Wake up to hate.
"This will be a physical game that we're playing in, and it's going to be away. The Tennessee game is always a physical game," Saban said. "Our players have to have a better focus on being able to execute and not be affected by external factors that are going on around them. We've played a little better at home than we have on the road, and this is an opportunity for us to show we can play with focus, intensity, and execute in a very difficult environment against a good team on the road."
"The players have responded well in practice," Saban said Wednesday. "I think the most important thing is our players are ready to play their best football of the year."
Saban will get more results by focusing less on results, as he has tried to do all season.
"Somewhere along the line this year, we sort of lost our edge," he said. "I'm talking about the intangible edge of playing with toughness, giving effort. Got too satisfied with winning and not playing to a standard. I think that's how that's affected our entire team."
Alabama’s offensive line, one of the biggest and meanest in the conference, has allowed quarterback Greg McElroy to be sacked 11 times over the previous two games and 21 on the season, second-worst in the SEC in front of Tennessee.
Wilcox said it’s not an indictment on the Crimson Tide’s offensive line, which features five experienced players that average nearly 302 pounds.
"They’ve made a protection mistake here or there, but you don’t look at them and say there’s a weakness on their offensive line," Wilcox said. "If you’ve found one, you’re seeing something I haven’t seen."
After a broken hand limited Jones last weekend, Maze showed out with 137 punt-return yards. He hopes that's enough to convince coach Nick Saban to keep him back there with Jones healthy."I don't know, that's up to Coach Saban," Maze said. "I want it, but it's up to Coach Saban."
Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and LSU will all be idle the week before playing the Crimson Tide next season. Auburn, which hasn't released a schedule, apparently has not contracted with an opponent for the week before it plays Alabama.
Two other Southeastern Conference schools — Arkansas and Mississippi State — will play lower-level opponents before facing Alabama.
So much for scheduling help...