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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban talks Ole Miss win, Tide hoops play tonight in Mobile

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Alabama v Ole Miss Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Alabama basketball tips off at 9pm CT tonight, in Mobile, against South Alabama.

In a part of the state where allegiances can overlap, Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats wants fans to show out for the visitors from Tuscaloosa.

“I would hope that we’d have quite a few Alabama fans down there in South,” Oats said Monday. “I mean, that’s part of the reason we agreed to do the 2-for-1, was to get, kind of, all the Alabama fans down in the Mobile area a chance to watch us play.”

We will have additional coverage of the game later, but the team is off to an outstanding start. The ridiculously late tip is to suit ESPNU, where you can watch the action. Alabama is favored by 12.

Saban spoke to reporters per usual on Monday, and didn’t have all that much to say.

Nick Saban on Monday was asked to evaluate Arnold’s performance in relief of Ricks.

“Well, I mean, you saw the game,” Saban said. “I think Terrion Arnold plays really well when he plays with good technique, I think when he has bad habits in his technique, which I’m not gonna get into specifically, he allows the other guy to, you know, take advantage of him on release and doesn’t always put him in a great position to play the ball. But he actually played better as the game went on.”

Saban: “It was great to see our players happy and excited to be celebrating a win, a really good win for them, after getting behind in the game, 17-7. To come back and sort of play the way we’re capable of playing and do things with sort of a relentless competitive sort of spirit and enthusiasm and togetherness as a team, I think was great. And it was really good to see the players happy and excited and celebrating because they were happy that they had put something in something and got a positive result.”

He seems genuinely pleased with the effort of the team on Saturday, and even moreso about seeing the players happy rather than pressing during the game and disappointed afterward. He’s obviously spoken about anxiety affecting the team all season, and this time I guess they were able to overcome it and pull out a win.

Saban also praised Ja’Corey Brooks heavily for his play and effort. Perhaps the light bulb will really go off for him as he enters year three and allow him to become the alpha receiver this team desperately needs.

You can hear his full comments below.

Lane Kiffin was asked about Dallas Turner shoving Jaxson Dart’s facemask into the ground, which certainly could have been flagged for a personal foul.

Only thing I’d say to that is if anyone thinks that Bryce gets special treatment, turn on the Tennessee film and see if you still feel that way.

Christopher Walsh examines the brutal road slate that Alabama faced this season. Urban Meyer of all people came to Alabama’s defense.

“So before everybody hits the panic button in Tuscaloosa, they went to Tennessee at night and it was a very close game and they lost,” Meyer said on Urban’s Take with Tim May. “They went down and went overtime at LSU, I’ve been in those stadiums, other than Penn State those are the most difficult stadiums in the country to play.”

Before anyone gets worked up with “What about so-and-so ... “ statements, yes, there are other intense places when the crowd is worked up. Kyle Field at Texas A&M is one of them, and so is Jordan-Hare Stadium, especially when Alabama comes to town.

But Death Valley at night is different. So was Tennessee, which was desperate to snap a 15-game losing streak in the Third Saturday in October rivalry.

Was it a tough schedule? Sure. Was the loss in Knoxville something that would have knocked Alabama out of the playoff on its own? Obviously not.

The issue with this team has been its penchant for not starting fast which ends up creating too many close games. You simply can’t expect the ball to bounce your way at the end every week, so you have to create some separation on the scoreboard to make that a moot point. This team has failed to do that, for a myriad of reasons.

Last, Jalen Hurts and the Eagles lost for the first time last night, quite surprisingly to the mediocre Washington Commanders playing with a backup QB. In the aftermath, he sounded a lot like his old college coach.

“Very uncharacteristic mistakes,” Hurts said. “Those are things that I know that every individual in the locker room takes personally, and we’re eager to fix and we’re eager to have another opportunity to express ourselves on the field. So, we’ve got to look ourselves in the mirror after this one. Take the steps we need to take and acknowledge the things we need to fix them.

“Tonight wasn’t our night. The message for me is control the things that you can. When you do that, you have a pretty good opportunity to be victorious in the end. How do you do it? You prepare, attention to detail, the energy you have, the approach, the mentality towards it, and ultimately playing together.”

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

Roll Tide.