to practice and play in this next game, but he'll be day-to-day. He has hurt this before, had the same problem before, and he's been able to come back from it pretty quickly.
“You know, we didn’t blitz much today. I think we might have only pressured a couple of times, so I think our front guys did a really good job in rushing with four. We played a lot of split safety coverages, which really helped us, because they couldn’t run the ball, either, because of the front.
“So, the front allowed us to play the way we needed to play against a team like this who had us all spread out and threw a lot of plays on the perimeter, and I think that was a key to the success.”
(5:06) On if the team took a step forward in offensive identity development.
“Well, I think we’ve done a lot of different things so far this year, and I think some of them are good. Some of them we didn’t do today. But we’ve been averaging over 500 yards a game and everybody’s been complaining about the offense, and ‘Why don’t we run the ball’ and do whatever.
“But we didn’t have 500 yards today, because we probably were a little more conservative than we need to be, but that was a little by design. We’re going to have to do more things, more effectively against a good SEC team, no doubt.”
(5:50) On Damien Harris back deep on the opening kickoff and his overall special teams play.
“Well, he’s done a good job back there. He’s been back there working all year long. He’s very instinctive back there. Kenyan (Drake) got popped back there and got hurt a little bit last week, so we’re looking for a role for the guy and some things that he can do, because we think he’s an effective player.
“We plan on using him as a kickoff returner and Kenyan being the backup.”