HOOVER, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Crimson Tide led off Day 3 of SEC Media Days in Hoover still answering questions about last season’s College Football Playoff National Championship game loss to Clemson.
It’s been six months since the Tide watched the Tigers put up 44 points on them and cruise to an easy victory. Now, the focus turns towards the new 2019 season, but head coach Nick Saban says that Clemson loss may never go away.
“I don’t know that you ever get over things like that. We obviously looked at the game several times and tried to analyze the things that didn’t go well," said Saban.
It was a game that was hard to watch for fans of the Crimson Tide. 482 total yards the Clemson Tigers racked up. 347 of those coming in the air on the arm of then freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Saban’s returning players are using that loss to learn from and going into this season. Things like “finishing strong,” in the words of Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses, and as junior wide receiver Jerry Jeudy puts it, yeah they loss, so what.
“Yeah, it was a really tough loss last year. Clemson was a great team, but Coach Saban always says ‘So what, now what.’ So what? We lost last year. Now what? Now, what are we going to do about it to improve our game this year to not finish off the season like how we did last year,” he said.
“We’re looking forward and trying to take the lessons that we learned from that game, implement those as lessons for players in the future so that they have a chance to be successful in the future,” said Saban.
For his star quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, Tagovailoa, who threw two touchdowns as well as two interceptions in that national championship game loss, says losing.....isn’t always a bad thing.
“I know this sounds weird to lose, but when you win, it is a great feeling, and when you lose, it isn’t as great feeling. I think since we lost, it was a good experience for our team entirely, because a lot of us have come back and it is something that we don’t take for granted now. Winning isn’t something that you should take for granted,” said junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Crimson Tide have been in the CFP playoffs each of the last five seasons, and been to four straight championship games. They look to make it five straight CFP playoff appearances and four straight national title games starting Aug. 31 against the Duke Blue Devils in Atlanta. That game will kick at 2:30 p.m. Central Time.