Tide Gears Up for Opener - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tide Gears Up for Opener

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - It's game week at Alabama, and coach Nick Saban seems fairly relaxed and happy.

That might be a good sign for the second-ranked Crimson Tide, which has a talented defense, veteran offensive line and the usual high expectations. Saban was talkative and even cracked jokes and smiles during Monday's longer-than-usual 26-minute news conference.

Linebacker Dont'a Hightower says Saban still yells in practice but that the Tide is committing far fewer mental mistakes than last preseason. Says Hightower, "So maybe sometimes he yells because he feels like he has to and that's the way he coaches."

Saban even fielded questions on the depth chart and high expectations with aplomb.

Quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims are listed as co-starters, and both will play in Saturday's opener against Kent State.

"One of them has to go out there first," Saban said. "I don't think that necessarily means that guy's the starter. I think it's out of fairness to them that they both get an opportunity to play in this game."

Alabama and Kent State kick things off at 12:21 pm ET / 11:21 am CT at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised by the SEC Network, seen in Columbus on WXTX Fox-54.

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