| NEWS Texas week has arrived for Alabama football. Here's what stands out to Nick Saban - Tuscaloosa News

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It's clear Alabama football will have to focus on stopping Texas running back Bijan Robinson, first and foremost.

The junior running back was a frequent point of discussion in coach Nick Saban's press conference Monday, among other Longhorns. No. 1 Alabama (1-0) faces No. 18 Texas (1-0) on Saturday (11 a.m., FOX) in Austin, Texas.

“He can do everything," Saban said. "He’s got speed, he’s got power, he’s a very instinctive runner. Sets up his blockers well. Has a burst. Has got great hands. Good receiver. They use him a lot in the passing game. This guy is as good of an all-around back as there probably is in the country. Or he’s certainly one of the best of all the guys in the country.”

The numbers back those statements up. Robinson ran for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns during his sophomore season last year, earning him All-Big 12 first team honors. Robinson isn’t easy to bring down either. He averaged 3.94 yards after contact per rushing attempt, according to Pro Football Focus’ charting. By comparison, former Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr., a back more than willing to run through contact in 2021, averaged 3.29 yards after contact.

Against Louisiana Monroe in the opener, Bijan Robinson ran for 71 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown. He also caught three receptions for 40 yards.

Quarterback Quinn Ewers will have to be a focus for the defense, too. Ewers is in his first year as Texas’ starter after transferring from Ohio State. He was the top prospect of the entire 2021 recruiting class, per 247Sports. In his first game with the Longhorns, Ewers completed 16 of 24 passes for 225 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

“Ewers is a very good quarterback,” Saban said. “Great arm. Very talented guy.”

Calling plays for the offense, and running the team, is a familiar face: former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Saban praised the job Sarkisian has done so far at Texas, calling him a “very good” offensive coach with a great system and scheme.

Sarkisian, who served as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator from 2019-20, knows Alabama well. But the Crimson Tide knows him well too.

“We seem to play several teams now that kind of know us, but you act like we don’t know them,” Saban said. “So just because somebody knows you when they play you doesn’t mean they’re going to beat you. Just because you know them when you play them doesn’t mean you’re going to beat them either.”

Saban said it comes down to how a team executes.

“To think we’re going to go change a lot of things that we do that our players know how to do that they do well that they have confidence in,” Saban said, “I don’t think that’s the answer when it comes to getting execution and having confidence in how you have to adjust and what you need to do.”
 

Davestwin

Sideline Club
As an old Bama fan, playing Texas has rarely been a pleasant experience. I often hoped I’d live long enough to see Bama turn the tables on them. All of the Texas sports talk guys are reminding their fans that Texas holds a 7-1-1 record against the Tide. I’ll take any win but I hope Bama beats them badly!
 

TerryP

Misomaniac
Ivory Club
As an old Bama fan, playing Texas has rarely been a pleasant experience. I often hoped I’d live long enough to see Bama turn the tables on them. All of the Texas sports talk guys are reminding their fans that Texas holds a 7-1-1 record against the Tide. I’ll take any win but I hope Bama beats them badly!
They'll quickly dismiss titles before the poll era but they'll hang on to those three wins before the poll era.
 

mando

Sideline Club
As an old Bama fan, playing Texas has rarely been a pleasant experience. I often hoped I’d live long enough to see Bama turn the tables on them. All of the Texas sports talk guys are remintding their fans that Texas holds a 7-1-1 record against the Tide. I’ll take any win but I hope Bama beats them badly!
Saban has made several things right during his tenure that started in 2009 and especialy 2012. Oh and 15 years in a row. No reason for him to stop now.

I had been feeling this would be an easy game for bama but as it has gotten closer I realized I have been drinking the rat poison. Good thing is we have a really talented team that has good leadership that is likely/hopefully not drinking the rat poison. Hope that ends in a great day for the good guys.
 

mando

Sideline Club
Nah. You lean pessimistic. We keep a TV in the back room for your ilk. 🙃
I think I lean realistic :). I do not run the team down during the game. I never believe they are not going to find a way. I am talking about pure domination versus a tighter game than expected.

I have just realized something, reading some of the UT peoples take. I am starting to dislike these entitled clowns more and more. It dawned on me that I have a bult in dislike for anything with initials UT that wears orange..... A coincedence? I think not. Could it be the Shorthorns will be even more irritating than the viles and the Barn - holy crap that is a scary thought.
 

TerryP

Misomaniac
Ivory Club
A coincedence? I think not. Could it be the Shorthorns will be even more irritating than the viles and the Barn - holy crap that is a scary thought.
I was just reading a little about how the fans fell on this game. A lot of hate towards UT. More so than hatin' on Saban or Bama.
 
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