Nick Saban sees difference in 'Bluegrass Miracle' and 'Miracle on the Plains'

Anniston StarNovember 25, 2013 

Ricardo Louis, front, pursues the ball after Josh Harvey-Clemons (25) knocked it up in the air during the final minute of Saturday’s game.

TODD J. VAN EMST — Special to The Telegraph

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In case one was wondering, Alabama coach Nick Saban isn't into comparison.

Saban was asked to compare LSU's "Bluegrass Miracle" and Auburn's touchdown to defeat Georgia, but Saban felt there is one very big difference.

"When we played at Kentucky, we didn't play a very good game," Saban said during his Monday news conference. "I think Auburn played a very good game against Georgia. And they made a play at the end of the game that won the game for them. I just felt like we didn't play a very good game at Kentucky and we got kind of lucky to win, which to me was not a good thing."

In 2002, Saban's LSU Tigers needed a 75-yard touchdown to escape Kentucky. Two week ago, Auburn needed a late touchdown from wide receiver Ricardo Louis to hold on against Georgia.

"In their case, they played a very good game," he said. "I don't think they were lucky to win. I'm not saying that at all. They really probably deserved to win the game, based on how they played in the game, and they got rewarded for it in the end by making a big play."

Tide safety Landon Collins called Auburn's go-ahead touchdown a "fantastic play." But wide receiver Kevin Norwood saw it a differently.

"That's one of the luckiest things I've seen," Norwood said. "That's more the DB's fault. They are supposed to knock the ball down like any other coach would teach a DB to do. As for the receivers, you can't be happier with the results."

Injury update

Alabama left guard Arie Kouandjio won't practice Monday, but is expected to practice on Tuesday, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said.

Kouandjio twisted his ankle in the second quarter against Chattanooga on Saturday and didn't return. Following the game, Saban said Kouandjio could have played if necessary. Kellen Williams filled in for Kouandjio.

Saban said Kouandjio will be the only player out of practice on Monday. Starters like running back T.J. Yeldon (ankle), cornerback Deion Belue (toe) and tight end Brian Vogler (ankle) practiced in full on Monday and will be a full go for the Iron Bowl.

McCarron, Mosley finalists for national awards

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron was named one of three finalists announced for the college football player of the year award on Monday.

Two quarterbacks -- Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Florida State's Jameis Winston -- were the other two finalists.

The same three players were also named finalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.

The winner of both the Maxwell and Davey O'Brien awards will be named Dec. 12 on the Home Depot College Football Awards.

Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley was named one of three finalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award (nation's defensive player of the year) released Monday afternoon. The honor goes to the nation's defensive player of the year. Other finalists include UCLA's Anthony Barr and Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald. Mosley is also a finalist for the Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Award and the Butkus Award. Alabama has never had a Bednarik Award winner.

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