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Nick Saban Details Preparations for SEC Championship Game vs Georgia

In the final episode of Hey Coach! in Tuscaloosa this season, Saban broke down the specifics of what his players have been working on as they prepare for the Bulldogs.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It's a fairly well-known practice that with Alabama football under head coach Nick Saban, the team avoids looking ahead to games on the calendar.

During Saban's time with the Crimson Tide, the coach and his players strive to remain heavily focused on the task at hand and the next game on the schedule rather than looking down the road at other opponents. On Thursday night on the Hey Coach! radio program, Saban once again reiterated this point.

Answering a question from a fan present on-location, Saban said that he prefers to focus on the team at hand and that the vast majority of his team's preparations for the SEC Championship Game against Georgia began this week.

"We've had difficult games, so the only time that we've spent any time on a game like this would've been the bye week," Saban said. "I've never been one to think that that was a good way to approach things. Like, are we gonna take time away from preparing for the Auburn game or the LSU game or the Arkansas game — which were all tough games for us — because we're gonna play in some other game? So I've never really ever bought into that."

Alabama bested LSU by just six points, held off Arkansas by a touchdown and defeated Auburn in quadruple overtime, making it safe to say that the Crimson Tide had a rough month of November. This Saturday, though, comes Alabama biggest challenge in No. 1 Georgia in Atlanta.

While Saban hinted that he and his staff might have had the players do some form of preparations for the Bulldogs over the team's bye week back in late October, that was prior to the issues that the team has experienced in November. Poor offensive production has almost been Alabama's downfall in three of its last four games, an issue that has many Crimson Tide fans concerned heading into this weekend's game.

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Continuing his answer to the fan inside Baumhower's Victory Grille in Tuscaloosa, Saban noted the key items that his players have been working on this week.

"We need to run the ball better," Saban said. "We need to eliminate negative plays and Georgia has a lot of pressure defense that they run to try to create a lot of negative plays and they have, like, nine players in the front seven who has created a good number of negative plays. We need to do a good job in pass protection. We can't have negative plays on offense and get behind the sticks because when you play a team like this, that's when they really can ramp it up on you because they can play the situation.

"So those are the things that we've been working on on offense: to have more balance and to be able to protect the quarterback and give him a better chance to operate. And a lot of these things start with the offensive line but the entire team needs to play a little bit better against this kind of defensive team so that we don't give up a lot of negative plays."

Alabama's offensive line against Auburn allowed quarterback Bryce Young to be sacked seven times over the course of the game. Through regulation and four overtime periods, the Crimson Tide was also able to only obtain 64 total rushing yards.

While Alabama's offense wasn't productive until quite literally the final minutes of the game, the Crimson Tide's defense was stifling and held the Tigers to just 159 total yards of offense. Against a talented Georgia offense led by quarterback Stetson Bennett and running back Zamir White, Alabama will certainly have a more difficult challenge on its hands.

That being said, Saban said that there have been key factors that he and his staff has had the Crimson Tide defense focusing on this week as well.

"On defense, they have so many personnel groups and so many multiples of formations that we gotta get our players to get in the right place, make the right adjustments so we have the right numbers of people to be able to stop the run because the have really good balance as well and they're good on special teams," Saban said. "So this is a complete team we're playing so we need to be a complete team and I think the players did a pretty good job in preparation this week."