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Nick Saban still emotional over Jalen Hurts on College GameDay

The model of elite-level consistency in college football, no active coach is more successful than Nick Saban, who is gunning for his sixth national championship since 2009 this season at Alabama.

He’s done it a little different this fall for the unbeaten and top-ranked Crimson Tide, who have utilized a record-setting offense led by Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa to run roughshod through the SEC and into the College Football Playoff for the fourth consecutive season.

The sport’s most respected sideline leader sat down with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi this week for a segment that aired Saturday on College GameDay, hours before the Crimson Tide’s showdown vs. Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Here’s some of the highlights:

Saban on Alabama’s turning point this season …

“I think the last game (Georgia). It doesn’t sound like much of a turning point, but to be behind by 14 pints against a really, really good team and find a way to win … we weren’t really clicking on all cylinders on either side of the ball. When you have the complete reversal at the quarterback position, it goes to show the complete support players have for each other. The support Jalen gave Tua and Tua gave Jalen. Jalen responding like he did, those things were all positive things for our team.”

On getting emotional after SEC Championship …

“I think I was really happy for Jalen. He was an example for people all over the country in terms of a guy persevering. He won the most inspirational player on his team voted on by teammates. He didn’t win that when he was going 26-2 as a starter, he won it when he was the backup and working every day to affect people in a positive way.”

On what he thinks about before a big game …

Most of hte time I spend a lot of time thinking about — some people would say worrying about — What can go wrong? You’re always thinking about, did we cover this? Did we do that? I’ve seen laying in bed at night, plays on the ceiling that if they run this play and we’re in this call, we’re going to give up a big play. They might not even run that play. It’s the defensive part of who you are. You’re always thinking about what can happen and what can go wrong.”

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