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Alabama Re-Ups Intensity Heading Into Florida Week

Nick Saban and the players said the Crimson Tide did not do a good job during preparation for last week's game, but there is a smaller margin for error as Alabama opens conference play this week.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After reviewing the film from the Mercer game, Alabama coach Nick Saban said that when the team played well, it's because they were playing with discipline. However, that disciplined play was not consistent enough throughout the game. 

"When we played with good discipline, we had really good success," Saban said during Monday's media availability. "And that was a little bit too inconsistent in terms of us being able to stack positive performance play in and play out in the game."

And a lot of that inconsistency dates back to practice according to Saban and some of the Crimson Tide players. 

When asked to evaluate the performance from game two, quarterback Bryce Young said that the team's poor preparation showed in the game, and it was something Saban had been warning them about all week. 

"We didn’t do a great job of preparing last week, and I think when we don’t prepare and we don’t push ourselves to be as good as we can be during the week, mistakes start to come up," Young said. 

"I don’t feel like, as a team, we were very proud of what we put on film this weekend, and that’s something that we have to acknowledge, watch, learn from and make sure that we’re growing this week and making sure that we’re preparing and pushing ourselves during practice.”

Alabama will begin preparing and practicing for Florida on Monday. Senior defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis said he has not really watched film on the Gators yet but knows that they are a good team. He also knows that it is part of his job as leader to make sure the team practices better this week. 

"We’ve got to do better in the leadership room, just staying on the guys more," Mathis said. "You’ve got to be more disciplined and keeping the guys hyped, bringing a lot of energy to practice because that’s where it starts at.”

Not only is Saturday the Crimson Tide's first SEC game of the season, it will also be the first time in a decade that Alabama has traveled to play in the hostile environment of The Swamp. 

Even though the Gators are a very different team than the one Alabama faced in last season's SEC Championship game, they are still loaded with talent and will present a challenge for the No. 1 team in the country as they open conference play. That's why Saban knows preparation will be critical this week. 

"It'll be a very challenging game for us, so we need to have great focus this week and great preparation," Saban said.