Alabama linebacker Christian Miller learned on Saturday that the consequence for unsportsmanlike conduct is more than just 15 yards. The redshirt senior also received a browbeating from coach Nick Saban on his way to the sideline.
Nick Saban lit up Christian Miller on the sideline. pic.twitter.com/qJ9cm0fbjv
— Prime Bam Childress (@fearthe_beard11) September 2, 2018
Miller was flagged for pushing Louisville offensive lineman Linwood Foy, who had fallen on top of Miller, after Alabama got a stop on third and 13. The penalty kept the drive alive. Alabama was up 34-0 at the time.
“Coach always says you never wear your emotions on your sleeve,” fellow linebacker Mack Wilson said. “He just made a bad mistake at that point in time and obviously he learned from it. That’s not the standard that we play at, so it was one of those moments where it happened and we had to stay on the field longer. But it is what it is.”
Four plays later, Louisville scored its first touchdown. Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams also briefly left the game on that drive after the penalty with what appeared to be an injury, though he returned later.
The only stat Miller recorded in the win was an assisted tackle for a loss of one yard.
“You have to take the criticism coming from (Saban) because if he’s mad, he has a reason to be mad,” UA offensive lineman Jonah Williams said. “But it’s one of the things that I think he’d be the first one to tell you that you can’t let it ruin your game. You can have a bad play, you can’t have a bad day.”
You take the verbal beating, say, “Yes, sir,” and move on.
Williams remembers getting yelled during a game once: his freshman year against Kentucky he was called on a false start. He’s in his third season now and can’t remember ever making that mistake again.
Running back Josh Jacobs hasn’t been on the receiving end of a Saban outburst yet, though he’s just a junior. He’s seen plenty up close on the sideline. He said it’s just important to give the player who was yelled up some love afterward, so he doesn’t get down on himself.
For the most part, though, everyone is used to it since Saban reacts the same way in practice.
“Coach Saban is real cool,” Jacobs said. “He makes a lot of jokes that most people don’t see, so we kind of just mess with him really.”