PASADENA, CALIF. – There was no official information about Nick Saban's return as Alabama football coach after his team lost to Michigan 27-20 in overtime Monday at the Rose Bowl.
But Terry Saban, wife of the 72-year-old coach, revealed her husband's more immediate plans: watching a movie on Netflix rather than watching Texas play Washington in the second semifinal of the College Football Playoff more late in the evening.
Terry Saban greeted her husband with a hug and a few pats on the back after finishing his postgame press conference. They spoke too quietly to be heard, but Terry Saban told USA TODAY Sports this is how their conversation went:
Terry Saban: “Do you want to watch the other football game?” »
Nick Saban: “Not really. »
Terry Saban: “OK, let’s watch Netflix. »
Terry Saban explained that she and Nick were watching a foreign film. “It’s Turkish or something,” she said, adding that having to read the subtitles would be helpful for her husband.
“It makes you completely forget (the defeat),” she said.
She spoke to USA TODAY Sports while standing with a small group of people near the big tent where Nick Saban conducted his postgame interview. He did not discuss his plans for next season.
When USA TODAY Sports asked Terry Saban if her husband would continue coaching, a young woman interjected.
“We are not answering such questions at this time,” she said.
When asked if her husband was okay after the loss, Terry replied, “Fifty-two years of doing this, we've been through it before, haven't we?” And you try to find the positive side to teach other players next time. »
What Saban said about the final play call
Nick Saban said Alabama's final decision of the season came from first-year offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. He won't go down as a favorite in Alabama football history.
With Alabama facing fourth-and-goal from the Michigan 3-yard line in overtime, quarterback Jalen Milroe took over and ran up the middle. He gained a yard before Michigan defenders attacked and ended the game.
Michigan called a timeout, then Alabama called before the game started.
“We called three games,” Saban said. “One of them called a timeout, another one we called a timeout and the last one that didn't work. The fact that it didn't work made it a very bad decision. You know what I mean?
“But we called a timeout because we had bad eyesight. We took a good look at the first one. They had to know it.
Regardless, Rees wanted the ball in MIlroe's hands, according to Saban.
“…Tommy just felt like the best thing we could do was have a quarterback run, which was kind of our two-point play, one of our two-point plays for this match,” he said.
What's wrong with bad shots?
Milroe and center Seth McLaughlin have had nearly four months to resolve the quarterback-center swap issues that have plagued them since the start of the season. No chance.
While Milroe operated primarily out of the shotgun formation, McLaughin fired several off-target shots.
Two came on consecutive plays early in the third quarter, and the second resulted in a sack and a 6-yard loss.
Milroe, asked after the game about it, said: “The quarterback and the center have to have a great relationship and that's something we've tried to build throughout the season. There are a multitude of things that Seth and I talk about in this regard. It's something we talk about.
McLaughlin, a senior, took over as the team's starting center midway through the 2022 season.
Saban raves about team's turnaround
Yes, Saban admitted, he was disappointed with the loss.
“But one thing I told them in the locker room after the game, this is one of the most amazing seasons in Alabama football history in terms of where this team came from,” he said. -he said, “what they were able to accomplish and what they were able to do, winning the SEC championship and really, really proud of this group.
Alabama's season looked ready to collapse after a 34-24 loss to Texas in the second week of the season and an uninspiring 21-7 win over South Florida in the third week of the season . But the Crimson Tide changed the course of its season during an 11-game winning streak that culminated with a victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
“As a coach, you're always trying to get your team to improve and be the best they can be, and I think this team probably improved from the South Florida game and the South Florida game. Texas early in the season, as much as any team. I've been a coach before,” Saban said.
“It takes a lot of work. A lot of people are very committed to doing the things they need to do to self-evaluate and improve their game, and all of these players have bought into this team and done it in a first-class way.
“That’s why I think for me as a coach, maybe not for everyone, this is one of the teams that I will always remember the most and that I will always be the most proud of.”