WATCH: Nick Saban’s Postgame Presser After National Championship Win
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Winning a national championship usually tends to make for a happy postgame press conference.
But in typical Nick Saban fashion, it was still more of a formal event than a party.
Alabama beat Clemson, 45-40, in the College Football Playoff title game Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, but it almost came across as just another game for the Crimson Tide coach.
That’s not to say he wasn’t happy with the result, though, even if it wasn’t shown outwardly.
“This team,” Saban said, “I really wanted to do the best that I could do for this team, probably as much as any team that I've ever coached, because I really did want them to have the opportunity to win this game.”
And while that opportunity came, it didn’t come easy.
Alabama went back and forth with Clemson, trailing 24-21 entering the fourth quarter.
But it all seemed to change when Marlon Humphrey recovered Adam Griffith’s surprise onside kick after the Crimson Tide tied it at 24-24 with 10:34 remaining. Two plays later, Coker hit O.J. Howard for a 51-yard touchdown – his second of the game – to put Alabama ahead 31-24.
The Crimson Tide never trailed again after that point, hanging on to win its fourth national title in seven seasons.
Saban is now 11-1 in SEC and national championship games at Alabama and LSU, with six SEC titles to go along with his five national titles.
Saban, who was joined by Howard and safety Eddie Jackson during his postgame presser, was asked several questions about the onside kick decision, as well as his legacy in comparison to former Tide coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
“I really haven't thought about it,” Saban said.
Howard, who hadn’t caught a touchdown pass since his freshman season in 2013, earned offensive MVP honors after catching five passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Jackson was the game’s defensive MVP thanks to a first-half interception inside Alabama territory that helped bring an end to a Clemson run at the time.
Derrick Henry, this season’s Heisman Trophy winner, had another productive in what was likely his final collegiate game. The junior running back rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns in the win, including a game-sealing 1-yard score with 1:07 left to put Alabama up 45-33.
Watch the above video to hear all of Saban's postgame comments.
(Thanks to WIAT for Saban’s video.)