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Nick Saban Details What Went Wrong at the Last Snap Against Michigan

Aniket Srivastava

Nick Saban Details What Went Wrong at the Last Snap Against Michigan

Botched snaps, a persistent issue all season, led to Alabama picking up a devastating 20-27 overtime loss against the Michigan Wolverines in the Rose Bowl semifinal, ending the Crimson Tide season. The game had a key fourth-down play with Jalen Milroe that disappointed some Michigan fans. However, Alabama’s head coach didn’t blame Milroe for that play.

Nick Saban, while speaking on the Pat McAfee Show, shed light on the issue that led to the problematic snap. He pointed out that it wasn’t solely the quarterback’s fault, but the imperfect snaps seen throughout the game made it tougher for Milroe to execute his moves effectively. Saban stated, “It wasn’t a great snap and that makes it harder for Jalen Milroe to make a cut.”


Alabama needed seven points to win the game, and they had a perfect opportunity to run the ball toward the goal line in the fourth-down play. Jalen Milroe as planned rushed down through the middle towards the end zone, but before he could score, Michigan’s defensive player Derrick Moore pulled him to the ground.

While the quarterback faced criticism for the play, Coach Saban defended Milroe while crediting the team’s defeat to a persistent season-long issue.

Alabama’s Struggle with Clapping Cadence

Alabama’s head coach while explaining what went wrong stated that his team used clap as part of their noise cadence before a snap. The opposing team’s defensive players are not allowed to clap before the snap to prevent confusion. Saban referred to a previous game against Auburn when a similar incident occurred due to defensive noise that led to an untimely snap and they suffered a huge loss. Nick Saban mentioned,

“They actually did clap on defense. They weren’t doing it intentionally. The safety was just trying to get the linebackers attention. And it’s a common thing, but it is a penalty. But Michigan was not clapping. But our Center was thinking that somebody was making a noise that sounded like a clap and he was snapping the ball early”

However, in the game against Michigan, Saban clarified that his team wasn’t clapping. Still, the Alabama center mistook some other noise for a clap leading to early snaps throughout the game. This misinterpretation caused the game flow to suffer while catching the quarterback off guard in critical moments, like the overtime play that drew fans’ disappointment.

Alabama Crimson Tide lost their most crucial game, and Nick Saban expressed his team lost confidence in passing the ball due to their struggles in protecting the quarterback. He acknowledges that Michigan, being well-coached, effectively defended against their offensive plays, making it challenging for Alabama to execute their passing game.

About the author

Aniket Srivastava

Aniket Srivastava


Meet Aniket Srivastava, a journalist who has been passionately covering NFL since the last two years. Graduating with a Bachelor's of Architecture degree in 2020, Aniket found a new passion in sports journalism and has published over 1500 articles. Beyond the gridiron, he once delved into the world of cricket, adding an extra layer of depth to their sports coverage. Aniket is a former multi-sport athlete, who once played soccer, cricket, badminton, and even took a swing at boxing in his high school and college days. His spirited leadership extended to guiding his school house teams in Soft Ball and Hockey. While not playing on the field anymore, Aniket brings a unique perspective to sports journalism by penning down the athletic spirit and crafting in-depth and engaging stories for readers to explore. When it comes to his favorite NFL team, Aniket's heart firmly belongs to the Buffalo Bills. He ardently follows not only NFL but also Cricket and Formula 1.

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