Nick Saban Not Looking Past Overmatched Week 12 Opponent

Getty Nick Saban is not looking past Austin Peay in Alabama's penultimate game.

While the major challenges Alabama’s season are in the rear view, Nick Saban isn’t looking past his Week 12 opponent, Austin Peay — theoretically, the easiest team on the schedule given that it comes from the FCS.

During his November 14 press conference, in the aftermath of the Crimson Tide’s 30-24 victory over former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels, Saban refused to look past the Governors. “For FCS, these guys are ranked in the top part of their division in just about everything they do,” Saban said. “We need to prepare for this game like any other game we play.”

As for his players, Saban said he wanted them to have tunnel vision, focusing on the game and blocking out the negative things being said about them in the media.

“Look, there’s a lot of distractions out there,” Saban said. “Guys have to choose to focus on the right things. You can’t worry about all the stuff — external noise, rat poison, whatever you want to talk about, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent.”

Nick Saban on Alabama’s Win Over Ole Miss

Alabama likely ended Ole Miss’ SEC Championship hopes on November 12 by handing them their second loss of the season. The only hopes for Ole Miss lie in a huge upset over LSU by UAB or Texas A&M and an upset of Alabama by Auburn in the Iron Bowl on November 26.

Though many in Tuscaloosa — and nationally — have tuned out Alabama since its road to the College Football Playoff was effectively cut short, Nick Saban spoke of his team’s optimism and enjoyment following their Week 11 win.

“It was great to see our players happy and excited to be celebrating a win, a really good win for them, after getting behind in the game, 17-7,” Saban said at Monday’s press conference. “To come back and sort of play the way we’re capable of playing and do things with sort of a relentless competitive sort of spirit and enthusiasm and togetherness as a team, I think was great. And it was really good to see the players happy and excited and celebrating because they were happy that they had put something in something and got a positive result.”

Nick Saban on First-Year Cornerback Terrion Arnold

Terrion Arnold came into the 2022 season with little experience, but he started over Eli Ricks to start the season and has since shed his redshirt with nine appearances. With the Crimson Tide unlikely to make the College Football Playoff, Arnold could get more playing time in Alabama’s final two games.

Nick Saban complimented Arnold during the November 14 press conference with the caveat that he plays well only when he displays proper technique  “I mean, you saw the game, I think Terrion Arnold plays really well when he plays with good technique,” Saban said.

“I think when he has bad habits in his technique, which I’m not going to get into specifically, he allows the other guy to take advantage of him on release,” said the Crimson Tide coach. Based on the passion he shows about his players’ development, it’s clear Saban himself hasn’t checked out on this season.

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