Nick Saban remains undefeated against Lane Kiffin as Alabama’s head football coach.
He guided the Crimson Tide to a 24-10 victory over Mississippi at Bryant-Denny Stadium to improve to 3-1.
Alabama’s offense struggled in the first half, but it started to find itself in the second half.
Kevin Steele, Alabama’s defensive coordinator, had his group playing lights out. The Tide affected Ole Miss’ quarterback Jaxson Dart and running back Quinshon Judkins had a hard time finding lanes to run. Saban did have a situation with officials during a possession where the Tide potentially lost a down on offense and had to kick a field goal. Will Reichard made the kick to give Alabama a 9-7 lead; however, Coach Saban felt like the team kicked the attempt on third down. He explained his understanding of the potential lost down in his postgame presser. His explanation came after discussing how proud he was of the players.
“I got hot about that one,” Saban said about the potential lost down. “Most of the time, the guy that marks the ball will signal first down. He came and marked the ball and when they put their hand down, it’s like it’s short. So we assumed it was short. We called a quarterback sneak, which cost us a down. We tried to do it fast before they could line up. All of a sudden, before we could snap the ball, they are moving the chains. The chains did not move until we were snapping the ball. Now, the referee says ‘I signaled first down.’ I said, ‘Well why didn’t the guy spotting the ball signal first down?’ That was another one of those … you know when stuff like that happens … the football gods are not with you because it was a miscommunication. We did not think in the pressbox that the guy made a first down. Most of the time it’s right away, first down. The guy marking the ball did not signal first down. So it was bad on our part. If we were not trying to go fast, we would have been able to recover from the situation and that cost us.”
Saban may have been hot about the situation, but he is more proud of the competitiveness Alabama showed in the second half.
The Tide now travels to Mississippi State next week to face the Bulldogs.
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