Top-ranked Alabama might have impressed the nation with its 52-6 win against No. 20 Southern California on Saturday, but Crimson Tide players will still have to work on winning over their head coach.
Alabama allowed USC to score a field goal on its opening drive and sputtered on offense in the first quarter before settling down for the blowout win. After the game, coach Nick Saban voiced his concern over the Tide’s slow start.
“If you want to know the truth about it, I wasn’t pleased with the way we played,” Saban said. “And, again, you know, if you look at your internal scoreboard rather than the external scoreboard and you say, ‘What do we need to do to improve? What do we need to do to get better?’”
Alabama eventually rebounded, outscoring the Trojans 52-3 from the second quarter on. The Tide outgained the Trojans 465-194 on the night. Saban admits, that’s a pretty good start to the season. However, the head coach is looking for more in the future.
“Look, I’m happy that we won,” Saban said. “And I’m proud of our team for beating a good team. And I don’t want you to think that I’m not. But, at this point in the season, I’m really focused on what we need to do to get better.”
Tide might add another former Trojan
By the end of the week, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin might not be the only former USC head coach on the Tide’s staff. According to multiple reports, former Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian will travel to Tuscaloosa this week to discuss a possible assistant position at Alabama.
Sarkisian spent five season as Washington’s head coach from 2009-13, coaching the Huskies to a 34-29 record. He then served as Kiffin’s replacement at USC in 2014, leading the Trojans to a 9-4 record and a win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl.
Sarkisian was fired by the Trojans in the middle of the 2015 season after having trouble dealing with alcoholism. USC was 3-2 at the time of his firing.
Prior to serving as a head coach, Sarkisian and Kiffin worked together as co-offensive coordinators under ex-USC coach Pete Carroll in the mid-2000s.
Alabama heads into this week’s home opener against Western Kentucky as a 27-point favorite, according to VegasInsider.com.
Alabama is 2-0 all time against the Hilltoppers, winning 41-7 in 2008 and 35-0 in 2012. WKU (1-0) beat Rice 46-14 this past Thursday. Quarterback Mike White led the way, completing 25 of 31 passes for 517 yards and three touchdowns. Last season, WKU went 12-2, winning the Conference USA title before beating South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl.
Alabama hasn’t lost in its Bryant-Denny opener since falling to Oklahoma in 2003. The two teams will kickoff Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Taylor was suspended for opener
Saban announced senior offensive guard Alphonse Taylor missed Saturday’s game due to suspension.
Taylor suited against the Trojans, but watched the game from the sidelines. The senior started all 15 games at right guard last season for the Tide.
“Shank (Taylor) was suspended for this game, even though we brought him on the trip,” Saban said after the game. “He will be back and playing after this game.”
Taylor’s was suspended after being arrested for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. He registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.00 within 30 minutes after the arrest, according to arrest reports. Last week, he was found not guilty of the DUI charge.