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 »This Week in History

Alabama Crimson Tide

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel

Alabama working on fundamentals ahead of Mercer matchup

After reviewing film of Alabama's close win over Mississippi State, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban only wanted to focus on the positives of what he saw.

Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC) needed a late touchdown from quarterback Jalen Hurts to freshman DeVonta Smith to hold off the Bulldogs.

Saban appreciated how the players never gave up.

"There were a lot of positives in the game in terms of the way the players competed in the game, a really hard, physical game," Saban said. "They (Mississippi State) really tried to control the tempo of the game by slowing the game down. I thought that offensively, we kept pushing the envelope and I think eventually it paid off for us."

Alabama trailed heading into the fourth quarter for the first time all season. Alabama needed a game-tying touchdown from running back Damien Harris and multiple defensive stops just to give Hurts a chance to lead a game-winning drive.

"I think our ability to finish in the fourth quarter the way we did whether it was get a couple of stops on defense and have a couple of really successful drives offensively great perseverance by our team to hang in there and keep fighting and sort of overcome hard," Saban said. "There was a lot of adversity in the game, some of it we created and some of it they created. But the one thing we did is we responded and we kept playing in the game."

Now, Alabama turns its attention to Mercer. The Crimson Tide hosts Mercer on Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for Noon ET on the SEC Network.

This week, Saban wants Alabama to focus more on personal improvement than anything else.

"We need to focus on a lot of fundamental, technical execution at every position," Saban said. "Whether it's offensive line, defensive backs, it doesn't really matter what position it is. I think there's a lot of things that we can fundamentally execute with a little more consistency. And that's certainly going to be the focus in terms of what we try to get accomplished this week."

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