TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban was able to laugh about the spirited conversation he had with backup quarterback AJ McCarron in the Mississippi State game, punctuated by a hard slap to the rear end.
But by Thursday night, and after taking some criticism in the media, Saban was not so much in a playful mood when the topic came up in the Georgia State postgame news conference.
“Hey, football is a tough game for tough people,” Saban said with his voice slowly rising. “It really is, and there is a lot of intensity, and there is a lot of intensity on the sidelines, and there is a lot of intensity in practice.
“I’m not apologizing for anything that I did, to be honest with you. AJ doesn’t have a problem with it. Nobody else should have a problem with it. I’ve been getting patted on the ass since 9 years old, playing Pee Wee football. So if you don’t like that, I guess you should watch the Golf Channel.”
During his Monday news conference, Saban grinned as he talked about his conversation with McCarron after the second-string quarterback made a poor read after entering the Bulldog game in the second half.
“It was a good opportunity to teach,” Saban said with a smile Monday. “And it was a good opportunity for him to learn.”
McCarron was also asked about the matter after Thursday’s game and he too was ready to move on.
“It’s over and done with,” McCarron told the Mobile Press-Register. “He was just trying to teach me a lesson. He wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t love me. Coach really cares about me. We’re really close. The fact he was just getting on me he was just trying to teach me a lesson. That comes with the territory of playing quarterback, especially at the University of Alabama. ...Me and him, we’re over it. We’re tired of hearing about it. Just let it go.”
Outside of the kickoff return for touchdown surrendered, the only other big play Georgia State mustered Thursday came on its first offensive snap.
Tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi caught a 55-yard pass to leave most of Bryant-Denny Stadium slack-jawed.
Saban said the big play was a result of a mistake made by freshman cornerback Dee Milliner.
“They motioned over and he had the tight end,” Saban said. “His guy went in motion so he had the tight end and initially, I think he thought it was a running play because they faked the speed sweep to the (motion man). He took his eyes of his man and the guy got by him. It was a well conceived play by them and well executed.”