When Alabama last played Georgia, it needed every last second to escape with a win.

It was the 2012 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, a back-and-forth affair that the Crimson Tide only just held on to win 32-28 after the game clock expired on the Bulldogs five yards shy of the end zone.

Since then, though, times have changed, and Georgia has molded into a program that looks familiar to the one in Tuscaloosa -- at least according to the latter's coach, Nick Saban.

“I would say they look a lot like some of our teams of the past,” Saban said during his weekly Monday press conference. “Very physical, don’t make a lot of mistakes, don’t beat themselves much. And they play with a lot of toughness and they’re very aggressive on both sides of the ball.

“That’s the kind of team that we’ve always sort of aspired to have here. And it certainly looks like that’s the kind of team they have developed there.”

One reason for that is Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, a former Alabama assistant coach.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs to work under Mark Richt last season, Pruitt was the Crimson Tide's director of player development from 2007-09 and secondary coach from 2010-12. In 2013, he was Florida State's defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

Pruitt, a former defensive back, played at Alabama in 1995-96.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jeremy and I think he knows that, as have all the guys that worked here and did well for us, that we appreciate the job that he did," Saban said. "I’m happy to see them doing well when they go on to do other things, which is the goal and aspirations of most of our assistant coaches have."

"We have a good relationship and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the job that he did here – I think he did a fantastic job here – and I think it goes without saying that the results he’s gotten where he’s been, it’s very good, it doesn’t surprise me."

Alabama will face Georgia -- its first true road game this season -- this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS.

Watch player interviews from Monday below: