TUSCALOOSA — Alabama coach Nick Saban said Texas A&M’s offense will use what he calls a “hard count” before snapping the ball at the line of scrimmage Saturday when the Aggies visit Bryant-Denny Stadium.
It’s done to trick the defense into moving forward early before the ball is snapped.
“They’ve gotten the other team to jump offsides an average of at least four times a game,” Saban said Thursday night on his weekly radio show. “One time (when Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was) at Houston, they had a team jump offside 11 times in a game.”
But Saban said that’s not the only part of the trick. He added that the Aggies do something the Cincinnati Bengals did under former coach Sam Wyche: the receivers take off downfield.
“They throw the flag, the defensive players stop, and everybody takes off,” he said. “Free play. And they throw it up. Three or four times a game.”
Saban’s solution? It’s part of his weekly assignment for the Tide fans who come to the game. He wants the fans to scream and yell loudly when the Aggies line up in their no-huddle offense.
“These guys have to be able to communicate in some kind of way,” he said. “They can use hand signals. We can make it difficult for them to do those kind of things that can affect our defense, and we can create a lot of passion and enthusiasm with our players with the atmosphere in the stadium.”
Texas A&M has outscored its opponents 65-0 in the first quarters of the last four games combined, and Saban said that’s not a coincidence.
The Aggies run their offense at an extremely fast pace, and Saban said when his team hosts Texas A&M on Saturday, the Tide will see the fastest pace it has seen this year.
“They jump on people and score a lot early because people aren’t used to the pace,” Saban said.
When asked about a write-in vote for president that allegedly listed Saban and Alabama men’s golf coach Jay Seawell, Saban laughed: “I can see Seawell, but not me.”
When asked who would make a better president, him or his wife, Terry Saban, the coach answered, “Miss Terry.”