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Jumbo Package: What Nick Saban, Alabama players said ahead of College Football Playoff Championship

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Cole Cubelic has an interesting nugget for you on the rematch vs. UGA.

Georgia has allowed a whopping 2.7 per carry. How poverty is that?

A media teleconference was held yesterday, and I will link the entire transcripts for you along with en excerpt for each Alabama participant.

Will Anderson was asked about the disappointment of not getting a Heisman invite.

To me, the biggest thing, I had conversation with my high school coach. And he was telling me that your body is your engine. And I’m a car. And the only thing you need to get going is that engine. And anything else that comes with it, any accolades, anything else, that just to make you look nice. As long as your engine is going in your car you’re fine.

For instance, me getting that Nagurski Trophy, that was just a pair of rims on my car. So I think that’s how you approach it. As long as your engine is there, you keep going. Anything else, that’s just to make you look nice.

When he broke that down to me and explained that to me, I think that was one of the best things he could ever do. He really opened my eyes to me. It was, like, man, you were right. As long as I’ve got my engine, that’s all I need for my car to keep going. Anything else that comes along with it that makes it look nice. Like, any accolades that come, that makes it look nice.

Brian Robinson revealed himself as a true southerner when he called Will “a dually truck, one of those big old mud-tire, driving trucks” and had this to say about patience.

Well, sometimes I had to explain to some of these recruits that everything is not going to necessarily be handed to you, but everybody has their own story. Some people have just different opportunities. Some guys come in and they’re granted the opportunity after their freshman/sophomore year. Some guys like myself had to wait four years beside four or five great players before they really get an opportunity to play.

But everybody’s story is just different. But regardless of when your opportunity is going to be granted, you still have to prepare for it. But when they open the doors for you, if you’re not ready for, the opportunity, and you didn’t prepare yourself for it, then you wasted your time complaining.

So I just spent less time complaining about when I was going to get an opportunity, just spending more time training working towards what I was going to do when I did get the opportunity.

Nick Saban spoke about adjustments in a rematch from the game played just weeks ago.

They’re going to try to take advantage of things we did. We’re going to try to take advantage of things and correct things we didn’t do well. And, I think, in that there are some subtle changes that you need to make so that you put your players in the best chance to be successful.

They’re always going to see something new and different. So players are always going to have to adapt in the game. I don’t think you do everything the same, but I also don’t think you can make a lot of changes that the players are not going to go out and be able to play and execute with confidence.

So the changes you need to make sort of relative to the things that you did well or didn’t do, and some of the things that they were able to take advantage of that you need to make sure you make adjustment to.

Behind enemy lines. Kirby spoke about the importance of getting more pressure on Bryce.

Asked about getting pressure on Bryce Young, Smart said it is “really important” and Young did a good job of moving around in the pocket the first game. “He’s really way more elusive than people give him credit for,” Smart said, adding Young has “elite spatial awareness” and the lack of pressure was not for a “lack of trying” because Georgia brought pressures. “Somebody’s got to win one-on-one,” he said of his defensive front. “We had some really critical third-down losses that — hey, they didn’t beat us, we busted. You can’t do that and beat a good football team. You give them extra snaps whenever that happens.” Smart also referenced Georgia’s coverage busts after the Dec. 4 SEC championship game.

Something tells me we are going to see all the blitzes, and why not? Last month’s strategy netted a SEC Championship Game record passing day. No way Kirby just does the same thing and hopes for a better outcome.

It sounds like Brock Bowers is a bit limited, but will play.

“It’s not like it’s something new that just came up. It bothers him from time to time at practice,” Smart said. “He’s a football player. It’s not going to go away in season. A lot of our guys are dealing with that.”

Saban similarly was asked about Bowers. When the two teams met in the SEC championship game, Bowers was Georgia’s best player as he caught 10 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown.

The Alabama coach gave a gushing review of Bowers, demonstrating his importance to this Georgia team.

“I think this guy is one of the premier players in college football,” Saban said. “I know he’s just a freshman. But this guy’s got great size. He’s a good blocker. He’s physical. He’s tough. And he’s got wide receiver skills in every way, shape or form, which makes it difficult being a bigger guy for bigger guys to cover him and it makes it also difficult for smaller guys to cover him.

“So this guy is just a phenomenal football player all the way around.”

Stetson Bennett isn’t feeling too much pressure to perform, or so he says.

“Maybe I’m not capable of holding that weight on my shoulders, but no, I’m just treating it as a football game,” Bennett said Monday. “Do I know that means a lot to a lot of people? Yes. Am I trying to play some kind of savior by winning a national championship for millions of people? No. I don’t think that’s my job.

“My job is to go out there and throw completions to very talented people we have on this team. And I think it’s as simple as that.”

More specifically, your job is to put more points on the board than Bryce, which isn’t easy.

Dennis Dodd elected to beat the rush and pick Georgia early, and for that we are thankful.

Will Young have to repeat that performance against a defense that is ranked third nationally against the rush? That’s assuming Georgia can run it with Alabama being ranked second in that category. Will Anderson Jr. is a given. The defense revolves around the talented linebacker, who leads the country in sacks with three of 17.5 coming in the postseason.

This game screams close and screams under the total (52.5 points). Georgia must limit Young and history. Alabama has won seven in a row, a record in a series that goes back to 1895. Just a hunch, but this seems to be Georgia’s time. Smart gets his first national championship and denies Saban his eighth. Call it 27-25, Dawgs.

Last, Najee decided to get nasty on the Browns.

He finished the night with 188 yards on 28 carries, and a touchdown in Ben Roethlisberger’s final home game. Not too shabby.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.