TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It’s finally game week in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama is a few days away from traveling to Cowboy Stadium for its season opener vs. Southern California. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on ABC.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban spoke with reporters prior to Monday’s practice.
- The players are excited. This has the feel of a bowl-like atmosphere.
- There is no identity with this team. None of the outside stuff matters. We’re still working to create our own identity and figure out what this team can be.
- Southern Cal is an outstanding team. They’re a great offensive team.
- JuJu Smith is as good a receiver as we’ll play all year.
- We’re down to two guys at quarterback. Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett are the two guys we’re going to play in this game. We’re going to continue to work with all of our guys.
- The two guys we’re going to play at running back are Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris. We’ll continue to work with Joshua Jacobs and B.J. Emmons.
- We’re going to play Bradley Bozeman at center, and Ross Pierschbacher at center.
- Cooper Bateman has come a long way. We like how he has developed. We’re not pleased, but we’re not disappointed either.
- We think Jalen Hurts has a bright future. What we look for in quarterbacks is whether or not they can do the little things in the offense. We’re going to continue to work with him so he can hopefully become a productive player for us.
- We think Trevon Diggs can be a productive player for us at some point. He has worked at wide receiver and safety. We’ll probably keep him at safety for now.
- Blake Barnett has gotten bigger and stronger and he’s throwing the ball effectively. We want to have an offense that can create explosive plays through our receivers. Barnett has been an effective passer for us. He’s more confident now.
- I can’t tell you how the quarterbacks are going to play in the game. Cooper Bateman has played in a game, and that’s a benefit to him. Some guys play a lot better in games than they do in practice.