TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — WIth another SEC road game looming, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is looking for a bit more consistency from his team as it prepares to face No. 11 Ole Miss.
After suffering an overtime loss to LSU last week which effectively ended the Crimson Tide’s chances of a bid to the College Football Playoff, Saban said his team has practiced well this week but isn’t if that will translate on Saturday.
“You hope when guys practice well, they will play better in the game,” Saban said. “But there are so many things that happen in the game that you have to maintain your individual momentum to be able to play the next play and execute when your best is needed. When an ‘oh shit’ moment comes up in the game, you’ve got to be able to play the next play.”
Alabama has played in four games this season that was won or lost by a four-point spread. Tack on that all four of those matchups came down to the very last play not only makes the outcome that much more invigorating, it also leads to questions about execution.
In the team’s most recent nail-biting finish, Alabama recorded a season-high 19 missed tackles to go along with nine penalties for 92 yards and two turnovers have become Alabama’s crux for its downfall.
When asked if practices do translate to Saturdays, Saban began frivolously tapping the lectern in frustration. While it wasn’t the explosive rants reporters have grown accustomed to seeing, he made his message clear to the team that focus and execution are paramount as the Crimson Tide gets reaches the home stretch of the regular season.
“You gotta have the right mindset to be able to sustain the right energy level and regain momentum when those things happen and that’s one of the things that we need to get better at,” Saban said. “We talk all the time about playing one play at a time for 60 minutes in a game like it has a history and a life of its own. No matter what happens on the last play, focus on the next play. Don’t look at the scoreboard, don’t worry about the outcome.
“Just do the things you need to do to get the outcome that you want. That’s something that we need to improve on and it is something that has been harped on all year long. So even if you practice well and don’t go into the game with the right psychological disposition to sustain momentum and how you play in and play out, even when things go bad, even when you’re playing on the road, it doesn’t matter where you’re playing, then you’re not going to be able to maintain the kind of focus you need to be able to execute. “
Alabama and Ole Miss will face off in Oxford, Miss. on Saturday No. 12 at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS.
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