TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban spoke to reporters on Monday to open Mississippi State week.
No. 1 Alabama (9-0, 6-0 SEC) hosts Mississippi State (4-5, 2-3) on Saturday at Noon ET on ESPN.
Highlights from Saban’s time at the podium:
- I don’t have any new comments from the game. I thought we fought hard to win that game.
- I’m glad our entire defense was recognized with the national player of the week. We did the same thing for them with our players of the week.
- We’re expecting another tough game from Mississippi State. They always play well. They’re playing their best football at this point of the season and that’s evident with their win over Texas A&M.
- I don’t think the pass coverage has been that bad. It’s an over-generalization to say that it was bad in the last few games, but good in another game. We have some things we can improve on so we’re going to continue to work on that.
- I think special teams has done well. We missed a field goal. JK Scott punted well. The return game has been pretty consistent. We do need to improve on our coverage teams. LSU had a good one on us.
- Ryan Anderson is a talented, hard-working player. He understands all of the concepts. He does a good job of setting the edge. He’s been a good player for us.
- To be a great competitor, you have to have a little stuff in your neck, if you know what that means. You have to be physical to play on defense.
- Bradley Bozeman has been very consistent for us. He does a good job of making all of the calls.
- Mississippi State’s quarterback can run and throw. That’s going to be a challenge for us. Mississippi State and Dan Mullen understand how to use these types of quarterbacks. They’ve been doing it since back at Florida with Tim Tebow.
- Reuben Foster is the type of linebacker who can play in space and against the run. C.J. Mosley was the same type of player here. Reuben is very versatile. He makes all the calls, and gets us in the right thing. He’s able to react fast and make plays for us.
- Anthony Averett has played well all year long. He makes plays and just goes about his business. He keeps people cut off. He’s gotten better as he’s gained more knowledge and experience.
- We still have a ways to go with Lester Cotton, but he has improved as the year has gone on. We’re going to continue to work with him.
- Tony Brown played well in this game. A little better technique would help him out. We’re happy with the progress he’s made. He’s taking care of things off the field. He’s doing well in school. Hopefully he’ll continue to grow as a teammate and understand his role on the team.
- Keaton Anderson has done an outstanding job as the protector on punt team. He’s done extremely well at putting us in the right protection, as well as improving the coverage protection.
- Minkah Fitzpatrick did a good job in the game. He didn’t make a lot of mental errors. He did a good job of making some of the adjustments. He’s a bright guy. I think his disposition helped him play well. I was pleased with the way he played.