Nick Saban talks Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze and injury reports - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Nick Saban talks Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze and injury reports in SEC teleconference

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During the weekly SEC coaches teleconference on Wednesday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said that his team will be challenged by Ole Miss and their hurry-up offense.

"This is obviously a very important game for us.  It's a SEC game, it's a division game, and Ole Miss is really playing extremely well."  Saban said. "Their hurry-up offense is something that really gets defensive players out of their comfort zone.  We're working hard to try and get a picture of that, look at that, work on that."

The Bears are currently ranked 15th in the country in total offense, averaging 488 yards per game while scoring 36.8 points a game.  Saban said first-year head coach Hugh Freeze has done a great job in getting the ball to their playmakers and setting them up for explosive plays.

"They've done a really good job of creating explosive plays for their skill guys." he said. "They have really good speed, offensively, quarterbacks that do a good job of executing what they do, a couple of wideouts that can make explosive plays so this is a difficult preparation from not only the no-huddle part, but also from the their ability to execute with some pretty good players."

One of those players Saban is referring to is the mobile Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace who has thrown for 717 yards and seven touchdowns.  He also has 44 rushing attempts for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Wallace injured his shoulder last week in the 39-0 victory over Tulane, and was held out of practice on Tuesday.  Freeze was optimistic today about his quarterback's chances of returning to the practice field on Wednesday, but said he'll have to wait and see how the sophomore throws the ball before making a decision.

On Injury Reports

Saban said he wouldn't be opposed to an injury report system similar to the NFL, but doesn't think that's an issue that college football should be worried about.

"I don't think it's imperative to the future of college football that we have an injury report." he said. "I'm not opposed to one if everybody has to do it the same way and it can be enforced that everybody does it the same."

Saban mentioned that even in the NFL, people manipulate the system to put questions of player availability in the minds of other teams.

On Hugh Freeze

Saban was asked to describe the difference he has seen in the Ole Miss program since Freeze replaced Houston Nutt in Oxford.

"First of all, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Houston Nutt.  I think the guy is a great coach and has done a great job at a lot of different places. We've had a lot of very tough, difficult games against him so this is at all no disrespect, but Ole Miss is playing very well.  They've won three games and scored a lot of points against Texas who has a pretty good team.  The players are playing hard, they've got a good spirit about them.  I think they believe in and have some good players to do the things that they are trying to on offense.   It is a very sound and effective offensive scheme that they run that creates a lot of difficulties for the defense.  I think that there is a lot of positives about what Hugh Freeze has done in terms of what he has implemented and what he has done and how his kids have responded to it."

On the late kickoff time (8:15 p.m.)

Saban is asked the dreaded question about a late night game effecting his team's schedule at least once a year, and his answer is always the same.  It is what it is.

"Well, we play in these games all the time and it is not something we have any control over.  It's no different than if it rains, what can we do about that?  It is what it is.  You manage what you have to manage and do what you have to do to get your guys to be ready to play when it's time to play."

 

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