Alabama closed out Utah State 55-0 at Bryant Denny Stadium on Saturday night to extend their 21st straight win.
Here are the highlights from Nick Saban’s post-match press conference.
— Saban: “I’m really happy with how the players approached the game. I think we had good energy, good intensity and good preparation throughout the week.” Saban said the first group did a really good job. and pointed out that there was one penalty, but that some things needed to be cleared up.
— Saban said Special Teams has been solid outside of a late-game blocked punt.
— Saban: “Players need to understand the importance of maintaining some kind of intensity…so that we can build and improve as a team.” “I don’t mean to insult the state,” he said, but Alabama is going to face a more physical, aggressive and talented team, and Alabama’s players need to understand that.
— Saban asked young players if they were ready to take the opportunity to play. It was a good experience for those players, but they learned a lesson about having to prepare for the game. “I wish I could have played more,” Saban said.
— Asked about the running game, Saban noted the explosive runs of Jarmer Gibbs and Bryce Young, but said “consistency in and out” to gain enough yards was “necessary.” It was nothing.”
— Asked about the rotation of starting cornerbacks, Saban reiterated that there is competition for cornerbacks and asked rhetorically. He asked why everyone was surprised by that. “I don’t know who has the best corner,” he said. “So we played them all in the game.”
— Asked about Emil Ekiyor not starting guard, Saban said, “You guys need to get off the depth chart a bit.” Saban said Ekiyor missed his five days of practice, but he only practiced twice before the game. “Emil is still a starting member of the right guard,” Saban said. If Ekiyor was poised to start at right guard, he’s not sure who started at left guard.
— Saban got annoyed at the topic of depth charts and said this might be the last year they’re coming out. “I know you guys think I’m crazy, but I don’t mind that at all,” he said.
— Saban said Kobe Prentice did a “great job” on the game and practiced really well. “He’s exactly what we’re looking for to play in slots,” Saban said. You can grow into someone who can help us.”
— Asked about target distribution, Saban said he doesn’t plan to throw the ball to any particular player, but that quarterbacks read the defense and calculate it on a play-by-play basis. “We want everyone to have production, and I think that’s a good thing,” he said.
— When asked about Bryce Young’s first game, Saban said he “did a great job with the game” but “missed a few things.”
— Saban thought Jase McClellan did a “really good thing” with the game.
— Sabang walks away and says, “Smile as usual and say thank you.”
Mike Rodak is an Alabama Beats Reporter for Alabama Media Group. follow him on twitter @michelodak.