Alabama notebook: Compare LSU's and Auburn's miracle finishes? Don't ask Saban
by Marq Burnett
Nov 25, 2013 | 1819 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nick Saban hasn't won fewer than 10 games in the last six seasons at Alabama. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Nick Saban hasn't won fewer than 10 games in the last six seasons at Alabama. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
TUSCALOOSA -- In case anyone was wondering, Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t into comparison.

Saban was asked to compare LSU’s “Bluegrass Miracle” when his Bengal Tigers beat Kentucky and Auburn’s defeat of Georgia this year. Both were decided by long pass completions for the winning touchdown, but Saban pointed out what he thinks is one big difference.

“When we played at Kentucky, we didn’t play a very good game,” Saban said during his Monday news conference. “I think Auburn played a very good game against Georgia. And they made a play at the end of the game that won the game for them. I just felt like we didn’t play a very good game at Kentucky and we got kind of lucky to win, which to me was not a good thing.”

In 2002, Saban’s LSU Tigers needed a 75-yard touchdown to escape Kentucky. Two week ago, Auburn needed a late 73-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Ricardo Louis to hold on against Georgia.

"In their case, they played a very good game," he said. "I don't think they were lucky to win. I'm not saying that at all. They really probably deserved to win the game, based on how they played in the game, and they got rewarded for it in the end by making a big play."

Tide safety Landon Collins called Auburn’s go-ahead touchdown a “fantastic play,” but wide receiver Kevin Norwood saw it a differently.

“That’s one of the luckiest things I’ve seen,” Norwood said. “That’s more the DB’s fault. They are supposed to knock the ball down like any other coach would teach a DB to do. As for the receivers, you can’t be more happier with the results.”

Injury update

Alabama left guard Arie Kouandjio didn’t practice Monday, but Saban said he is expected to practice Tuesday.

Kouandjio twisted his ankle in the second quarter of Saturday's win over Chattanooga and didn't return. Following the game, Saban said Kouandjio could have played, if necessary. Kellen Williams filled in for Kouandjio.

Kouandjio was the only player out of practice Monday. Starters such as running back T.J. Yeldon (ankle), cornerback Deion Belue (toe) and tight end Brian Vogler (ankle) practiced in full Monday and will be be able to play Saturday against Auburn.

McCarron, Mosley mentions

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron was named one of three finalists announced for the Maxwell Award on Monday. The award goes to college football's player of the year.

Two quarterbacks -- Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Florida State’s Jameis Winston -- are the other two finalists.

The same three players were also named finalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.

The winner of both the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien awards will be named Dec. 12 on the Home Depot College Football Awards.

Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley was named one of three finalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award (nation’s defensive player of the year). The honor goes to the nation's defensive player of the year. The other finalists are UCLA’s Anthony Barr and Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald. Mosley is also a finalist for the Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Award and the Butkus Award. Alabama never has had a Bednarik Award winner.
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