There will be plenty of intriguing action on the field Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, but on the sidelines head coach Nick Saban will be squaring off against yet another one of his former assistants in Longhorns’ head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Sarkisian joined ABC’s broadcast at halftime of LSU and Florida State‘s game on Sunday to preview his matchup with Saban and the Crimson Tide. And while hosts Kevin Negandhi and Booger McFarland asked him about his matchup with his former boss, they mentioned his recent 28-2 record versus his former assistants.
“What’s the record of all the guys that aren’t former assistants against Nick Saban?” Sarkisian said getting a laugh out of Negandhi and McFarland. “That’s what I’m wondering.”
Sarkisian spent the 2016 season as an analyst for the Crimson Tide, returning in 2019 as their offensive coordinator where he spent two seasons calling plays under Saban. He elaborated on Saban and what he’s built at Alabama.
“At the end of the day, Coach Saban’s a great coach and we’ve got a ton of respect for him, their program, and what they do, and how they go about their business. He’s got a heck of a team this year, no different than any other year,” Sarkisian admitted. “He gets them prepared, they’re going to be ready to play.”
But the Longhorns also had a successful opening outing of their own, defeating their Week 1 opponent at home with a 37-10 win against Rice to start the season.
Sarkisian and his Texas squad came close to knocking off Saban and the Crimson Tide last season, defeated by just one point at home 20-19 after losing star quarterback Quinn Ewers to injury in the first quarter of the ballgame. But Sarkisian also spoke on what his team needs to do this season to change their misfortune from a year ago against the Crimson Tide.
“As I’ve touched on the show here tonight, we’ve gotta prepare, we’ve gotta be ready to play like we know how to do as well and it should make up for a great ball game,” Sarkisian said.
Alabama and Texas kickoff this Saturday at 6 p.m. CT in a primetime matchup airing on ESPN.