Daily Archives: November 15, 2012

Saban has no love for college overtime rules

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — If you don’t like college football’s overtime rules, you’re not alone. Nick Saban said he doesn’t like it that the college overtime period gives both teams one possession 25 yards from the end zone.

“If the game was a really good game for the first four quarters, if you’re going to continue the game, why wouldn’t you continue it with the same rules and regulations that you had for the game the rest of the time? I think if it’s a good game for four quarters playing it one way, why should you change it for overtime?” Saban asked Thursday night on his weekly radio show.

He added it’s too much of a disadvantage for a team that is placed on offense first, especially if it doesn’t score.

“That’s what happened to us last year when we lost to LSU. We didn’t score, and that puts a lot of pressure on your defense,” Saban said, referring to a 9-6 defeat when LSU kicked the game-winning field goal in the extra period

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Saban talks recruiting, including whether Fluker might stay

Nick Saban is expected to pull another top-five recruiting class to Alabama this year. (AP photo by Dave Martin)

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban indicated on his Thursday night radio show he isn’t expecting offensive tackle D.J. Fluker to return for his senior season.

Asked generally about recruiting needs, Saban said offensive line is a priority because of the expected losses, including the possibility Fluker might turn pro. Fluker is a junior and is slated as a possible first-round draft choice by NFL draft analysts.

“We’re a little bit thin in offensive linemen for the future, because we’re going to lose three guys probably, two seniors and a guy (Fluker) who’s probably going to go out for the draft,” Saban said. “I can’t say that right for sure yet. And we won’t even consider it until after the season. That’s going to be an important spot in recruiting.”

Saban covered other positions as well, although he said there’s no single position where Alabama absolutely has to find somebody.

“We’ve got a couple of good running backs that we’ve got in recruiting, which I think is important because the depth issue has been a little bit of a problem for us,” he said. “I think we have some young receivers and we have a couple of good young receivers coming. I think tight end is a place where there’ll be some opportunities for some young guys to make a contribution.

“We’re going to lose three defensive linemen (seniors Damion Square, Jesse Williams and Quinton Dial). We’ve had some good young guys we recruited this past year, but to continue to recruit those kind of guys is important. We had a good linebacker class but we need a few more.

“We’ve lost so many defensive players that we’re just a little bit thin all the way around on defense. We’re a little bit thin in the secondary. We don’t have enough cover guys. It’s a little bit of a matchup problem for us sometimes.”

He added Alabama coaches look at the type of person each recruit is.

“We want character, quality guys who have the same goals and aspirations as we have,” he said. “When we get guys who don’t necessarily have the same goals and aspirations for themselves that we have, we usually have problems.”

Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class is rated the fifth best nationally by Rivals.com.

Saban also discussed the NCAA rule that bars coaches from visiting schools and evaluating players in the spring. He said that rule has hurt recruiting. General thinking is the rule was instituted because of Saban.

“I knew who all the best players were because I saw them all,” he said.

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Cooper’s 3-pointer lifts Tide in Madison Square Garden

Alabama’s Rodney Cooper (21) celebrates with Carl Engstrom (4). (AP photo by Jason DeCrow)

Alabama’s Trevor Lacey has made 11 from 3-point range this season, including four against Oregon State. (AP photo by Jason Decrow)

Rodney Cooper hit a 3-pointer with 12.2 seconds left to lift Alabama to a 65-62 win over Oregon State on Thursday night.

“My teammates are confident in me taking shots and if they have confidence in me, I just want to make the shot for my team,” Cooper said. “It means a lot making the shot, but it means even more to get the win for the team.”

This was a semifinal game in the 2K Sports Classic in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Alabama (3-0) will face Villanova (3-0) in the championship game Friday night. ESPN2 will have coverage at
6:30 p.m. Villanova advanced with an 89-81 overtime win over Purdue.

“I am excited to get the win and get the chance to play for a championship,” Tide coach Anthony Grant said. “I have to give Oregon State credit; we were able to get them down in the second half, they did a good job at fighting and making plays. I thought our guys did a good job at making the plays we had to make down the stretch, coming up with loose balls, and Cooper being able to knock down an open shot to give us the win. I am proud of our guys the way they continued to stay with it and fight.”

The Crimson Tide led the whole second half, including by 14 with fewer than 10 minutes to play, until Oregon State’s Devon Collier hit two foul shots to tie it 62-62 with 43 seconds left.

After Cooper’s 3-pointer, Oregon State turned over the ball, and Cooper had a chance to increase the lead. But his foul shot missed. The Beavers’ Roberto Nelson tried a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the shot missed.

Alabama’s Trevor Lacey continued his hot early season shooting by scoring 20 points, while making 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Cooper and Trevor Releford each had 12.

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Milliner makes final five for Nagurski Trophy

Alabama’s Dee Milliner and Michigan’s Denard Robinson (16) after colliding. (Copyright photo by Gary Cosby Jr. of The Decatur Daily)

Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner is one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top defensive player.

The Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club announced the five finalists today. The other four are South Carolina sophomore end Jadeveon Clowney, Georgia junior linebacker Jarvis Jones, Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te’o and Florida State junior end Bjoern Werner.

The winner will be announced Dec. 3. The FWAA has presented a National Defensive Player of the Year Award since 1993 and in the name of Nagurski since 1995. Nagurski was a standout defensive player for Minnesota in the 1920s.

Milliner has 44 tackles, two interceptions, 14 pass breakups and 16 deflections.

He is the fifth Alabama finalist for the Nagurski Trophy (Antonio Langham, 1993; DeMeco Ryans, 2005; Terrence Cody, 2009; Mark Barron, 2011). No Crimson Tide player has won it.

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Remaining games for BCS contenders

Nick Saban’s team needs a little help to make the BCS National Championship Game, but we have a handy-dandy schedule of when, where and who all the contenders play, should he need it. (AP photo by Gerald Herbert)

1. Kansas State (10-0): Saturday at Baylor (4-5) and Dec. 1 vs. Texas (8-2).

2. Oregon (10-0): Saturday vs. Stanford (8-2), Nov. 24 at Oregon State (7-2) and possibly Nov. 30 vs. UCLA (8-2) or Southern California (7-3) in Pac-12 Championship Game.

3. Notre Dame (10-0): Saturday vs. Wake Forest (5-5) and Nov. 24 at Southern California (7-3).

4. Alabama (9-1): Saturday vs. Western Carolina (1-9), Nov. 24 vs. Auburn (2-8) and possibly Dec. 1 vs. Georgia (9-1) in SEC Championship Game.

5. Georgia (9-1): Saturday vs. Georgia Southern (8-2), Nov. 24 vs. Georgia Tech (5-5) and Dec. 1 vs. Alabama (9-1) or LSU (8-2) in SEC Championship Game.

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