Dec. 1, 2014
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
“I don’t have a lot to say about the last game. Obviously every game that we play, there are things that we can learn about ourselves, things we need to improve, things we need to correct, and there’s no doubt that there’s a lot of things that we can do relative to the last game. I think, right now, this is a new season. and I think what everyone needs to focus on, as a team and as a staff, is that we look forward to the challenges of the future and what we need to do to get ready to play a very, very good team in the SEC Championship game.
“The SEC Championship game is a great opportunity for our players. It’s a great competitive venue, and one of the most exciting games that I’ve had an opportunity to compete and play in through the years the few times that we’ve been able to get there. This is a special opportunity. Our conference is very difficult, so this is a pretty significant accomplishment to be in the game, as well as have an opportunity to have success in a game like this. That’s where our focus needs to go here.
“Missouri is a very, very good team. Coach [Gary] Pinkel has done a very, very good job there, and this is two years in a row they’ve won the East, so they obviously have experience in the championship game. Their Quarterback, Maty Mauk, does an excellent job of executing their offense. They have a really, really productive [wide] receiver in Bud Sasser and a couple good running backs in Marcus Murphy and Russell Hansbrough. Both of them are different kind of guys, but very, very good players. Their defense is very opportunistic, gets a lot of turnovers. They are plus nine in turnover ratio which is pretty high. They have a lot of tackles for loss, a lot of sacks, their front guys do a really good job. Shane Ray and Markus Golden are guys that have created a lot of havoc up front for a lot of people this season. This is a very, very good team, and I wouldn’t expect to play any team in the SEC Championship game that wasn’t one of the top teams in the country. We certainly feel that Missouri is one of those teams, the way they are playing right now and having won their last six games.”