When criticism is warranted, Nick Saban isn’t afraid to back down.

When it’s not, he’ll be one of the first to give credit where is due.

After No. 4 Alabama beat No. 2 LSU, 30-16, Saturday night, it certainly leaned toward the latter.

“I was really proud of our team, the way they competed in the game today,” said Saban, the Crimson Tide coach. “They really did everything we ask them to do. We ask guys to go out and dominate their box and win the one-on-one battles and matchups. (We tell them) go do your job, be disciplined and execute and do what you need to do.

“We didn’t play perfectly, but I thought it was really important that we could control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We did a really good job with that in terms of being able to run it and keep the ball away from their offense because they have some very explosive players.”

In a game that has historically been won in the trenches – at least in recent years – Alabama dominated going both ways.

Offensively, Derrick Henry stole the show with a game-high 210 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries, while the defense held Heisman Trophy frontrunner Leonard Fournette to just 31 yards and one score on 19 carries.

Saban also commented on quarterback Jake Coker’s performance, Adam Griffith’s 55-yard field goal and the SEC West race following Ole Miss’s overtime loss against Arkansas earlier Saturday.

Alabama (8-1, 5-1 SEC) travels to Mississippi State (7-2, 4-1 SEC) next week.

(Thanks to CBS 42 in Birmingham for Saban’s video.)

Watch postgame player interviews from Saturday's win: