Alabama's Nick Saban, Pete Golding compliment Ryan Day on his offensive scheme and leadership ability
Sometimes the gamesmanship between coaches and players leading up to a big event is very interesting, but most often it’s painfully boring, and for good reason.
No one wants to generate the kind of proverbial “bulletin board material” that wakes up an indifferent or soporific opponent and turns them into a highly motivated monster for three-and-a-half hours on the football field.
Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban, and defensive coordinator Pete golding, are opting to keep it boring—though extremely complimentary—in the run up to the national championship game Monday night against Ohio State. Both coaches appear to be on the same page in running the old Lou Holtz scheme on the Buckeyes, building up their self-regard through praise and feigned awe at a program they only hope they’ll be able compete with when it comes time for kickoff.
Saban opted to keep it basic when he opened up his comments on Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.
“Well, he does a great job of coaching,” said Saban, to the delight of the assembled sporting press.
But he wasn’t finished there.
“He’s a very good offensive sort of play caller,” Saban continued. “He’s got a great scheme on offense. Certainly does a great job of coaching his players to execute that scheme. They’re very well-coached in every phase, and their team plays with great intangibles, discipline, toughness, play hard. Seem to have great togetherness on their team.”
Saban did not compare directly what Day has done in Columbus to his own enormously successful “Process,” down in Tuscaloosa, but he did keep the butter warm and melted and brushed on a little more
“So I think those are all great indicators of what a great job Ryan Day does as a head coach and as a leader of his organization,” said the coach. “I think he’s taken advantage of a great opportunity and certainly done an outstanding job with it, and they’ve got one of the best teams in the country, no doubt about that.”
Next up was Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Pete Golding who, like his boss, has been quite impressed with what he has seen on film from Ohio State and coach Day.
“I think he does a really nice job of manipulating things by formation,” said Golding, immediately shifting his personal brand of praise to a technical place many sports writers are not prepared to follow. “I think a lot of formation into the boundary, they’ll shift their motion, do a lot of different things out of the same personnel grouping.”
Golding wasn’t finished.
“He does a really nice job moving guys around in certain spots and isolating guys and trying to get them on a linebacker or get them on a safety,” the coordinator continued. “They do a really nice job in the run game of creating the extra gap, making you account for the quarterback.”
And with that the head coach and coordinator were through praising the opposition for a Thursday afternoon. Despite what anyone says, the teams will meet in the national championship game Jan. 11 at 8 pm ET at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The game will be broadcast in various forms across ESPN’s vast imprint of networks.