TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Although he didn’t do so directly, Nick Saban revisited his “rat poison” comment while urging University of Alabama fans to not take Arkansas lightly during his radio show on Thursday night,
“No disrespect to anybody in the media, but you all make some assumptions that turn out to be incorrect,” he said.
“For people to make assumptions that the other team doesn’t have a chance and for our players to hear that, that’s not good.”
Last Saturday, Alabama was considered a huge favorite at Texas A&M, yet the Crimson Tide had to recover an onside kick during the final seconds to preserve the win.
According to oddsshark.com, Alabama is favored by 31.5 points for its homecoming game against Arkansas (7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The coach noted that the Razorbacks have a lot of good players, probably should have defeated Texas A&M earlier this season and this is an important game for Alabama because, in his mind, it took a step back with its identity last week.
He asked for fans to have good energy at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Saban also said …
• Saban took aim at the notion that Alabama’s players are too beat up once they get to the NFL: “There is absolutely no truth to that. We have more guys on NFL rosters than any school in the country.” On opening weekend of the NFL season, the Crimson Tide were tied with LSU for having the most former players on active rosters, which does not include injured reserved lists or practice squads.
• On sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts: “I think people who saw him play a year ago now see him playing better.”
• The coach gave his own program a deserved plug for its medical staff, from Dr. James Andrews down to trainer Jeff Allen, saying he doesn’t think there’s a better medical staff in the nation and Alabama uses the same specialists that most pro athletes go out of their way to see. Saban added that it’s crucial that the players trust the medical staff for having their best interests at heart.
• Saban disclosed that he gets up at 6:15 a.m. every Sunday, regardless of when he went to bed. “The night games are killing me with my old age.” He also tries to get home by 10 p.m. on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays in time for dinner. “A 12-hour day is like a day off.”
• Laura Rutledge of ESPN/SEC Network was the media guest.