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Nick Saban post Iron Bowl quotes

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Nick Saban (Source: WBRC video) Nick Saban (Source: WBRC video)

Here are University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban's quotes from after the 2013 Iron Bowl from Auburn University Athletics Communications:

 

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
November 30, 2013
Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium
Alabama Post-Game Head Coach Quotes
 
Alabama head coach Nick Saban
 
Opening statement…
"First of all, this is a tremendous rivalry. Great tradition. A lot of great fans. It was a great atmosphere for our team to play in today. For the seniors we have on our team I feel really badly because they have had a great career here. Our fans have done a fantastic job. I am really proud of how this team came along and improved throughout this season and created the opportunity that we have for ourselves here today. We told our team that this is like March Madness. Coming into this game that if you want to keep playing in the tournament you have to keep winning. I was really proud of the way our guys competed out there today, but the fact of the matter is that we did not make plays when we needed to. Whether it was a made field goal with a penalty or a missed field goal after that. Going for it on fourth and less than a yard and not being able to make it. Making the decision to do what we did at the end of the game. Not being able to cover the kick. We knew they had a guy back there and that we had to fan and cover it. That was not a great way to lose the game, especially for a team that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. It is my responsibility. I think our coaches did a great job this year with this team. We just did not make the plays when we needed to make them on third and fourth down today to get this chance to win. I think you have to give Auburn's players a lot of credit. They have had a great season. They played a great game. The made the plays they needed to make today and that is probably the difference in this ballgame."
 
On the coverage of the final play kick…
"It just looked like we did not have anybody down on the right side. The right wing and the right tight end, everybody is supposed to fan the field. We covered to the left; that is why he went to the right. I could not see it that well down their sidelines. First time I have ever lost a game that way, first time I have ever seen a game lost that way. We had the wind behind us, but he still should have covered it. The game should not have ended that way."
 
On the short field goal…
"Well we missed a couple field goals. We had fourth down and less than a yard. I do not ever like to say I do not have confidence in our players but we have been a very good short yardage team all year. It did not work out that way. So myself and a lot of other people will probably say that we should have kicked a field goal there, but we had a field goal from that same spot that we missed. You cannot take it for granted that we could have made it. That is the game. But it goes back to being able to make plays and execute them in critical situations of the game. We have been a really good short yardage team but it just did not work out properly this time."
 
On lack of defending the last touchdown pass…
"We were playing man to man coverage on the X. The quarterback runs his own pull. We actually had bracket coverage on the guy, but the safety is supposed to come out of the top on an outside release and the corner is supposed to stay with the guy. The corner did not stay with the guy. You have to have tremendous discipline to play against this offense. You have the zone, you have a quarterback that can run the ball, and they have a pass off of it most of the time. We made a mental error in coverage that cost us a touchdown."
 
On addressing the team after the loss…
"I told the team that I was proud of the way they played all season long and the way they have improved as a team. We are very proud of our football team to win eleven games. I still think we have one of the best teams in the country. I do not think we played our best game today. Everyone knew what was at stake and we did not make the plays when we needed to make them. That responsibility starts with me and every player on the team and every coach in terms of how we contributed to what we did today. The ultimate responsibility is mine. I am very, very proud of this team, the improvements they made, the way they competed and played all year, and the way they competed today. We just did not make the plays when we needed to make them. This team will have another opportunity to play a game and we are going to try and do it the right way."
 
On Auburn's running game…
"Their running game has had a lot of success against everybody all year long. They are a very difficult offense to defend. Like I said, it takes a lot of discipline. There were times when we did not play the plays properly, especially on their second drive to score fourteen points in the second quarter. We did not close and do the things we were supposed to do and they hit us for a couple of big runs. We had some big stops and have every opportunity to win the game, we just came up a little short. You certainly have the stop the run a little better than we did today to have a chance to beat a team like this because that is what they do extremely well.