I actually missed Saban's comments after and on TV since the game and also didn't pay attention to the Half Time comments as, and I hate to say, it's fairly predictable what you are going to hear from Nick. I think it's part of his success in that he, and his players, approach each game and playing as a job more than a game and seeking to live up to a higher standard that they each set for themselves but yet play as a team each contributing to the whole.
That said I think Nick put a much more positive outlook on the game than I think should have been put. I think that, with respect to the offense, Alabama may have either disappointed or caused concern about the hyped progress that Hurt had made over the summer. The second game Hurt was able to prove that he's still adept to taking the ball and running as well as turning around plays and bad conditions into positives for the team but I still don't think any of us has seen a marked improvement in his deep passing ability and accuracy.
With respect to Alabama's offense I think also that, to some degree, they are a bit reluctant to insert Tua into the Quarterback situation because of the potential conflict it could cause. I don't think anyone is expecting Tua Tagovailoa to take over starting QB position but I think there may be some apprehension, among the team and coaches, that his arm and abilities may overshadow Hurts and present a case where Hurts weaknesses are revealed to be Tua's strengths. That presents an interesting situation where the question may come up whether or not to play two quarterbacks simultaneously. I don't think that Saban, or the Coaches, want to disenfranchise either Hurts or Tua because they already have experienced that situation when they gave Hurts a chance to shine last year at the beginning when Bateman and Morris thought they were in line to shine.
I think Saban is the consummate politician and diplomat always motivating and always improving always approaching perfection but never reaching it. I think he predictably always takes each game, and opponent, at a time and detest losing or not playing up to their potential. He detest stupid mistakes and penalties almost as much as losing, if not more. As a fan, one thing I was extremely concerned about and I think may be more telling about this year's offense is that at least three times Alabama had great field position by way of turnover or takeaway and was not able to turn it into 7 points.
I think Alabama's offense this year may be their best and may be a formidable offensive weapon with various running backs and receivers as well as the Tight ends that are utilized quite often but I think that the Offensive line still needs to come together and improve. I think that they may improve more and be much greater than now, and I hope they will, but I do think that Florida State did reveal some areas that Saban wants to identify and improve on. Given their schedule I'm very optimistic but again with respect to Saban I don't think he will change as much as the team will. I think Saban does change in some areas and is open to change and trying new things but with respect to what he says I think that's quite predictable.
Back to Auburn, and Malzahn, for a moment, I think there is much concern there because I don't know that they have an answer for their poor offensive performance. They have established a pre-season expectation that many expected the quarterback, and the team, to live up to, and I don't know that they have the ability to live up to that level of expectation. Coach Malzahn has been around long enough to inherit all failures or perceived shortcomings and will be held accountable by Auburn's fan base, alumni and School Administration. Sadly, with the SEC and SEC Schools there is one expectation (it seems) and that is to WIN the Divisional title at the least and be in the running for the National Championship title. Obviously that can't be done by all but two teams and sadly the SEC West seems to have the only schools, at this time, that have a chance at the title with the possible exception of Georgia coming on and then South Carolina has shown some surprising talent in the start of this year's season.
I'm no expert but I do love watching it and find it exciting. The players also know that they have an extremely short time to shine and show what they have so most play lights out, at least at this time of year. I just hate to see those that get injured in the process but it is a rough game.