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Jumbo Package: Saban talks injuries ahead of LSU

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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NCAA Football: Tennessee at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Apologies for being a bit late today. Bye week blues are in full effect, but here’s what we have. Saban spoke on the McAfee show yesterday about managing bumps and bruises this week.

“Well, you know, we’ve probably got maybe half a dozen guys that you know, really didn’t practice this week because of injuries. Their injuries but have kind of had a cumulative effect over the course of a season. And they just needed time to try to heal up. You know, it’s too early to tell how those guys are going to respond. And will they be ready to go, you know next week,” Saban began.

“But we’re hopeful that we’ll get them all back. But when you have some of those players out, it really helps some of the other players gain a lot of practice time and experience that sort of helps the development of your team, too,” Saban continued

The bad news of course is that LSU will also have the opportunity to get fresh.

Saban also spoke about the sign stealing scandal.

Alabama coach Nick Saban voiced support for in-helmet communication for play calling in college football, similar to what is used in the NFL, on “The Pat McAfee Show” yesterday.

“We would solve a lot of those problems if we would do the same thing in college football,” Saban said. “There’s no reason not to do that. There’s no reason that you just can’t tell the quarterback what the play is rather than having signs and signals.”

The debate has surfaced as Michigan’s alleged in-person scouting allegations and illegal “sign-stealing” saga continue. With the technology available and in use for years, Saban is right. Do it already.

The NCAA is giving teams the option to test in helmet communication for this bowl season.

It’s behind a paywall, but this Times-Picayune mailbag may shed some light on why the point spread is what it is.

Though the four transfer corners are probably out, most of the secondary is set. Andre Sam and Major Burns will play safety; linebacker Harold Perkins essentially fills the nickel role in LSU’s base defense; and Sage Ryan will start at corner. Ryan hasn’t made any highlight plays over the last three games, but he has been fundamentally sound.

Between now and Nov. 4, the Tigers have to figure out who will start on the other side and who will enter in dime packages. Their likely choices are sophomore Laterrance Welch and freshmen Ashton Stamps, Jeremiah Hughes and Javien Toviano. Among the group, Stamps has the only start and Welch has the most defensive snaps in a single game with 46 at Ole Miss.

At least one of the four has to step up.

Sage Ryan is a converted safety, and of course Perkins is going to be an edge guy in the NFL. If those are the two guys covering Burton and Bond next Saturday, we should have a good day on offense. Sam is probably not a guy who anyone at LSU expected to play a prominent role this season. This secondary is gettable, and to make matters worse they are using their best pass rusher to cover the slot out of necessity.

Alabama logged a cross-country title.

SI put out a nice Will Reichard profile.

“As I look back on my career, very excited about what we as a team have been able to accomplish,” Reichard said in August. “I just felt like I had more room to improve before moving on to the next level. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave this place. I have been super blessed to meet a lot of people here, building relationships I’ve been able to build. There are a lot of people across the country who would love to play here. It’s just something where I wanted to be able to come back and finish my career here.”

Last, Creg Stephenson looks back 50 years, to Alabama’s dominant victory over VPI.

Its wishbone offense clicking on all cylinders, Alabama led VPI by a 42-6 score at halftime and then added 35 more points in the second half. The Crimson Tide improved to 7-0 on the way to an 11-1 finish, while the Hokies (then alternately known as the Gobblers) fell to 1-7 and would end up 2-9.

The game left players, coaches and sportswriters who witnessed it aghast.

“I didn’t want the score to be like that,” Bryant said. “They just got tired and we played over 70 people who were rested. They’ve got nothing to be ashamed of and I hope people realize that. We definitely were not trying to run up the score.

“I’m really embarrassed over the score. There’s not that much difference in our teams. But I’m proud of our kids for winning. I thought the offense was terrific.”

Imagine beating someone so bad that you’re embarrassed by the score.

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

Roll Tide.