Nick Saban Saw "A Lot of Good Things" During Alabama's 66-3 victory over Western Carolina
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — With Alabama scoring in every facet of the game, on offense, defense and special teams (although only a field goal as a touchdown call was nullified by replay officials), there as a lot to digest during the 66-2 victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.
Here's some of what Nick Saban and others said afterward:
“I was really pleased with the way the guys played the game today. It is always about trying to create a standard for how you play. Competitors always want to improve something. Always challenge themselves. I think our guys did a pretty good job with that today.
“I think the five turnovers were big in terms of scoring. Mac (Jones) was pretty efficient. Made a lot of explosive plays on offense. He didn’t throw it maybe as much, but he made a lot of explosive plays.
“I was pleased with the overall performance of the way the defense played and the turnovers they got. Made a big play on special teams. A lot of good things.
“One thing that was negative was fumbling the ball 1-and-3 at the 3. Those are all the kinds of things that we need to learn from.
“A lot of guys got to play in this game which is really good. A lot of good guys played up front on defense, but we got to play a lot of players and for a significant amount of time. Experience will always help to develop and help us down the road. We have to get focused on what is ahead and get our players ready to do that.”
On the defensive line’s performance:
“I think they did a pretty good job. I thought that especially on the inside runs for the most part we did a pretty good job. I think any plays that they made were on boots, edges, losing contain on the quarterback. Not really something that the interior guys had a lot to do with. I haven’t watched the film yet. I felt like we controlled the line of scrimmage pretty well. Their guys aren’t as big and physical as what we are going face in the future, but I’m not disappointed.”
On Xavier McKinney and Jared Mayden big performance today:
“Well I think they were all big. Obviously anytime you score on defense, it’s a big thing. We practice that a lot. Everybody blocks, and I thought there were guys that got some great blocks on that. X did a great job of carrying it in. He had two picks, Jared had two picks. I think turnovers led to 35 points in the game, and our offense converted on them.”
Quarterback Mac Jones
On his mindset going into the game:
“I think it was good. Not a lot changes when you’re the starting quarterback. When you’re in that role, you just try to step in and do your job to the best of your ability. It’s really great when your teammates rally around you like they did today and all week. I know that I’m a new face in there, but everything seemed to go pretty well this week.”
On how he will build on this performance:
“(Today’s game) was a good momentum builder. You just want to approach each week pretty much the same. It’s a faceless opponent no matter who you are playing. As a team, you just want to work on the things that you need to work on and get better at so that you can continue to mold as a team.”
Defensive back Jared Mayden
On Senior Day and his last performance at Bryant-Denny:
“I think the day went good. I really just wanted to leave my mark during the last game. With it being the last time playing on this field, I was just trying to have a good day. I feel like we performed well in this game, and we can use it as a building block for next week.”
On his accomplishments and legacy during his time at The University of Alabama:
“As a player and as a person, the University has meant a lot to me. I really noticed myself growing as a person during my time here. When I was a freshman, I was wide-eyed and didn’t know too much. Now, being able to understand football, but also how to carry yourself as a man, it’s meant a lot to me. In my four years, Alabama has really helped me grow as a man.”
Western Carolina coach Mark Speir
“First of all, congratulations to Alabama. They've got a heck of a football team – well-coached and tremendous athletic ability. I thought the first half, our defense, the biggest positive I guess was we felt we did a nice job against stopping the run. I think they had 59 yards at halftime rushing, so for us that was huge. We just couldn't match their skill set with our secondary versus their wide receivers. They're a top team in America. They've got an outstanding group of wide outs. That's what we were worried about coming in, and they certainly proved to be, offensively.
“Turnovers killed us. I thought, first half especially, we did a pretty good job, better probably than we thought we were going to do just as far as moving the ball. But we'd get down there and pushed some picks. I thought the first pick we had a tight end wide open. If we had hit him, we might have scored, which would have been good. But at the end of the day, we had, I believe, five turnovers on the day, and you can't do that against anybody, but especially The University of Alabama. I wish them the best of luck in their quest for the playoffs. We will always say we'll come to Alabama. It's a first-class organization, and Coach Saban does a phenomenal job, and is a class act.”
Quarterback Tyrie Adams
“Like Coach Speir was saying, we had five turnovers. It came from a lot of different things. The biggest thing was that we had a hard time getting hands down, had some tipoffs up front. Miscommunication between myself and the receivers, you know just doing stuff like that. I mean against any team you can't do that and expect to even be in the game, but, I think my guys played hard. They fought hard. Proud of the boys for finishing the game, and I am excited to see what the future holds for this university.”