Saban talks keys to slowing down the Sooners

Saban talks keys to slowing down the Sooners
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has a plan to slow down the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2018 Orange Bowl. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MIAMI, FL (WSFA) - The day before a playoff game is a lot more low key than the days prior. Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley were present for their final press conference Friday before the game kicks off Saturday night in South Florida.

We already know this is building up to be a battle of epic proportions on the offensive side of the ball.

They both run the ball very effectively and, clearly, their passing games are elite. The Sooners feature a Heisman trophy winner and ninth overall pick in the MLB Draft, while Alabama features a school record holder, Maxwell Award winner and Heisman finalist.

Don't be fooled by the hype around the Tide's offense though. Their defense is still solid.

Alabama ranks seventh in the country in yards allowed per play and Coach Saban, being a defensive guy, knows what Bama needs to do to slow down Kyler Murray and the Sooners.

“When you’re playing against a team that has tremendous firepower, which you know Oklahoma and Coach Riley certainly has, if you’re gonna not execute well in the game, turnovers, dropped balls, not continue drives on third down...you’re actually enhancing their opportunities to a large degree and that’s something that you definitely want to avoid,” Saban explained.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said that Alabama is “impressive to watch and no matter who the coordinator is or what the situation, they have a system they believe in that works.”

A win Saturday will propel the team to the College Football Playoff National Championship game. Saban is hoping to have an opportunity to grab his sixth championship at Alabama, a feat that would push him past the legendary Paul “Bear" Bryant for the most all-time.

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