Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
“I am very pleased with the effort that our players played with today, the toughness. We had a lot of respect for Texas A&M’s team, they were a ranked team. We knew it would be a difficult game, but our guys persevered and overcame some adversity. Especially when we got ahead 14-0 and they tied it up 14-14 – where we give up a big play for a touchdown and a turnover and they get another touchdown very quickly in the game. Our guys stayed the course and kept competing in the game, and that’s really what we wanted to do is try to keep playing in the game and try to play for 60 minutes. I thought we did that.
“Now there are a lot of things that we need to clean up. We made some mental errors on defense that led to big plays, whether they were alignments or not adjusting to motion correctly. We got a couple turnovers, we had a pick-six for a touchdown, made some big plays and got some fourth-down stops when we needed to stop drives. I know time of possession was a little lopsided because we didn’t get off the field on third down well enough and allowed them to keep the ball. We made a lot of big plays on offense, so we didn’t have the ball very long. The way they played us, we had to utilize the skill guys that we have and take shots. They were up there stopping the run; their safeties were very aggressive. I thought we did a good job of adjusting to that in the game and making some big plays.
“Obviously, John Metchie III, Jaylen Waddle and (DeVonta Smith) all played really, really well, and I thought Mac (Jones) played really well in the game and kept his poise. (He) didn’t get affected by the tip ball interception and just did a really good job. All and all this is a great win for us, and we had a lot of respect for this team, so I am kind of proud of our players for what they did. I think in 24 hours we need to go to work on what we need to improve on cause there are a lot of things to clean up.”
On Daniel Wright and his ability to bounce back after a tough start:
“He made a big play. It’s always great to get an interception when you’re playing DB; to run it back for a touchdown is even greater. He missed that tackle on the sidelines and we do sideline tackle all the time. I didn’t like the way he approached and finished, and he should’ve got the guy out of bounds but he didn’t. Bigger than that, we made a big mental error on the play that allowed them to make the play that they made. It was a double whammy. D-Wright is a playmaker, but he is also a guy that has to really stay focused on doing his job and that is something that we are going to continue to work on.”
On Mac Jones’ poise:
“I think the experience that he got last year was invaluable. I thought he played fairly well when he played last year, the mistakes were just costly, but he learned from them. We expect Mac to develop maturity and confidence. He’s very smart, he’s bright. He’s accurate with the ball, and we have got some good skill guys. The strength of our team is to be able to utilize those guys. I think we have to get more out of the running game than what we are doing right now. When teams play us to stop the run then we have to try and make big plays, and Mac is certainly doing a good job of that. Mac is playing very well, but that’s really what we expect him to do, and I think his poise has been really good so far this year as well.”