Nick Saban did some old fashioned butt-chewing in the first half of Alabama’s 40-17 win at Mississippi State.

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That was due to a sluggish start by his team at Davis-Wade Stadium. Here’s a look at what the Tide coach said about that and more following the contest after he’d had a while to cool down.

Opening Statement

“There are things we need to improve on and things we’ve got to build on. We’re not where we want to be or where we need to be. Players need to continue to improve and do a better job.

“They were more committed to running than we thought and we didn’t do a good job stopping the run in the first half.

“The defense got turnovers and forced third downs.

Jalen [Milroe] was efficient and did a good job with his feet.

“I believe in this team. We’ve got some guys beat up like our defensive signal caller Deontae Lawson, but Trez Marshall did a good job playing with Jihaad Campbell.

“It was a physical tough game and I’m proud of the way the players competed.”

On the chewings

“Ms. Terry told me if we’re not playing good to get on their butt so I just did what I was told.”

On the Chris Braswell pick-six

“Scoring on defense is something players dream about so it was good to see. If you’re going to score on defense you’ve got to get turnovers. Braswell did a great job on that one. It was a big play in the game.”

On Milroe’s confidence

“He’s building more confidence each game and I think he will continue to do that. As he gains more experience he will gain more confidence.

“As he gets more comfortable understanding defenses he’ll make quicker decisions and be fine.”

On the offensive line

“They played really well. Even you all can tell State was plugging and stunting right? The offensive line did a fantastic job controlling the line of scrimmage.”

Ongoing out of the shotgun in short yardage

“I watch games on TV and everybody’s in the gun. Nobody’s under center. When you get under center you have to go on voice command and it was pretty loud out there. We were a little apprehensive about using verbal cadence. You worry about voice commands.

“You can’t allow penetration like we did.

“We had 193 yards rushing in the game and we were in the gun every time. Explain that?”

On Trezmen Marshall

“Trez did a really good job in the game. He’s a veteran with mental toughness and he’s done a really good job.”

On MSU QB Will Rogers

“He’s a really good player. The last couple of years they were always in four wide outs and we did all kinds of junk when we knew they were going to pass. We dialed up some of that junk tonight and they ran the ball and made a first down.

“I was concerned going in about stopping their running. We didn’t do a good job early in the game.”

The Crimson Tide is now 4-1, 2-0 SEC and will be on the road again for more conference play next week to take on Texas A&M in College Station at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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