COLUMBUS – Alabama head coach Nick Saban, quarterback Mac Jones, and other Alabama players spoke on being national champions. Here are the highlights of what they had to say about the win.
+ Perseverance is the word to describe this team. It took perseverance in terms of what they have had to overcome all season long. They stayed together supported each other. “This is a great team.”
+ He wanted to win this game for these players. He is so happy for them.
+ On seven national championships for him, more than any coach ever, Saban said he isn’t able to process that right now. He is just happy they won.
+ “To go undefeated, win 11 SEC games, win the national championship, beat two fine teams in Notre Dame and Ohio State, tell you how proud I am of that.”
+ Saban said they were pretty beat up and were not 100 percent but they showed a lot of grit.
+ “Our coaches did an outstanding job with this team all year long. Just proud of our whole organization and everybody who contributes to it for what we were able to accomplish.”
+ On his offense, Saban said “We knew it would be tough running against these guys the way they play. We knew we’d have to throw the ball to win, and we did it effectively.”
+ Saban said his offense was really the key to the success of this team. They were an okay defensive team and not a great one. They played well enough to get stops but the offense was what made the difference.
+ On the legacy of this Alabama team, Saban said they won 11 SEC games and no other team has done that.
+ DeVonta Smith dislocated his finger. “It was dislocated and they couldn’t get it back in. If they’d have got it back in, he would have been fine. He actually wanted to play, we just didn’t allow him to.”
+ On Smith’s record-setting first half, “Heavens knows what he would have done if he played the whole game.”
QB Mac Jones
+ “Who would have thought we would have won every game, all SEC schedule with everything going on. Then to finish off the last couple games the way we did, I’m just so proud of my teammates, the coaches, and everyone that supported us.”
+ When asked if Nick Saban is the G.O.A.T, “C’mon, man. Of course he is.” Jones said he does things the right way, he recruits well, and he develop great players and young men. He feels blessed to be coached by him.
+”I think we’re the best team to ever play.” Smith said this game was just the icing on the cake.
+ On his decision to come back or turn pro, “I’m going to make the best decision for me and my family. I put myself, I’m blessed to put myself in a position to do either one, come back or hopefully go to the NFL. We’ll discuss that this week and see what my plan is.”
+ On his limping and hobbling, Jones said he has a really bad bone bruise. He will be black and blue for a while.
WR DeVonta Smith
+ He said it came down to the young guys stepping up and he believed in him.
+ COVID made everything tougher but it made them more together as a team. “The discipline of this team is no other.”
+ The season was unbelievable. They wanted to finish their story.
+ On Mac Jones, “I don’t think nobody prepared as hard as him on this team just with everything that he’s done.”
+ “We had a mission. Everybody wanted to end things the right way. We just all came to work every day and just put in the work. We got the result that we wanted.”
+ On his legacy and success, “I wouldn’t be able to do none of this without my teammates or without God.”
DB Patrick Surtain II
+ On limiting Justin Fields, “We knew what type of offense we was going against and our plan was to manage the game where it would eliminate those explosive plays that they had been consistently getting.”
+ “I’m proud of this team and what we have accomplished and we just, another team in the history books.”
[Photo via Alabama Football Twitter.]