WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

September 10, 2018 at 8:40 pm.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

–CB Saivion Smith’s pick-six last week was more than impressive as he correctly read the screen attempt, dropped right into the passing lane and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. It was also the first Division I interception of his career. The junior began his career at LSU before going to junior college.

–QB Jalen Hurts, who expects to graduate at the end of the semester and could leave as a grad transfer, seems committed to helping the 2018 Alabama team, as needed or if Tagovailoa is injured or slumps. There were rumors swirling last Saturday morning that Hurts would try to redshirt but he played in his second game later that day. He can redshirt if he plays in no more than four games.

Coach Nick Saban said he didn’t know anything about trying for a redshirt.

“Not from my standpoint,” he said. “I don’t know how you can prepare when you pick and choose when you’re going to play players. I don’t know how you can do that. I mean, you have to get somebody ready to play in the game.”

But will Hurts get a couple series against Ole Miss if the game is close?

–RB Najee Harris has rushed 21 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns in limited action in two games. The carries won’t get spread around as much beyond Najee Harris and Damien Harris as the games get more competitive. Alabama DL Quinnen Williams was asked about Najee Harris trying to hurdle a defender.

“Najee’s a freak. You might not know what he’s going to do. He’s a freak,” Williams said. “When anybody’s got the confidence to do that type of stuff, to throw their body out for the team like that, it’s really not being nervous for him.”

–PK Austin Jones, a transfer from Temple, twice hit the upright on consecutive PAT attempts vs. Arkansas State, and was pulled in favor of redshirt freshman Joseph Bulovas, who made the last five PATs, along with a 39-yard field goal. We’ll see who gets the call Saturday. Those two guys have been in close competition the whole time,” coach Nick Saban said.

SERIES HISTORY: Alabama leads the series 49-11-2 and won last year’s game, 66-3, in Tuscaloosa.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “The offensive line, I think at times has shown really good execution and been physical, but I think a little more consistency in that area would be something that we’d all target and try to improve on. Fundamental execution, finishing blocks, being a little bit more physical at the line of scrimmage and on a more consistent basis is the way I would sort of categorize those guys to this point.” — Alabama coach Nick Saban