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Nick Saban explains his reaction to ‘horns down’ celebration

Seconds after surviving an upset scare against Texas last weekend, Alabama players wasted no time showing off in front of a sea of burnt orange. After bringing down Texas running back Bijon Robinson to cement Alabama’s 20-19 victory, Crimson Tide linebacker Henry To’oTo’o flashed the Longhorns symbol toward the ground. Defensive back Malachi Moore soon followed suit as did several Alabama players.

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Seconds after surviving an upset scare against Texas last weekend, Alabama players wasted no time showing off in front of a sea of burnt orange.

After bringing down Texas running back Bijon Robinson to cement Alabama’s 20-19 victory, Crimson Tide linebacker Henry To’oTo’o flashed the Longhorns symbol toward the ground. Defensive back Malachi Moore soon followed suit as did several Alabama players.

The Crimson Tide’s sideline was feeling itself. That is until it felt the wrath of its head coach. Upon seeing the “horns down” celebration, Nick Saban went off, tearing into his players for what he views as a lack of class.

“Don’t do that, sh##!” the head coach said pointing in direction of To’o To’o and Moore while jogging out to shake the hand of Texas head coach and former Alabama coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Days after the video clip went viral, Saban explained his emotions following the game during his weekly radio show.

“I told our players, ‘We’re not doing this, don’t do it,” Saban said of the hand symbol “It’s not classy. We don’t need to degrade the other team’s traditions. Just go play.’ So I saw somebody doing it after the game, and I said, ‘Don’t do that… stuff.'”

For Saban, it’s more than just a hand gesture. The head coach went on to say that the decision to flash the Horns Down symbol is another example of players doing something they know is wrong. That’s been a message he’s been trying to preach to his team across the board this season.

“Everything time you think you’re not doing the right thing — and most people who don’t do the right thing know it’s not the right thing before they do it, they just do it anyway. So, don’t do that stuff,” Saban said. “We need to have that as a motto. Maybe that will help the discipline.”

The post-game celebration wasn’t the only lack of discipline Saban saw from his team last week. The head coach said his team had one of its best-ever Monday practices during Texas week. However, after reading about how much Alabama was favored by in the game, players’ focus levels began to drop.

“We get to be 20-point favorites and everybody picks up the paper and it’s just like we show up and win and things just kind of go downhill for the rest of the week cause everybody thinks we’re just going to show up and win,” Saban said. “You can’t think that way. … You’ve got to be able to make yourself do things when you don’t feel like doing them. If you can’t do that, you’re probably not going to be successful because you’re probably not going to feel like doing them all the time.”

Alabama is currently a 49.5 favorite for Saturday’s 3 p.m. CT matchup against Lousiana-Monroe inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Fortunately for the Crimson Tide, Saban said his team appears to be much more prepared heading into the matchup against the Warhawks.

“They have done better this week I think,” Saban said. “There were some lessons learned.”

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