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#pounditMonday, December 11, 2023

Nick Saban shares how 3 players hurt Alabama in championship loss

Nick Saban in an Alabama shirt

Alabama went 13-2 during the college football season and lost to Georgia in the National Championship Game 33-18, ending their hopes of going back-to-back as champions.

In the defeat to Georgia, Alabama lost one of its best players in Jameson Williams to a knee injury. They were also playing without John Metchie, who got hurt in the SEC Championship Game.

The injuries to Metchie and Williams gave some of Alabama’s backups at wide receiver the opportunity to make a big impact in the game. Instead, those players did not make their mark, and Nick Saban believes that is a lesson worth teaching.

Saban spoke at the Alabama Football Coaches Association clinic on Jan. 27 and talked about the situation. The clip from his speech did not become available until Thursday but made headlines after it circulated.

“We had three guys. They all had a significant role in the national championship game and not one of them — not one — could take advantage of the opportunity they had,” Saban said.

The Alabama coach said the players not taking advantage was the product of them not preparing for the moment.

“Because they never ground through it. They never made themselves the best player they could be. And when they got the opportunity, they couldn’t do it. It’s a lesson for everybody. What comes first? Playing time? Or making sure that you’re ready to play and create value for yourself when you get the opportunity.”

Saban believes those receivers were not preparing daily the way they should have been for when the time came that they would be needed. That resulted in them not rising to the occasion.

Saban did not name the names of the players, but you can search to find the backups who played receiver in the game.

In addition to the receivers not stepping up, Saban pointed to injuries at cornerback that hurt the Crimson Tide in the second half against Georgia.

Injuries are and have always been a big part of the game. They happened to hurt Bama at the worst possible time. Texas fans who saw Colt McCoy get hurt against Bama don’t want to hear any of Saban’s complaints.

Photo: Sep 11, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

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