Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian has followed Nick Saban’s lead in the past with fantastic results.
After being fired by USC midway through the 2015 season, Sarkisian landed a job on Saban’s Alabama staff as an analyst for the 2016 season.
Following two years as the offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL, Sarkisian returned to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
One national championship and a 2020 Broyles Award for the top offensive coach in college football later, Sarkisian got his third opportunity to lead a program when Texas hired him prior to the 2021 season.
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Sarkisian has praised Saban for the role Saban played in his coaching arc, and he’s following Saban’s lead again after nearly defeating the No. 1 team in the country Saturday.
“First of all, to quote my old boss, we’ve got to be careful of the rat poison of people telling us how good we are, which is important,” Sarkisian said Monday. “A week ago, everyone told us how bad we were. Now this week, everyone wants to tell us how good we are. We’ve got to be careful to quiet the noise outside of our building and focus on us.”
Saban has famously used the term “rat poison” when discussing expectations for his team.
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Texas held a lead over Alabama with 1:29 left in the fourth quarter after a 49-yard field goal from kicker Bert Auburn.
“We fought like crazy. It felt like we ran out of time,” Sarkisian said Monday. “Thought we might have had a chance there at the end if we could have had a little bit more time.”
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Though Texas was unable to pull off the major upset, Sarkisian’s football team earned universal praise for its effort against an Alabama team that was favored by more than 20 points entering the game.
“I addressed it. That’s for sure,” Sarkisian said when asked about moving on from the Alabama game. “I definitely wanted to address it because I’m getting the text messages too. I’m getting the phone calls too.
“Thanks but we’ve got more to do. We’ve got to continue to improve.”
Texas welcomes UTSA to Austin, Texas, in Week 3, a team that is coming off of a 12-2 season and a win over Army in Week 2.