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Alabama head football coach Nick Saban addressed the media via Zoom on Monday, and was complimentary of his old assistant coach, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin.
According to Saban, Kiffin modernized Alabama’s offense when he arrived in 2014, introducing more spacing and RPOs that caused confusion for opposing defenses.
“I’d say I learned that from [Lane] because we sorta made that [offensive] change, so we had to get together on those things. He’s very bright, a very good play caller. I learned a lot about offensive football from him,” Saban said of Kiffin.
The highly-anticipated matchup between Ole Miss and Alabama this weekend is expected to showcase the best college football has to offer. No. 1 Alabama continues their dynastic march toward another title, this year with more questions on defense than last season, while No. 12 Ole Miss wants to get over the hump and be considered an elite team, not just a high-powered offense.
Saban said he sees a lot of “improvement on defense” from the Rebels over last year, and acknowledged the ascension of the Ole Miss offense as well.
“This is one of the best offensive teams in the country,” Saban said.
Saban also complimented Matt Corral, the Ole Miss quarterback with a big arm and sneaky athleticism. Saban specifically mentioned Corral’s “elusiveness” and “accuracy,” adding that the defense has to respect his “ability to run from time to time.”
The Alabama coach was also complimentary of his own quarterback, Bryce Young, who entered the season with absurdly high national expectations, in some part due to his reported seven figure NIL salary that he’s earning this year.
“He’s got it together,” Saban said of Bryce Young. “Just a bright guy who is very well-grounded and doesn’t get frustrated when something goes wrong.
The game kicks off at 3:30 PM ET from Bryant-Denny on CBS. FanDuel Sportsbook lists the game as a big (-14.5) spread in Bama’s favor, which is always possible when playing in Bryant-Denny. But the Rebs are confident, focused, and playing their hearts out for their coach, who you know wants to win worse than anyone this weekend. If Corral and the offense can limit the turnovers, expect a closer matchup than two touchdowns and a hook.