Nick Saban Updates Offensive Line Injuries Ahead of Title Game
The Crimson Tide suffered two injuries on the offensive line in its decisive 27-6 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats, leaving solid, but inexperienced, players to fill the gap.
Late in the first quarter, RG Emil Ekiyor exited with an apparent shoulder injury and with under a minute remaining in the game, RT Chris Owens was replaced by sophomore Amari Knight after suffering what looked to be a knee injury.
In place of Ekiyor, freshman JC Latham stepped up and played a solid game, but the lack of experience was evident as Bryce Young was under duress most of the afternoon. Facing off against the vaunted Georgia defensive front in a rematch for the ages, the Tide would certainly like to have its two starters back.
Nick Saban spoke with the media on Monday ahead of his rematch with Kirby Smart and gave a brief update on the Tide's current injury situation, saying, "I think, first of all, from an injury standpoint, we really don't have a lot of updates. We're practicing today for the first time. So we'll kind of see how these guys progress during the week. We're hopeful that we'll get some guys back."
Elaborating on what his team will need to do up front against the Bulldogs, Saban said, "I think if you're going to have any success against any team, especially against a team that has the number one defense in the country, it probably starts up front. So for our offensive line to play well and be effective -- whether it's a run, whether it's a pass, regardless of what the circumstance is -- I think most plays are going to start with how well can we do up front against an outstanding front seven unit who's proven that all year long."
Alabama takes on the Georgia Bulldogs on Jan. 10 in a game that will either bring home the Tide's 19th national title or end the 40-plus year drought for Dawg fans. Saban's team has already shown once it has the ability to outright dominate Georgia, but can Bryce Young and company do it twice?