Nick Saban: Crimson Tide ‘need to play better’ to win title game
Nick Saban, unsurprisingly, was calling for immediate improvement from the Alabama Crimson Tide after their 45-34 win over Oklahoma in the semifinal of the College Football Playoff.
Saban praised his team for the win and said he was proud of the effort, but wasted no time pointing out to ESPN’s Maria Taylor in his live postgame interview that there was a lot of work to do.
“There’s a lot of things that we can do better,” Saban said. “We got a lot of untimely penalties in this game that really either extended drives for them or stopped us, so there’s a lot of things we need to focus on to improve.
“The only time we really got stopped in the game was we stopped ourselves. It would have been much more difficult for [Oklahoma] to get back in the game if that didn’t happen, but you’ve got to say something about the great execution we had to control the tempo of the game like we did.”
When asked about Clemson, Saban had a pretty simple assessment of his team: “I’m sure we’ll need to play better then than we did today.”
Alabama committed nine penalties for 86 yards in the game, including three in short order that caused the coach to lose his cool on the sideline. His priority is going to be cleaning those up ahead of Jan. 7, when the Tide will meet Clemson for the national title.