University of Alabama coach Nick Saban took to the SEC teleconference Wednesday morning to talk about facing an Arkansas team looking to recover from last weekend's loss to unranked Louisiana Monroe. He spoke about the Razorbacks' quarterback situation and what the Tide should prepare for to come away from Fayetteville, Ark., with a a win:
Opening statement: "It's always exciting to start SEC play. I think our players were really looking forward to it. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Arkansas' team. They're probably one of the best teams in our league, one of the best teams in the country. We're certainly going to have to play up to our abilities to have a chance to be successful, especially on the road."
On AJ McCarron unhappiness with his own performance: "AJ is somewhat of a perfectionist, but most good players are because they're never really satisfied with their performance. They know they've never really arrived. They know there's something they can do better. I think in our case AJ is probably pointing to the fact that there are things we need to improve on in every aspect of our team."
Why he kept McCarron in so long against WKU and why Blake Sims came in, not Phillip Ely: "We do have a competition at the backup quarterback position and Blake is making a lot of progress and doing a good job and going to continue to try to develop both those guys. ... There was 8 or 9 minutes to go in the game and we're ahead 28-0 and not really playing really well on offense, so I think that's the reason we were trying to put a drive together and get some continuity coming out of the game."
What he sees from the Arkansas defense: "Paul Haynes is a very good defensive coordinator. He had a lot of success at Ohio State. He's got a good, sound scheme. I think a lot of things happened in last week's game [against Louisiana Monroe] to contribute to a lot of other things that didn't go the way Arkansas had liked for them to. We have a lot of respect for the defense, for their scheme, for their players. We know we're going to get a very physical team that's going to play hard and do a good job of executing."
What he's expecting from Arkansas' quarterbacks: "We really don't know what to expect. I think Brandon Allen, for a guy that hadn't played a lot, did a good job in the game. I'm sure he's going to get better with a week's preparation if he does have to play in the game. I know they can move other players to quarterback and do different things. ... There's a few unknowns for us."
On Knile Davis: "We think he's a really good player. He's had some really good runs and I think he's very capable of having great runs. ... We respect the other two runners they have. We feel like they have really good running backs."