Alabama further proved that it is in a class of its own on Saturday with another dominant victory, this time over 11th-ranked Mississippi State. Those of you who like to gamble may have seen Mississippi State getting 24 points heading into the game and thought it was easy money since they are ranked so highly. Instead, Alabama covered another mind-boggling spread. Nick Saban still saw room for improvement.
“I got upset with the backup players because they are better than that,” Saban said according to Andrew Gribble of AI.com. “They can play better than that. They need to play with poise and confidence when they go in the game and compete just like everybody else competes. That’s being able to execute and do your job.
“Everybody has to understand their role and go out there and do it.”
Alabama won 38-7, but Saban was upset about Mississippi State’s lone touchdown drive which included a 15-yard facemask by freshman cornerback Geno Smith. The Bulldogs’ nine-play, 63-yard drive spoiled a potential shutout, but Saban insisted it is not holding his opponent to a goose egg that matters.
“It’s not about shutting anybody out,” he said. “It’s not about any of that. It’s about them playing their best football. We are trying to get our players to play their best that they can play in every regard. We need to keep improving as a team.”
Saban is a perfectionist, which is why he has his team in a tremendous position to repeat as national champions. As we have seen from some of the blow-ups he has had at the media, Saban obsesses over making sure his team never gets too cocky or underestimates its opponents. If that involves ripping reserve players for not preserving a shutout, so be it.