Saban on CFP loss: ‘We shot ourselves in the foot’
Alex Scarborough, ESPN Personnel WriterJan 1, 2024, 10:51 PM ET
- Covers the SEC.Joined ESPN
- in 2012.
- Graduate of Auburn University.PASADENA, Calif.– Alabama
coach Nick Saban took the blame for Monday night’s 27-20 overtime loss to Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Rose Bowl.Crediting the Wolverines for a well-played game, Saban stated the outcome was because of the Crimson Tide’s absence of execution.”We shot ourselves in the foot,”Saban said.Asked about the last play– a quarterback operate on fourth-and-goal in overtime that was stopped short– Saban stated the Tide were gotten ready for Michigan to pressure.”But we believed we might space them and block them and make it work, and it didn’t,”he said.On offense, Alabama finished with just 288 lawns, due in large part to allowing six sacks and 10 takes on for loss. Jalen Milroe, who completed
sixth in the Heisman Trophy ballot, was held to 116 backyards passing and no touchdowns.Editor’s Picks 2 Related “It was a combination of numerous things, “Saban said of the offending line’s problems, including missed out on chances redirecting defense because the clock was running down.”I thought we did a better task in the second half, however we didn’t give Jalen a chance to make some plays, nor our receivers to make some plays down the field, which was a huge part of this game.” Milroe stated he valued the coaching staff for putting the ball in his hands on the last play.” With anything, all it came down was fall back to your level of training, and we just stopped working on that play,”he stated.”That’s all it was.”Inside the locker room, players offered different factors for the group’s struggles in all 3 stages of the game.Defensive back Malachi Moore stated there were” mental lapses throughout the board.”
Cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry said,”We might’ve done a better job of finishing and staying together and executing the calls
we were provided.”McKinstry said Michigan didn’t do anything the Tide had not seen or weren’t gotten ready for. Star edge rusher Dallas Turner, who led the group with nine sacks this season, could not provide an explanation for why the group sacked Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy just when and didn’t register a single QB rush.”It might be some plays where I’m dropping or I’m spying or something like that, “he stated. “You know, I don’t constantly rush the quarterback. Why? I do not know. I just do what I’m informed.” Offensive lineman Tyler Booker
stated Michigan “showed why they’re the No. 1 team in the nation.” However he added that the line didn’t do a great task of managing Michigan’s stunts up front– bringing rushers from various directions– which permitted the Wolverines to impact Milroe and interrupt the death game. Alabama’s 44 sacks permitted this season were one of the most in the past 35 years of the program.Along with 13 pressures on 33 dropbacks, Alabama struggled to regularly get tidy snaps to Milroe.”The plays were there to be made,” Booker said.Those self-inflicted wounds and so-called “drive-stoppers” were reminiscent of the start of the season, Booker said, when Alabama lost to Texas in Week 2 and struggled offensively the following week in a close win at USF.”We repaired them during the course of the season, but as you go on, the much better competition gets,”he said. “There’s less room for error when you’re playing a group like Michigan.”Booker said the last play of the game, where Milroe was stopped, was”one-back power/quarterback power.” “Our mindset was to complete out the game then and there, however we just didn’t carry out,”he stated.” And that’s simply the name of why we are where we are right now. We just didn’t execute
. We didn’t complete.”Booker said Saban’s message to the team in the locker room after the loss was positive.”He’s simply actually pleased with us, you know what I imply?”he said.”We have actually overcome a lot as a group, from beginning where we were to finishing where we did. It’s just been excellent, you know what I imply? So of course we’re disappointed. We wished to win the game.
But at the end of the day, when we look back over the entire season, this is a terrific group. “Saban stated the Tide were “clearly really dissatisfied about the result of the game. “”I don’t think we played great in the first half, but I was truly, really happy with the way our players played in the 2nd half, “he added.”
We just didn’t finish the last four minutes of the game like we want to, and we’re all really dissatisfied, and the players are dissatisfied, too. However one thing that I told them in the locker room after the game: This is among the most fantastic seasons in Alabama football history in regards to where this group came from, what they had the ability to accomplish and what they had the ability to do, winning the SEC champion, and actually, truly proud of this group.”I simply want that I might have done more as a coach to help them be successful and assist them end up, and all we can do now is gain from the lessons that in some cases failings give us.”