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Jumbo Package: Saban “hopefully going to try” to get Young ready

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Texas A&M v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Saban’s weekly Monday report told us absolutely nothing about the most important issue surrounding the game this weekend.

“Hopefully we’re going to try to get him ready to play this week,” Saban said. “But this is something nobody can predict how quickly this is going to give him an opportunity to be able to go out and do what he needs to do. We’ll see as the week progresses. I don’t have an update much more than that.”

Most talking heads, including Greg McElroy, took these comments to mean that Bryce is likely to play.

I kind o f thought the opposite, honestly. “We’re going to try and get him ready” means that if the game was today, he wouldn’t be. It’s possible that five more days make all the difference. It’s also possible that Greg is correct and telling Bryce not to throw the ball last week was strictly precautionary.

We will find out soon enough.

Saban isn’t happy about the lack of turnovers forced by the defense, particularly after seeing his own offense cough it up four times against the Aggies.

—”We need to play better at all positions on offense relative to what we did in the last game,” Saban said.

— “We’ve been emphasizing (turnovers) like crazy. ... We don’t get enough turnovers on defense,” Saban said of the team’s negative turnover margin. He said the Tide goes over the national leaders in that statistic each week.

—Saban said he has faith in this team, but there needs to be more consistency to avoid being “average.”

Rece Davis understands the gravity of the moment for Tennessee.

Davis, an Alabama graduate, said the mood will be different than last week’s “GameDay” stop where he described the scene in Lawrence, Kansas as “apprehension.”

“They think they’re back,” Davis said of Tennessee. “They are starving to be back because it’s not just beating the juggernaut. There’s a generation of fans who don’t understand the vitriol and the disdain and the hatred that Tennessee has for Alabama, and, in many cases, vice versa.”

Make no mistake, that fan base fully expects the streak to come to an end on Saturday. They may not say it, but deep down they believe it, and to be frank you could say the same about many Alabama fans.

Josh Heupel seems quite confident as well.

But it’s different now in year two of the Josh Heupel era. Let’s see if this lopsided rivalry game can be different as well. One team will be smoking cigars Saturday night and the Vols are better positioned now than they have been in a long, long time.

“This week, we have to prepare the right way. We have to practice well, and the playing part of it will take care of itself,” Heupel concluded. “The outside noise has no bearing on how we play. Let’s go compete and be our best on gameday.”

All indications are that Tennessee will be getting back leading receiver Cedric Tillman on Saturday.

“Cedric’s doing good,” Heupel said on Monday. “This is part of the reason why he had the surgery, is to try to be back for this one (Alabama). He’s continuing to progress over the weekend so we’ll monitor him. At the end of the day our medical team – like I said last week – our medical team and Cedric will make the right decision for him, now and in the future, too.”

While Heupel didn’t completely confirm or deny Tillman’s availability for Saturday, the update on Monday did sound optimistic. Heupel acknowledged last Monday that Tillman was able to move around, which helps give a better understanding of the recovery timeline at play.

Tillman went over 1000 yards with 12 scores last season, and caught 9 balls for 162 yards with a score against Pitt this season before going down the following week.

Jaylen McCollough is apparently just the latest Vol to continue their longstanding tradition.

McCollough is the third Tennessee player to be arrested in the past two months.

On Aug. 21, linebacker William Mohan, a Michigan transfer, was arrested on a charge of felony aggravated domestic assault. On Sept. 11, offensive lineman Savion Herring, a junior college transfer, was arrested on a charge of domestic assault. Both players were dismissed from the Tennessee football team.

When you have fans who throw mustard bottles and golf balls, and a baseball coach who shows his ass at every opportunity, it shouldn’t be shocking that your football roster is full of unsavory sorts.

Lane is out here being Lane again.

The Ole Miss coach was in top form Monday when asked about dealing with hot-seat rumors as a coach.

The topic seems relevant as his No. 9 Rebels face Auburn and coach Bryan Harsin, who has been the target of hot-seat talk for weeks.

“Well, I didn’t do very good,” Kiffin deadpanned. “I got fired after five games, so I’m probably not the one to ask how to do that. I was 3-2, so I’m probably not the right one to ask that.”

Last, the Baby Rhino was doling out all kinds of punishment last night.

With the possible exception of Patrick Mahomes, Jacobs was hands down the best player on the field last night. He finished with 193 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, with a few “hit stick” plays along the way. He almost singlehandedly willed the Raiders to victory in Arrowhead, but they came up a point shy.

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

Roll Tide.