Alabama Football: What Nick Saban said on Monday of USM week


Nick Saban had much to say at his Monday press review as Alabama football begins its preparation to play Southern Mississippi.

Alabama football coach had some good news and nor so good news on Monday. As the Crimson Tide begins preparation for Saturday’s home game versus South Mississippi, there are unsettling changes in the Tide’s defensive front.

Defensive end, LaBryan Ray will miss Saturday’s game after re-injuring a foot that caused him to have surgery in the offseason. Nick Saban said more tests are needed to further evaluate Ray. Alabama football insiders are speculating Ray will be lost for a significant amount of time and might not be able to return in the regular season.

The player who replaced Ray during the game Saturday was true freshman, Justin Eboigbe. Eboigbe is coming off a less severe injury and saw his first game action against South Carolina. Other inexperienced players expected to gain more playing time in the Tide’s rotation are Christian Barmore, Byron Young and Phidarian Mathis. Barmore will not be available for the first half against Southern Mississippi after a late-game targeting penalty against the Gamecocks.

Another possible change in the Tide’s defensive front is at the Will linebacker spot. Ale Kaho replaced Christian Harris during the South Carolina game. Saban said Harris and Kaho will compete in practice this week for the starting role against USM.

Speaking of preparing inexperienced players, Saban said,

When asked where the Crimson Tide most needs to improve, Saban said tackling, penalties, kicking and red-zone execution.

Nick Saban was complimentary about the performance of Patrick Surtain II against South Carolina. Saban said Surtain’s skills give the Alabama football staff “options” in the secondary.

Asked about Slade Bolden’s wildcat quarterback role, Saban said the sophomore is always the scout team QB when the Tide prepares to face a running quarterback.

The Alabama football staff selected 10 players of the week for their performances in the South Carolina game.

  • On offense, the players were offensive guard Landon Dickerson, Tua Tagovailoa, Henry Ruggs III and Najee Harris.
  • Defensive players recognized were Trevon Diggs and Anfernee Jennings.
  •  Special teams players were Josh Jobe, Ale Kaho, Slade Bolden and Jaylen Moody.

Studs and Duds from the South Carolina game. dark. Next

In other Monday news, the Alabama Crimson Tide will not get a night game in September. CBS will broadcast the Ole Miss game in its standard 2:30 PM CST slot.