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John Zenor | The Associated Press | January 5, 2017

Saban: Sarkisian knows the offense "inside and out"

  Steve Sarkisian has a major test waiting for him on Monday night in Tampa.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson doesn't think an offensive coordinator change a week ahead of the national championship game will bother the Crimson Tide.

Steve Sarkisian took over the top-ranked Tide's offense Monday when Lane Kiffin left a week earlier than expected for his new job as Florida Atlantic's coach. Both Kiffin and coach Nick Saban described the move as a mutual decision, but it left only a week for Sarkisian to get the offense ready for the title game against Clemson in Tampa, Florida.

Robinson said the perception outside the program with an offensive coordinator change this close to the national title game might be "the world is coming to an end."

"But not here," he said. "We just go out and practice and do exactly what we've been doing all year. It's just a new voice. That's it."

Saban said Sarkisian knows the offense "inside and out," and he's banking on that making for an easy transition for the title game.

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Sarkisian, a former USC and Washington head coach, has been an offensive analyst with the team this season.

"The guy has been with us the whole year, the whole football season," Saban said. "He knows the offense. He knows the players. He's worked on the game plans every week. He knows the system inside and out, knows the terminology.

"I don't have any failsafe. I just feel like I have to make decisions based on what's best for the players to have the best chance to be successful and we made the decision and we're not talking about it anymore. We're moving forward and we're looking forward and everybody is going to do everything they can to support the people that are here now to make it work."

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts had just 57 yards passing in a 24-7 semifinal victory over Washington, while backup tailback Bo Scarbrough ran for 180 yards. Saban clearly didn't like what he saw in some respects from that offensive performance.

"We had 25 negative plays in the last game so what do you think I saw?" he said. "We had poor execution, a lot of poor fundamentals. Didn't execute well. Weren't very consistent."

Saban said he doesn't want to change the offensive philosophy but has other players he wants to get involved in the offense.

This article was written by John Zenor from The Associated Press and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network.

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