Saban, Alabama harping on need for improvement after Texas A&M w - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Saban, Alabama harping on need for improvement after Texas A&M win

Posted: Updated:
Alabama head coach Nick Saban during a news conference in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Monday, September 16, 2013. (abc3340.com) Alabama head coach Nick Saban during a news conference in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Monday, September 16, 2013. (abc3340.com)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Nick Saban isn't exactly lavishing praise on Alabama's performance in a memorable win over Texas A&M.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide showed "competitive character," beat a good division rival and played "halfway decent" in the middle of the game between early and late lapses. Those are the positive reviews.

Two days after the 49-42 victory over the No. 10 Aggies, Saban and Alabama players kept the game in perspective.

It is still September, after all.

"Where do we go from here?" Saban said Monday. "I think focus needs to be on improving as a team. There's no question I don't feel like we are where we need to be as a team. There's definitely many, many things that we need to improve on. I think the most important part of that is going to be players having the discipline to trust and believe in doing the things the way we want them done.

"Without that improvement, we're not going to get where we want to go. We're not going to become the team that we could be."

Alabama (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) cleared that first gigantic hurdle toward a shot at a third consecutive national title. Colorado State and former Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain pay a visit Saturday followed by No. 21 Mississippi.

The only other ranked opponent before a potential SEC title game berth is No. 6 LSU on Nov. 9.

There were plenty of teaching moments for Saban in the Texas A&M game. A defense that's been the nation's stingiest two years running allowed 628 yards to Johnny Manziel & Co., the most given up in Alabama history.

Safety Vinnie Sunseri does keep those stats in perspective since there's only one Manziel.

"We're not going to face an offense that has a quarterback that's able to move like he's able to, hopefully, down the road," said Sunseri, who returned his second interception for a touchdown in as many games.

The Tide's Cyrus Jones also picked off a Manziel pass in the end zone. Those proved pivotal plays in the game but didn't quite off-set the litany of big plays given up to Manziel and receiver Mike Evans, including a 95-yard bomb when Jones was beaten and had no help in the secondary.

That was just one of an array of examples.

"Too many big plays, too many missed assignments, too much lack of technique, guys doing what they're coached to do on a consistent basis," Saban said. "When you don't do that and you play against good players, you usually get exposed.

"From the first seven minutes of the game, we get behind 14-0 and don't play very well. The last eight minutes of the game, we give up 21 points. So that's 35 points right there. In the middle, we settled down and played halfway decent."

Of course, there were plenty of bright spots in winning the rematch of Alabama's only loss last season.

Quarterback AJ McCarron, T.J. Yeldon and the offensive line bounced back in a big way after managing only 206 yards in the opener against Virginia Tech.

McCarron was named SEC player of the week after throwing for a career-high 334 yards and four touchdowns. Yeldon ran for 149 yards and had a touchdown.

Tight end Brian Vogler also emphasized the room for improvement on both sides of the ball.

"Nobody has a perfect game. We've got holes as an offense, the defense has holes," Vogler said. "Realistically, you just want to win every game by a dominating margin. Winning by a touchdown just isn't really a dominating margin, at least in many cases, down here."

NOTES: Yeldon apologized Monday in a statement released by media relations for making a double throat-slashing and "show me the money" gestures after his touchdown. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. "That is not the way I want to represent myself, my family and our team," Yeldon said. "That is not the way we do things at Alabama. This is something that I will learn from, and I will use better judgment in the future." ... Saban said cornerback Deion Belue and wide receiver Kevin Norwood are questionable for the Colorado State game with unspecified injuries. Guard Anthony Steen is "very probable," Saban said.

Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Veterans traveling long distances for care after state budget cuts

    Veterans traveling long distances for care after state budget cuts

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:31:24 GMT
    Budget cuts are causing a new health care crisis for Alabama veterans.  More >>
    Budget cuts are causing a new health care crisis for Alabama veterans.  More >>
  • Cowabunga! Storm sends big waves to California

    Cowabunga! Storm sends big waves to California

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:38 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:38:44 GMT
    The surf was churning in Southern California, and even bigger waves were brewing.More >>
    Thundering surf spawned by a Pacific hurricane pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town while drawing daredevil surfers and body-boarders into churning, 20-foot...More >>
  • Alabama leads nation in Advanced Placement gains

    Alabama leads nation in Advanced Placement gains

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:18 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:18:05 GMT
    Alabama is leading the nation in improvements on Advanced Placement tests used to qualify high school students for college credits. Governor Robert Bentley and State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced the results of a study in Montgomery. Over the last six years Alabama students have an increase of 136 percent in the number of Advanced Placement exams passed in mathematics, science and English. The national increase over the same period time was 49 percent. The number of qualifying sc...More >>
    Alabama is leading the nation in improvements on Advanced Placement tests used to qualify high school students for college credits. Governor Robert Bentley and State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced the results of a study in Montgomery. Over the last six years Alabama students have an increase of 136 percent in the number of Advanced Placement exams passed in mathematics, science and English. The national increase over the same period time was 49 percent. The number of qualifying sc...More >>
  • Law enforcement ready to push water safety during Labor Day weekend

    Law enforcement ready to push water safety during Labor Day weekend

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:13:22 GMT
    A young man drowned in Cleburne County Wednesday at Cheaha Lake. The emergency situation encouraged ABC 33/40 to looking into water safety. Law enforcement is thinking safety as we head into the unofficial last weekend of the summer.More >>
    A young man drowned in Cleburne County Wednesday at Cheaha Lake. The emergency situation encouraged ABC 33/40 to looking into water safety. Law enforcement is thinking safety as we head into the unofficial last weekend of the summer.More >>
  • Alabama's Trey DePriest will not play vs West Virginia

    Alabama's Trey DePriest will not play vs West Virginia

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:46:55 GMT
    Starting linebacker Trey DePriest will not play in Alabama's season opener after he was suspended "for a minor NCAA infraction". Alabama coach Nick Saban said Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster will be the starting middle linebackers when the Tide play West Virginia on Saturday. Saban said DePriest will be available for the second game, against Florida Atlantic.DePriest started all 13 games last year and is a first-team All-SEC preseason pick. Alabama plays West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kick...More >>
    Starting linebacker Trey DePriest will not play in Alabama's season opener after he was suspended "for a minor NCAA infraction". Alabama coach Nick Saban said Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster will be the starting middle linebackers when the Tide play West Virginia on Saturday. Saban said DePriest will be available for the second game, against Florida Atlantic.DePriest started all 13 games last year and is a first-team All-SEC preseason pick. Alabama plays West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kick...More >>
  • East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:06:31 GMT
    Whitney Taggart never thought she and her three children would be in this predicament since moving to Birmingham. Taggart doesn't have a job. Her house suffered damage due to a fire earlier this month. Weeks after the flames, the electricity still doesn't work and there's no running water.More >>
    Whitney Taggart never thought she and her three children would be in this predicament since moving to Birmingham. Taggart doesn't have a job. Her house suffered damage due to a fire earlier this month. Weeks after the flames, the electricity still doesn't work and there's no running water.More >>
  • What's up with that? Status of Birmingham's bond referendum and roads

    What's up with that? Status of Birmingham's bond referendum and roads

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:01:25 GMT
    In ABC 33/40's daily "What's Up with That Post" on Facebook, a viewer asked about the bumpy conditions on some of Birmingham's roads.More >>
    In ABC 33/40's daily "What's Up with That Post" on Facebook, a viewer asked about the bumpy conditions on some of Birmingham's roads.
    More >>
  • Josh Gordon: Suspension for substance abuse upheld by NFL; Browns lose star WR for 2014 season

    Josh Gordon: Suspension for substance abuse upheld by NFL; Browns lose star WR for 2014 season

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:52:18 GMT
    Josh Gordon's wait is over, so is his 2014 season. The star wide receiver's career is now in peril.More >>
    Josh Gordon's wait is over, so is his 2014 season. The star wide receiver's career is now in peril.
    More >>