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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban speaks after the first fall practice

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Orange Bowl practice Carl Juste/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone. We learned yesterday that Alabama’s 2024 schedule is now set.

The Crimson Tide is scheduled to face Mercer on Nov. 16, 2024 in Tuscaloosa, per the contract signed in February 2019.

Other non-conference games on the 2024 schedule that have previously been reported or announced are Western Kentucky (Aug. 31), South Florida (Sept. 7) and Wisconsin (Sept. 14).

This non-conference schedule is subject to change if the SEC adjusts its conference-game requirement before then. If the SEC game-requirement total moves from eight to nine, one of these opponents would have to be moved.

Please SEC, change that requirement. This is gross.

Fall camp opened yesterday, with Charlie Potter providing some photos for your perusal if you are so inclined. Nick Saban spoke to media for the first time this fall, and he seemed a little grumpy. His “rebuilding year” comments have been a popular discussion topic among college football media for the past day or two, including Finebaum who had this to say:

This is very predictable. ... Whenever he loses a game, like a National Championship game, here comes the excuse!

Well, some reporter had the gumption to ask him about it at the press conference yesterday and Nick didn’t seem to care for the question.

I don’t really understand what’s so hard to understand,” Saban said in response to a question about the comment. “The point being, we were young and we should have nine starters back on offense and nine starters back on defense. That’s the point I was trying to make. Six guys went out for the draft, so as we usually have to do, we have lots of rebuilding to do this season. So that’s the point I’m trying to make.

Saban did get to speak about his team as well, and while he acknowledged that little can be gleaned from one practice, he wants to see his offensive line get more physical.

“We need to be more physical up front, first of all, and get movement on the run. Getting more consistent and I think having more diversity in the running game would also help. I think the additions we made in the offseason is going to be helpful to that,” he said. “I think, overall, we just have to have a different mentality up front in terms of the intangibles that we play with: the toughness, the effort. The offensive line is a place where that gets established on your team.”

Saban has had nothing but glowing things to say about OL coach Eric Wolford and TE coach Joe Cox. Hopefully they can get the big dudes up front back to road grading. The only injury Saban really discussed was Cam Latu, who will “miss some time in camp.” You can watch the entire presser below if you like.

Eli Gold names his top 5 favorite calls of all time, and come on, you know which one is #1.

Last, these screencaps are from a Texas practice report that is behind a paywall, from Chip Brown at Horns247. I am just going to leave them here with no further commentary.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.