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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Saban praises technically sound Penn State

By Edward Aschoff

Nick Saban is looking to break his .500 record against Joe Paterno-led football teams.

Saban is 3-3 all-time against Penn State’s head coach and he thinks getting to 4-3 will be far from easy.

It’s not that the Nittany Lions have the same sort of talent as the Tide, but Penn State teams are known for having well-coached, disciplined and very technically sound teams. It makes it so that flash isn’t the major factor in wins, but outworking other teams is.

“You’re always going to get a team that’s going to play with really sound fundamentals in every part of the game -- offense, defense, special teams,” Saban said of facing Paterno-coached teams. “They’re going to block and tackle and play sound in everything that they do. Like I said before, they’re not going to give you anything because they’re a sound, solid team.

“They’re smart, well-coached, discipline, good fundamentals and they will take advantage of every mistake that you make.

“You have to play the same kind of football against if you’re going to have an opportunity to be successful.”

Alabama didn’t always show that in the opener, especially on offense. But that’s expected when it’s your first game and you’re throwing out a new, young quarterback (or two).

What is also expected from Saban is improvement across the board, and he believes his team will need it with this game being on the road in an especially hostile environment inside Beaver Stadium.

“It’s going to be a challenge for our players to go in there and be able to focus like we need to, on what we need to do to play winning football and not be affected by the external factors of playing on the road or the crowd or any of those types of things,” Saban said. “That’s always a challenge for your football team. It’ll be interesting to see how our guys respond to it.”