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Jumbo Package: Lane Kiffin rumors swirl as Alabama, Auburn prepare for Iron Bowl

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Alabama v Ole Miss Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Nick Saban spoke with reporters and, as expected, heaped praise on the opponent.

“They run the ball effectively,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of diversity on offense. Their quarterback’s a very athletic player who can run and throw. Tank is one of the better backs in the SEC. Their defense is very, very aggressive. [Owen] Pappoe is a really good inside backer. [Derick] Hall is a really good rusher, creates a lot of negative plays. They’re very good on special teams.

“This is a very challenging game for us, and our players are going to have to do a great job of getting prepared to play as well as we’ve played all season.”

He also mentioned that the cornerback room is a little thin right now thanks to Khyree Jackson getting suspended.

Jackson participated in Alabama’s first nine games this season, including a start at Texas. He took part in practices as recently as the Tuesday before the Ole Miss game, according to photos distributed by the school.

Alabama opted to start sophomore Terrion Arnold over Jackson this season, and then replaced Arnold with Eli Ricks until Ricks suffered a concussion on the first play against Ole Miss. Saban said Ricks was expected to return to practice Monday.

Alabama’s other scholarship cornerbacks are junior Jahquez Robinson along with freshmen Antonio Kite, Earl Little II and Trequon Fegans.

No idea what he did, but Alabama is an injury away from a youngster playing meaningful snaps. Earl Little Jr. drew a little buzz a few weeks ago.

You can watch all of Nick’s comments below.

Alabama’s two biggest stars spoke about whether they’d stick around for a bowl game.

“I haven’t made any decisions yet,” Anderson said Monday. “I’ve just been really focused on this season and continuing to be a good leader and making sure that I’m showing guys the right way of how to do things around here. But it’s a great time here. Playing in Bryant-Denny has been fun, so many memories. I just wanna keep those memories going. It’s been fun, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

Young added, “As far as me thinking about my future, I take everything one day at a time. So all I’ve been focused on throughout the year has been the next opponent, and obviously, this is huge. This is a huge game. This means a lot to me, to people in the entire state, to us as a team. This is a huge game, so all I think about is today. How can I be the best version of myself today to get ready to put myself in the best circumstances, how we as a team can do that, and that’s all my head’s focused on.”

Yeah, they gone. Barring a playoff berth thanks to a heaping helping of chaos to rival that which would ensue should you turn down a second plate of granny’s cooking on Thursday, this game will be the last time you see these two in Crimson.

Michael Casagrande wrote about the dearth of trick plays since Alabama started churning out first round QBs.

Kiffin, the offensive coordinator the year of the successful onside kick against Clemson, said Saban was big on having discussions about the fake kicks and other trick plays before they’d ever see the light of day.

“He would want to know that week what was in and why. A lot of times you’d run it by him before, so... If they worked, he was happy,” Kiffin said. “If they didn’t work, you got ass chewings.”

Alabama’s had less incentive to fake a field goal after Will Reichard brought a degree of consistency that was missing previously. He’s connected on 61 of 74 kicks for an 82% success rate since arriving in 2019 and Alabama hasn’t tried a fake since.

Speaking of Lane, reporter out of Starkville who claims to have knowledge of the situation broke this news last night.

Now, on the surface this seems to have been a good troll of a rival before the Egg Bowl, but it should be noted that Jon did break the news of Mississippi State AD John Cohen heading to Auburn and that connection could provide some sources as to his hiring plans. Granted, it’s a little odd to note that Auburn hasn’t offered the job to anyone after claiming that Lane is going to quit for that job. Jimmy Sexton is doing work behind the scenes, one way or another.

In any case, Lane denied the report with his usual wit.

Guess we shall see.

Last, at least one NBA Draft analyst is already very high on Brandon Miller.

Brandon certainly looks the part, and we seem to have pieces around him. This should be a fun season.

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

Roll Tide.