When Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, has time to prepare for a game, his teams generally come up with a big effort. Just ask the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Alabama’s victim in last year’s BCS National Championship Game.
This week, the Tide face Johnny Manziel and his Texas A&M Aggies. While A&M was rolling up a big victory over Sam Houston State on Saturday, the Tide had the weekend off. That means Saban will have had two weeks to prepare for Johnny Football.
But don’t think it’s just these two weeks that Saban has been preparing for this game. Last season, it was Manziel and the Aggies who handed the Tide its only loss of the season. And while Saban may say publicly that he hasn’t thought about that game, don’t buy it. That game has been sitting on his mind for nearly 10 months.
A defensive-minded coach like Saban could not have liked the way last season’s game transpired. Manziel had 253 passing yards, with a pair of touchdowns, as well as 92 yards rushing, despite being sacked four times. While these are not outstanding numbers, they are more than Saban and his vaunted defense generally give up to an opponent.
Rest assured that Saban will have some new wrinkles in the gameplan this weekend against A&M. Manziel will almost assuredly see some looks that he has not seen before, as the Tide try to disrupt the defending Heisman Trophy winner and his team.
Saban is a mastermind on defense, and it will be interesting to see how Alabama fares when facing Johnny Football in College Station on Saturday.