Everything Nick Saban said about how Hurricane Delta could affect the Ole Miss game, and how Alabama has prepared
Nick Saban will be coaching No. 2 Alabama against his former offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin on Saturday. He will be looking to go to 21-0 in coaching against former assistants all-time when the Tide travel to Oxford to take on the Ole Miss Rebels this Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday evening, Saban appeared on his weekly radio show “Hey Coach” with Eli Gold to discuss the upcoming game, and the conversation of Hurricane Delta hitting Oxford on game day came up fairly quickly. He had already been answering questions about using wet footballs and simulations all week but got a little more in-depth on Thursday.
Practicing for wet footballs
As the Tide coach had already said earlier this week, a wet ball is one of the most difficult parts of playing in the storm and rain. Everybody’s mind goes to that first, and with good reason, because it is tricky to play with a wet ball especially if you are not used to that.
Alabama will be used to it after practicing with a wet ball for quarterbacks to throw to receivers all week in practice, but the Alabama head coach points out that there is much more to worry about with a wet ball than just the passing game.
He said that as a team, Alabama has been practicing with wet balls for punters, long snappers, centers and even the holder for field goals. This way, Alabama will be prepared in every aspect of the game if the weather is as bad as expected.
Problems of a muddy field
Coach Saban believes that the muddy field is much more worrisome for the passing game than wet balls, but not for the offense. He says that passing defense is affected the most by rainy games and muddy fields.
According to Saban, rain affecting the offensive passing game is one of the most common misconceptions of rainy football games. Instead, he thinks muddy fields affect pass defense much more.
“Everybody says you won’t be able to throw the ball if it’s raining,” Saban said about muddy fields. “If it’s a bad field, and if it’s raining, it’s much easier to play offense and pass the ball than it is to play pass defense because the defense is at a disadvantage in reaction.”
He said they have been going over footwork and how defensive backs can shift their weight while covering receivers this week in practice.
How wind affects the passing game the most in a storm
Alabama’s coach is one of the greatest of all time, and he knows exactly how to prepare for any situation that can occur in football games.
He advised that the wind changes in storms like this, and every wind direction makes a big difference, whether that be throwing against the wind, with the wind, in crosswinds and even swirling winds.
All of the wind direction can hinder a quarterback’s ability to get the ball where it needs to go, and the way Alabama’s offense is finding success in the passing game, Alabama will just have to deal with the wind and find ways around it.
His last point about the wind was that it can drastically impact the kicking game, calling it “a tremendous factor in the kicking game.”
The way Alabama’s offense has been rolling, chances are this game will not be coming down to field goals.
Hayden Crigler is a contributing college football writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him through email: email@example.com or on Twitter: @hayden_crigler.