After Wednesday’s practice, Alabama coach Nick Saban discussed those Thursday workouts in which the Tide offense and defense clash in a two-minute drill.
Besides working on running or defending the two-minute offense, Saban said he likes having his players compete against each other in practice like that.
“We try to practice as many situations in the game as we can,” he said. “And you know, when we’re in fall camp we end every day with a competitive, there’s a minute to go in the game, defense has to get the ball back, you’ve got this many timeouts, the offense then goes two minutes and sees if they can go kick the field goal or whatever they need to win the game.
“So, I think it’s just kind of inbred in the players that we end practice that way. We end practice against each other every day with kind of a competitive situations, kind of 20 plays of team offense versus defense. On Thursday, I just think that there’s always a situation, 1 minute, 1:20 to go in the game, you’ve got two timeouts, you need a field goal, you need a touchdown so the defensive players are out there trying to win the situation and win the game and the offensive players are out there trying to win the situation and win the game.
“So, I think that’s the best way to practice those kinds of things. It obviously paid off for us. It paid off for us in the past when we had to stop people in two-minute. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do it again if we need to.”
Saban said he doesn’t know who wins more the offense or the defense.
“I’m always kind of happy when the offense scores,” he said. “That’s really what’s going to help us win the game.”
When told about that quote, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron smiled. He said Saban seems think that way some of the time.
“But sometimes I think, ‘Hmmm, I wish we hadn’t scored right there,’ ” he said, smiling.
In those instances, as Saban brings his wrath down on the defensive players, they probably feel the same way, too.