"I'm not here to sort of evaluate the call, so I don't have anything to really comment about that," he said Monday at his weekly news conference. But did comment when asked what he would do if a taunting penalty nullified an Alabama touchdown. "Every player knows what the rule is," Saban said. "Every player's been told what the rule is. Every player's been shown what the rule is. We all accepted it as a rule to try to promote sportsmanship in our game, which I think is very, very important.
"I think Arie may be out indefinitely and may even be a guy that needs to have surgery," Saban said. "So he could possibly be out for the year." Linebacker C.J. Mosley and running back Eddie Lacy will return to practice this week. Both missed Alabama's 34-0 win over Vanderbilt. "C.J. Mosley will start back practicing (Monday), Eddie probably (Tuesday)," Saban said. "Chris Jordan, we'll try again and see what happens."
Last week, Jalston Fowler stepped into Lacy's spot earning 13 carries for 58 yards. "He's a little bit different style than the other guys, but he is very effective and strong running behind his pads," Saban said. "Probably has a much, much better understanding and confidence of what's expected of him in his position now, in the passing game as well as in the running game. He did a nice job in the game. We're pleased with the progress that he's made." Richardson, added his fifth consecutive 100-yard game with 19 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown, quipped having Lacy back would help take some of the load off the other running backs. "It's gonna mean a lot, especially for practice," Richardson said. "We be tired out there taking all the reps with him not playing."
Alabama has gone three consecutive games without a turnover, since losing two fumbles against North Texas. "We put the ball on the ground a couple of times late in the game this past week," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "That's something we cannot do any place that we play. Making good choices and decisions are very critical. Everybody having ball security awareness is very, very important. "It's something that we emphasize a lot, especially after the first game, when we really emphasized it."
"The bottom line, and the most important thing, is they have a lot of experience. You take that experience with that moxie and that attitude and then you add a little bit here and there, which he's done, it just creates a lot of confidence, especially when offenses aren't scoring on you. They're not making first downs. They're not moving the ball."
Trent Richardson hasn’t lost a fumble in a couple of years, but he figures the consequences are pretty clear. "We fumble that ball," Alabama’s star tailback says, "we’re going to be on the bench somewhere."
The quarterback position was one of the few question marks for this Alabama team. McCarron beat out Phillip Sims in the preseason for the starting assignment and is trying to prove that he has what it takes — both physically and mentally — to run Alabama’s pro-style offense. He is 6–0 as a starter, with wins at Penn State and at Florida on his resume. Alabama has already shown that it can run the ball with success. The Crimson Tide will need to prove that it can pass the ball — and do so in big spots — to be a championship team. Saturday night, McCarron and his offense took a step in the right direction.
All last week during Ole Miss' open date, the topic of discussion was being a vast underdog in the Rebels' home game Saturday against No. 2 Alabama. "We've talked about it every day after practice," said Rebels sophomore flanker Ja-Mes Logan. "The QBs, the running backs, the receivers, all the skilled people, we all meet and talk about what we've got to do. "We expect to be underdogs to everybody we play. It's nothing new."
Coming off its second shutout of the season and its first against an SEC team in three years, the 34-0 Saturday win over Vanderbilt was largely viewed as a wakeup call considering the relatively slow start. Though linebacker Dont'a Hightower said the halftime speech didn't peel the paint as was expected, coach Nick Saban said he didn't exactly hold back following an uninspired half. "I probably got after them about as good as I've done all season," he said with a half-smile. "And they responded. It's like everything else you do: If it works, it was right. If it doesn't work, it wasn't right. Whatever we did worked, because the players responded, but it's really more about them than about what I did."
Alabama is a whopping 24 1/2-point favorite for Saturday's game at Ole Miss (5 p.m., ESPN2). That's as big of a line as any in recent memory for an Ole Miss home game. That's fine, Rebels wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan said. "We can't control what other people think," Logan said. "We can just control what we do, so I really can't speak upon what other people say. All I can say is we can just try to prove them wrong then come back in a celebrated locker room."