Alabama head coach Nick Saban may be losing his touch. After the second game of the season, the notoriously critical Saban is already saying he is proud of the team, a statement that was not heard until much later in 2012's championship run.
"That certainly was an outstanding college football game, by both teams," said Saban as he started the news conference. "This was a tremendous environment to play a college football game. This is a great institution. They have a great team. Our hats off to them in the way they competed in the game."
Coach Saban said that he felt the team played well, but it did not take long for the coach to get back to his favorite subject: improving.
"I was really proud of the way our guys competed in this game," said Saban. "We wanted to improve as a team, certainly offensively we did that today. We did not play as well on defense against some very good players. When you don't fundamentally do some things the way you're supposed to do it, you end up paying the price."
Despite the small grievances, Saban seemed ultimately pleased with the team's effort.
"This was a great win for our team today. I'm so proud of our players for the resiliency they showed out there, getting behind 14 to nothing in the game, just slowly and methodically coming back in the game and building up a lead."
As for Texas A&M's quarterback, Saban had nothing but good to say about last year's Heisman winner.
"Johnny Manziel is a great competitor. He is a great player out there on the field. He makes a lot of plays with his feet, with his arm," said Saban.
Next week, Alabama returns to Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on the Colorado State Rams. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.