"This is the national championship game, the biggest game of the season", Evans said Thursday.
But eventually he got around to praising his longtime assistant, and when he did, it was profuse. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay updated with the latest news and exclusive giveaways!
"I was very impressed with him from day one", Saban said on a teleconference call on Tuesday. I would hire him anytime, anywhere on any staff based on his body of work he did.
In his autobiography, Bryant said the strain of the experience had "taken 10 years off my life."
Of course, had Clemson played UCF in the Sugar Bowl instead of Alabama, it's entirely possible the Tigers would have waltzed into the title game after their second straight massive shutout in the semifinal game.
The next challenge: A top-10 rushing offense that ran wild in a 54-48 overtime victory over No. 2 Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.
Saban was asked if he had anticipated Smart might have such a level of success so quickly at Georgia. "I mean, this is - I think that some kind of way, somebody has got to think about the players a little bit when it comes to these games and not just what's convenient for the media or TV or whatever".
Dill's car supports Alabama
"I thought the defense played with a ferocious, relentless sort of 'I-won't-be-denied attitude, '" Saban said.
"I don't think the game is about the coaches". No. 4 Alabama spent less time than that in the air, flying from Tuscaloosa to what has become something of a home away from home for the Crimson Tide.
1892: The University of Alabama football team, then known as the "Alabama Cadets", played its first game.
Trump carried both states in 2016 - Alabama by almost 30 points and Georgia by about five. Georgia is seeking it's first national championship since 1980.
2007: The year Saban was hired to lead the Tide.
The game is Alabama's third consecutive trip to the title game. Teams playing for a national title in their home state are 3-3. Of them all witnesses say came to Vegas he doesn't even gamble. "That fueled us for an entire year but we can't get caught up on that because if we're not focused on this game or we lose this game, it's the same thing all over again. When you start dealing with a lot of outside influences on your kids' time, you've got to be smart as a coach and understand you've got to get the most out of them, but we've got to be smart with our practice time and our recovery time".
It really marks that era, when Saban still had only one national title, that Smart used that phrase "one of the best", which by now seems puny.
That said, he still wants to badly beat him, and vice versa. Heading into this match up against Kirby Smart the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs who was an assistant. "But we just beat a team that beat two playoff teams and lost to another one by six points and we beat them by seven". "But it's not personal". And the Lebanon against nick Sabin I think it'll be a we twelve activists and Alabama getting.
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