October 6, 2007

Tide guilty of scoreboard watching

If there's one Nick Saban message that appears to have gone through one pair of Crimson Tide ears and out the 85th pair, it's the one about playing the same regardless of score.

That was as evident throughout Alabama's 30-24 Homecoming win over Houston Saturday as it's been at any time this season, as the Tide raced to comfortable first-quarter lead only to play its worst football in trying to secure it.

The trend isn't lost on players or coach.

"I've been saying it - play for 60 minutes in the game, the scoreboard means nothing," Saban said. "Play the next play, dominate the man in front of you and don't let the scoreboard affect you. … About halfway through the second quarter out there we lost some intensity."

The Crimson Tide's season has been marked by furious come-from-behind efforts against Arkansas to win, against Georgia to force overtime, and against Florida State in a too-little, too-late finish. Meanwhile, comfortable leads against Arkansas and now Houston, however, have been lost and nearly lost, respectively.

"I think we let the scoreboard affect us," admitted Simeon Castille.

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