Alabama’s sixth game of the 2018 season was over roughly a minute after it started.
The Crimson Tide’s first play from scrimmage was a 76-yard touchdown pass. Its second drive lasted only one play longer. Its third yielded the same result. Tua Tagovailoa had 334 yards and four TDs on 13 pass attempts at halftime. He exited the game after one second-half drive with Bama up 48-14. Arkansas never got back to within 30. And head coach Nick Saban …
Well, Nick Saban wasn’t overly pleased.
“There’s a lot of things, and a lot of areas of our team, that we certainly need to improve,” Saban said after the 65-31 win. “Made a lot of mistakes on defense today. Didn’t play very well together as a unit. Had lots of opportunities to get off the field on third down, and just didn’t do it – which allowed them to extend drives.
“I don’t think we really beat the other team when you give up 31 points like we did today.”
Saban spent about 20 seconds praising his team to open his postgame news conference before the first “but.” He then spent over a minute on a downbeat spiel talking about ways in which the Crimson Tide must get better.
“At least from a defensive perspective, that’s something we definitely need to improve on in the future. We’re going to play a lot better offensive teams. We’re going to play a lot better offensive team this week, one of the best offensive teams in the country in Missouri. So we just need a lot of guys to have a little more focus, a little more discipline.”
On one hand, Saban is right. Bama is going to face opponents that are a lot more explosive and efficient than Arkansas, which dropped to 1-5 on the year. And his perfectionism is one of the traits that make him and his Alabama program so great.
On the other hand … LOL. Alabama is going to destroy Missouri, just like it destroyed Louisville and Ole Miss and Texas A&M. It’s stupid how good the Crimson Tide are. It’s unfair.
And while yes, lapses could prove costly against an LSU or an Auburn, there’s very little harm in a slightly lax second-half performance during a blowout.
Maybe Saban is just disappointed that his defense cost thousands of Alabama -35 bettors a lot of money. (He’s not … but feel free to believe that if you choose.)
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