Nick Saban says offensive changes in college football are challenging but don't really bother him
Alabama football coach Nick Saban is a defensive guy at his core, and changes to rules in college football in recent years haven't been kind to those trying to stop offenses.
But Saban, while appearing on 680 The Fan in Atlanta on Thursday, said the changes in the college game don't really bother him.
"It’s challenging as a defensive guy to be able to adapt and adjust to the way the game is played now, but I think the rules in college football have sort of ignited the change throughout the game," Saban said. "Blocking three and a half yards down field on a pass play which leads to RPOs is a dramatic change in the way you play football. You need to be spread out to do that. To be able to block down field on a pass behind the line of scrimmage, which is just a rule that applies in college football, changes the game in terms of how you throw screens and how you pick people and run people in the flat. Those are real challenging things to try and defend. They all create tremendous run, pass conflicts for defensive players."
But Saban likes a challenge.
"I would be bored if we were still running the I-formation and I was a defensive coach," he said.
Saban also said that the points scored are fun to watch for fans. So, instead of trying to fight that, he and his program have adapted in recent years.
“We changed on offense because, as good a defense as we had, when we played Ole Miss and some of these spread teams that ran RPOs, they scored points against us," Saban said. "We would lose the game 44-41. I’m saying, 'we’ve got to change our style and be able to out-score people.' "
And they have.
In 2020, the Crimson Tide ranked fourth in the country with 541.6 yards per game. Alabama's 42 touchdowns through the air also ranked second, and quarterback Mac Jones led the nation in passing with 4,500 yards.