Alabam head coach Nick Saban is full of memorable quotes that can help motivate his program toward success.

Right tackle Chris Owens couldn't help but lean on a few in his post-game press conference Saturday night after the Crimson Tide defeated the Mercer Bears 48-14.

"It'll get you when it gets you. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but at some point down the line... it's gonna get us."

"I know what I'm supposed to do, am I going to do it? I know what I'm not supposed to do, am I going to keep myself from doing it?"

On Monday, Saban leaned heavily on the phrase "sustain consistency in performance." It may not be a memorable quote like the ones Owens called back to, it's clearly a memorable phrase to latch on to for the Alabama Crimson Tide as it prepares for its first SEC matchup of the 2021 season in Gainsville, Florida this Saturday.

"I think in reviewing the last game, I think there's a lot to learn from the last game," Saban said in his opening comments Monday. "...So there's a lot of good things in the game, but I think consistency in performance is what we really need to work on in terms of maintaining consistency, staying focused, playing with more discipline, eliminating penalties and poor full-speed decisions that are resulting in penalties."

Alabama dominated on the scoreboard and in most major statistics over Mercer, but the eye test didn't lie, nor did the yellow flags that lined the field Saturday afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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Alabama committed nine penalties for 95 yards. Add that to the eight flags for 81 yards against Miami, and this team isn't displaying the discipline and execution beholden of a Nick Saban-coached football team.

The penalty problem facing the Crimson Tide is reflected by Alabama's struggles for total consistency. Even though Alabama is dominating with superior talent and coaching, the final product on the field isn't matching the overall goals of the program as Saban has guided it for the past 14 years.

"Consistency in performance, can you play for 60 minutes in a game, can you sustain your performance for 60 minutes in a game? That’s kind of what we’re focused on and what we’re trying to get our players to do," Saban said Monday.

Saban can provide the words for his players, but he can't put them into action for them. Now it's time for the new group of leaders on the 2021 roster to display what it means to sustain consistency in performance.

“That’s definitely a big thing for us," quarterback Bryce Young said. "I felt like we, as a team, obviously we have the potential to do a lot of good things, and I think a big thing for us, like Coach Saban said, is how we maintain it, how we sustain it, how much we keep pushing, how consistent we can be. I think that’s a big thing for us as a team.”

"Just keep building on it every week," defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis said. Keep preaching it to the guys. I think we just gotta keep coming together as a team, keep pushing and finishing in the fourth quarter."

When the Crimson Tide line up across from the Gators Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in The Swamp, there's no doubt that a consistent performance across the board will be a big key to Alabama's potential success in the contest.

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