Nick Saban runs an incredibly tight ship at Alabama. So when the Crimson Tide looked sloppy in this past Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M, it turned plenty of heads around the college football world.
One notable person to take notice of this uncharacteristic performance was former Alabama defensive back Roman Harper.
Though Harper never played a game under Saban, he has followed his former team closely over the all-time great coach’s dynastic tenure. During an appearance with The Paul Finebaum Show on Friday, he shared his thoughts on what was an unprecedented performance under Saban.
“I’ve never seen a Nick Saban-coached Alabama team have that many players play that bad all in the same game at one time before,” Harper said, via Saturday Down South. “It’s almost like they were sleepwalking. Or I saw how good they could be against an Ole Miss team when they were motivated, when they were talked about in the newspaper that they actually felt challenged. Then, they walked into Kyle Field and thought Texas A&M was going to be the same team they were the last few weeks and you did not get that same opponent.
“Alabama made so many unforced errors when it came to coverage breakdowns. I was so happy at the end of the game that they lost that game. I was, Paul. It just kind of lets me know that ball don’t lie. You get exactly what you deserve in this football game. If you do the right things all the time, you’re probably going to get the results that you want.”
The Crimson Tide offense continued its solid play in last week’s loss, collecting 522 yards of total offense and 38 points, but the defense struggled to slow down the Aggies’ high-powered offense.
Harper discussed how defensive coordinator Pete Golding deserves some blame for Bama’s struggling defensive unit.
“I think [Golding] definitely has his hand in it, you can’t divorce him from it and just blame the players,” Harper explained. “At the end of the day, in this college space, I never try and blame players. I was always told that you’re either coaching it or you’re allowing it to happen. It’s some thing that execution-wise, that if you’re not doing them, you either need to not run the play or you need to explain to the players what you’re trying to get accomplished within each call.”
Alabama, now ranked No. 5 in the nation, will look to get back on track with a bounce-back win against unranked Mississippi State on Saturday.