"We’ve played several games without Mark, and Trent did a good job. Eddie Lacy did a pretty good job, and we also have (Demetrius) Goode. But we are a little beat up there," Saban added. "If Trent can’t go, Mark is in good shape and Mark is doing fine, and Mark will do a great job for us in the game. He did a really good job in the last game. He’ll probably end up playing a little more, but we think Eddie is very capable, so they’ll have a role."
Heading into the home stretch of three regular season games, the ability of Pendry’s guys to step it up will go a long way towards determining where Alabama plays its bowl game. It starts Saturday with No. 17 Mississippi State coming to Bryant-Denny Stadium a week after crucial mistakes on the line contributed to the Tide’s 24-21 loss at LSU.
"We were late off the ball some," coach Nick Saban said. "That’s been a little bit of an issue when we play on the road. We were late off the ball and they were a quick defense that probably put us at a disadvantage a few times."
"I think we have had outstanding positive energy from our fans, and their support has been great in Bryant-Denny Stadium," Saban said. "I think it contributes to the success we have had in our stadium, and I think no time in a long time is it probably more critical that we have that kind of enthusiasm and that kind of energy for our team."
As highly regarded as Nick Saban is as a football coach and recruiter, he is every bit as skilled as a motivator. He thinks before he speaks. He speaks with conviction and clarity. Most of the time.
When he's asked something twice, he sometimes gets testy.
Saban has had to repeat himself to his team often this season, because his message has not been getting results.
"Maybe there’s a situation where maybe guys are messing around that are expected to be leaders, and guys won’t say something to them. Preston’s not one of those guys. Preston doesn’t care if you’re Julio or Dont’a or Marcell, or even a freshman. He doesn’t care -- he wants things done the right way and he’s going to get it done," said linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
As expected, two in-state guards and two big men signed Wednesday with Alabama, bringing a grin to stoic coach Anthony Grant's face.
The signing class is ranked No. 16 by Rivals.com and ESPN.com and third in the Southeastern Conference by Scout.com.
"For us, it's always about filling our needs," Grant said. "We were able to do that with all four of the guys we signed."
On the perimeter, Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper, two players from the state of Alabama, both have the ability to stretch a defense with the outside shot.
Randolph, a 6-foot-6 guard from Madison, is considered the top recruit of the group. He can play both guard spots and shoot from anywhere on the court.
"(Levi) brings a lot of versatility to our backcourt," Grant said.
"He’s got the size and skill level that we need. He’s certainly a big addition to us not only because of his talent, but just the young man he is and what he represents."