More specifically, the the bulk of the questions dealt with the Tide’s lock-down defense that has Alabama (6-0 overall, 3-0 SEC) ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press and No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.“Coach (Nick) Saban does such a good job with the defense, but there are some veterans out there leading the way,” Nutt said. “Dont’a Hightower is taking on the Rolando McClain role. Their secondary is confident and all played last year. Returnees are the most important thing. They have experience and you add a little bit here and there and it creates a lot of confidence. When other offensives aren’t scoring against you it creates a lot of confidence.
“That is a good feeling for a defense.”
While Alabama is coming off of a 34-0 victory against Vanderbilt, Ole Miss is coming off of a bye week in which Nutt said the Rebels focused on being more physical.
“You only go by how you practice. I thought we really challenged them hard,” he said. “We had three very good physical days last week. Yesterday was the same way. They responded each day. They are trying to get better. They know they have to tackle better and wrap Trent Richardson up, because he is a Heisman Trophy candidate. He breaks a lot of tackles on film.”
Asked about who will start at left guard and center for the Rebels this week, Nutt said A.J. Hawkins and Evan Swindall are battling for the center spot, while Patrick Junen and Aaron Morris are competing to start at the other spot.
For a complete roundup from today’s press conference check out tomorrow’s print edition of the EAGLE.
Click HERE for what Saban had to say about this week’s matchup. (October 10, 2011)