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Nick Saban rips Alabama’s defense after escaping with win over Florida

Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida Gators

The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide had a surprisingly tight game against the Florida Gators at The Swamp on Saturday afternoon. The Tide rolled out to a 21-3 lead and seemed on the verge of another dominant win in the much-anticipated affair, only to falter on the defensive end in the second half. Alabama pulled out a 31-29 victory after Florida failed on a game-tying 2-point conversion attempt in the final minutes, but it was too close for comfort.

While happy with the win, Alabama coach Nick Saban wasn’t happy with the performance of his normally stout defense. Speaking to the press after the game, Saban credited the Gators but also went in on his team for all their mistakes.

Via Alex Scarborough from ESPN:

“What concerned me most is we could not maintain our intensity, especially on defense. We had a lot of mental errors. All in all it was just our execution on defense and the fact that we didn’t get off the field on third down.”

The Crimson Tide coach also mentioned that he was going to use more players from his roster in future games, as the players did look fairly tired as the game wore on. Additionally, he said that he was still proud of his team, due to the response they had to the defensive struggles.

Florida racked up 258 rushing yards and 440 yards overall. The Gators had several long touchdown drives in the second half, including a 99-yard march. Florida is talented, but Saban isn’t used to seeing his team get gashed like that.

Alabama now has a 3-0 record and will surely remain on top of the rankings. The Crimson Tide’s next game should be a cakewalk against Southern Miss.