Five quick hits from Nick Saban and Mark Richt’s opening press conference before the SEC Championship game:
1. Alabama head coach Nick Saban was asked how hard it is to go undefeated and went into a long explanation of how important of a role consistency plays in success, especially when you play against a certain caliber of teams every week who are all capable of beating you.
He said his players didn’t show the right kind of consistency in the Texas A&M game.
“There's no time to just, you know, sort of play a bad game and still have a chance to be successful,” he said.
So the message to the team before Saturday’s SEC Championship game is:
“Know that when you run for a gold medal, you’re not really running for the gold medal. You’re running to run a 19:30, 200-meter race with Michael Johnson,” he said. “That’s gotta be the focus. Run a good race, play a good game. It can’t be what’s going to happen if we don’t. It’s got to be, what do I need to do to do that.”
2. Georgia’s Aaron Murray is the most efficient quarterback in the country with a 177.15 rating. Saban emphasized the importance of getting to him and disrupting the passing game.
“I think that the key to being successful is that you can create pass rush with four guys,” he said. “If you can't affect them with four guys rushing, when you start rushing more guys, you know, the more you rush, the more it becomes a little bit feast or famine.”
3. Saban was asked how important it is to show emotion in this game or if it’s better to be even-keeled.
“I don't think that if you're in a boxing match that having great emotion in the first round necessarily will win you the fight,” he said. “I think you've got to be punching in the 15th round, too, and you carry emotion through to that.”
He said more so than emotion, it’s competitive attitude, character and intensity that needs to be sustained for 60 minutes in order to be successful.
4. The last time Alabama and Georgia played was the “Blackout” game in 2008. The Crimson Tide won 41-30. UGA head coach Mark Richt was asked if this team can take anything away from that one.
“Don’t wear black jerseys,” he said, smiling. “We’re wearing red.”
5. Richt called linebacker Jarvis Jones a sack artist and went into all the different ways he gets to the quarterback.
“Some guys that can get sacks are just speed rushers, they come around the edge and get their sacks that way,” Richt said. “He can come around the edge, go up and under, he can bull rush a guy; he can play middle linebacker; he can draw up in coverage and get picks; he's stripping balls left and right, and he's recovering fumbles left and right.
“When he gets a sack, a lot of times there's a fumble to go along with it because he's very conscious of how the quarterback is holding the ball.”
Below, watch a video of Alabama running backs Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon and Co. and get a glimpse of what the Tide’s “practice” aka, walk-through, looked like Friday afternoon.
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