Alabama’s Nick Saban wonders if Ole Miss knew the defense signals

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Alabama coach Nick Saban said the difficulties in his defense made him question whether Ole Miss knew the signals from Crimson Tide in his team’s 63-48 victory on Saturday night at Oxford, Mississippi.Saban projected calm on the sideline for much of the game, but inside he said he was “boiling and bubbling” as he watched his defense go by, giving up 647 yards.

“It sounded like everything we were doing although they had an answer,” Saban said. “I don’t know if they had our signals or what. It is not something unusual. It seemed like every time we called something they had the best game they could have against it. “

He added: “We haven’t done anything right. We did not stop the race. We dropped a few games in the back. … I just didn’t play very well. ”

Ole Miss ’48 points was the No. 2 most Alabama allowed an unranked opponent in the PA era (since 1936).

Crimson Tide linebacker Dylan Moses said he “definitely” believes Ole Miss got their defensive cues, noting that head coach Lane Kiffin has been familiar with the program since his time as the offensive coordinator of the ‘Alabama from 2014 to 2016.

“They had an answer for everything we were lined up with,” Moses said.

Saban, who took responsibility for the defense game, said there was “a lot of opportunity for us to learn and grow from this game”.

“We’ve never played that way in defense,” he said. “It’s definitely not what we aspire to as a defensive team, and we’re going to work hard with our players.

“I believe in our players. And I think we have to make our players play better. I think we can do it. ”

Alabama and Ole Miss’s combined 111 points were the highest in regulation games in SEC history. The Crimson Tide’s 723 yards of attack rank second in SEC history.

Wide receiver DeVonta Smith tied a school record with 13 receptions and became the first Alabama player in the past 20 years to have 150 receiving yards and a rushing touchdown in the same game.

“I never would have guessed that you would see an SEC game with those stats here,” said Kiffin, in his first season at Ole Miss after spending the previous three at the top of Florida Atlantic. “Three punts throughout the game. Most points in the history of an SEC regulation game, especially against Coach Saban and this defense. ”

When asked why the score across the conference was up, Kiffin replied, “Maybe COVID? ”

“Missing the spring ball, missing the tackle and the fundamentals have something to do with it,” he said. “I would never have guessed that. I joked with [Saban] afterwards I spoke to him, “I thought they were playing SEC defense. I was just joking because he was sort of laughing at the defense. It’s three games in a row like this. I wouldn’t have thought of that. ”

Alabama, who improved to 3-0, host No.3 Georgia next Saturday.

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