- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
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University of Alabama coach Nick Saban took to the SEC teleconference on Wednesday morning to talk about how his team is feeling after beating Michigan, as well as what the mood is heading into a Week 2 matchup with Western Kentucky. Here is some of what the sixth-year head coach had to say:
Opening statement: "Any time you play a first game, you kind of see what areas of the team you really need to improve, work hard on. That's certainly been our focus. We have a tremendous amount of respect for every team we play. Western Kentucky has won eight of their last nine game, and we certainly respect what they do. They do a good job of coaching their players. ... We just want to continue to do the things we need to do to improve and progress as a team because we know we need a tremendous amount of improvement to be the team we need to be."
Saban on having too many penalties: "Since we've been here, we've been pretty good with the penalties. We've always been one of the better teams in the SEC, statistically. We have a goal in terms of how many penalties we get and we have officials at practice every day so players are learning what they can and can't do so they don't develop bad habits."
Scouting Western Kentucky: "They do a really good job offensively, use their personnel really well, lots of shifts and motion. They get a hat on a hat. They have good runners. They run the ball effectively. The quarterback does a great job for them in terms of being accurate, getting the ball out of his hand. They've been a pretty good third-down team for the most part. Defensively, they're very active with a lot of pressure. They try to give you a lot of bad plays. ... We have a tremendous amount of respect for them. They're probably, in my opinion, maybe the best team in the Sun Belt."
On if he has any comment on WKU's coach saying Alabama is a NFL-caliber team: "No I don't, at all. I know he does a lot of NFL stuff we're trying to get our college players to learn how to play. Our guys are going to score like everybody else's, try to do the right things like everybody else."
On if T.J. Yeldon played like they had expected: "He was no surprise to me or anybody on our staff in terms of how he played. You always worry about what a true freshman's anxiety level is going to be in the first game. But he was good and he executed well and did a good job of running the ball. I think our whole offense did a good job of getting a hat on a hat so he had a chance to be successful. He executed well on the screen that he caught and made an explosive play. We have lots of confidence that he can be an outstanding player for us and we certainly need him to be, relative to our situation at the position."
On maintaining focus on a week-to-week basis no matter the opponent: "That's certainly what we try to emphasize to our players. We haven't always been successful in doing that in the past. ... I think it's a part of human nature to not maybe be all that you can be and focus on what you need to do to be the best that you can be and sort of want to take it easier when you have a big win or have success. It's part of human nature but that's what we're fighting."
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