Alabama has arrived in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl, and coach Nick Saban’s team appears to be healthy and focused entering the biggest game of the season.
“It’s all about mindset,” Saban said Saturday morning. “Kinda putting the Christmas holidays behind you. Refocusing on what we need to do to invest our time and preparation that we have.”
Here were some of his other thoughts on…
Michigan State: “It’s certainly going to be a difficult game. A tough game. And I think you have to prepare for that and have the right mindset in terms of what your expectation is when the game starts.”
Christmas: “I think there’s some point in time, where, as you go through the stations of life, you look forward to Santa Claus coming, and then at some point in time, you become Santa Claus, so… I was just happy to be Santa Claus. I was just happy to see everybody and the kids, grand baby, Miss Terry, everybody happy with their relationships.”
Travel: “Some of the guys from this part of the country and out west are meeting us here. I have not heard of any issues that we’ve had with any of those guys at this point.”
Mindset: “I think everybody has to have the mindset that it’s going to take a complete game, and it’s going to be a tough game. The way this team plays — good defense, don’t turn the ball over on offense — they don’t give you much. So you’ve got to have the mindset that you’re going to have to fight for every inch.”
Kenyan Drake (arm): “He’s been fine. Hasn’t had any issues or problems at all … I think he’s much more confident now. I think the fact that he got to play in that game probably helped his confidence … I think it’s important because he’s certainly a guy that can be a weapon for us on offense, and we certainly need a little more diversity in terms of what we do on offense.”
Jerry World: “The fact that we’ve played here before always makes the players feel a little more comfortable in terms of what they need to do in a game.”
The Cotton Bowl kicks off at 8:10 p.m. ET on Dec. 31 (ESPN).