Alabama football coach Nick Saban found himself in the uncomfortable position of feeling out of control as he watched Saturday's game against Auburn while isolating from home following a positive COVID-19 test earlier in the week.
Saban said the coaching staff did a "marvelous job" of handling the situation, and he singled out Steve Sarkisian for managing dual roles as offensive coordinator and interim head coach.
Despite that, Saban admitted he found himself feeling "a little helpless" at times, yelling at things and unable to do anything about it because rules prohibited him from contacting his coaching staff during the game.
"I think I did yell at the TV a couple of times today," Saban said. "A couple of times when we made some mistakes in coverage. A couple of times when we missed some tackles. A couple times when Mac didn't throw the ball to the guy I thought he should have thrown it to."
Saban laughed knowingly.
"So I guess it was more than a couple," he said.
Saban said he wished he could have been there for the seniors who were honored before playing their final game at Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium.
DeVonta Smith was among them. The senior from Louisiana caught a team-high seven passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns, building on his lead in career touchdown catches to an SEC-best 33.
"The Iron Bowl is such a great, competitive venue that means so much to so many people," Saban said. "Man, it was really hard [not being there], especially the fact that I feel great. But I did what I could do to prepare the team throughout the week. I was involved in everything we could do, right up until 90 minutes before the game, and then we just had to sit and watch from afar."
Saban credited Sarkisian and the staff for executing the game plan and doing a good job of managing situational football.
Still, the 69-year-old coach appeared eager to get back to the team soon.
"It's a little different," Saban said of watching the game from home, "but it still feels good to win."
Saban must remain quarantined for at least 10 days, making his earliest possible return to the team the day before next Saturday's game at LSU.
According to SEC protocol, at least 24 hours must have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptom improvement (cough, shortness of breath, etc.) has occurred, in accordance with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for isolation.