Vols' Sentimore: I want to beat Saban

October, 16, 2012
10/16/12
3:35
PM ET
It’s not every day that an opposing player calls out Nick Saban, especially with No. 1 Alabama coming to town in a few days.

Nonetheless, Tennessee defensive end Darrington Sentimore, who started his career at Alabama, didn’t hide his ill feelings for Saban when asked Tuesday about his former coach.

Sentimore said he wishes now that he wouldn’t have signed with Alabama out of high school. He was indefinitely suspended by the Crimson Tide following the 2010 season after multiple off-the-field issues and then left the program to attend Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College for a year.

"It's his personality," Sentimore said of Saban. "It's like some players ... he will see you in the hallway and he will walk right past you like he don't even see you. I don't like stuff like that. I ain't going to lie to you. I want this game more than any other game because I want to beat Saban.

"I have had this game on the calendar for a long time."

Sentimore went on to acknowledge that Saban runs a tight ship at Alabama.

"You can't get into no trouble. You can't get into the doghouse. You have to stay focused," Sentimore said. "If Saban sees you are focused, he will play you. Saban is on those guys. He's a defensive-minded coach. He's in the meetings and everything with the defense. It's all about the defense. You have to play for 60 minutes (against Alabama) because they are going to go hard and out-physical you. You have to play for 60 minutes.

"They want to out-think you and out-smart you. You have to study film and be on top of your game."

Saban was asked about Sentimore during his Monday press conference, which was prior to Sentimore popping off about Saban.

"He was a good player when he was here," Saban said. "We’re happy that he’s doing a good job and having success. I hope he’s doing what he needs to do off the field and in school. His problems here were not relative to being a football player, so it had nothing to do with pass rush or sacks or any of that."

When Sentimore takes his shot at the NFL in a couple of years, think he will ask Saban for a reference? Something says NFL teams will ask Saban about Sentimore, who has 10 total tackles through six games, including three sacks.

Chris Low | email

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