We just wrapped up with Dabo. Sounds like they'll hold Jordan Williams again on Saturday with that bruised knee he suffered in the opener, but Garrett Williams and everyone else should be ready to go.
Dabo gave me a hard time about bringing up the rare two-game start with no turnovers. Sometimes we in the media have to risk tempting the football gods' ire for the sake of story-telling. Since I seem to be a pretty good luck charm for my alma mater--I started covering the team in July of 2015--hopefully I am impervious to jinxing them! On the other hand, I might have to skip the press conference if the Tigers give the ball away for the first time on Saturday. Seriously, though, Dabo said they talk about ball security and turnover margin constantly. I often wonder if turning the ball over or not turning it over becomes habitual for certain teams. Every coach preached ball security, but sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. And, of course, sometimes a defender just makes a great play to force a turnover, and luck can sometimes play a part. I remember in 2005--the last time the Tigers started their first two games without a turnover--they were the last team in the nation without a fumble several weeks into the season, and they had 3 or 4 of them in one game at Georgia Tech and ended up losing a heartbreaker. If the Tigers can avoid giving the ball away on Saturday, it will be the first 3-game stretch since 2010 and the first 3-game stretch to open the season in this century! They have already dodged a couple of bullets this season with a couple of fumbles. Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State all have 2 turnovers apiece already. As Dabo pointed out, his teams simply do not lose when they win the turnover margin. And their win percentage when losing the turnover margin has been remarkable--in fact, they had a negative turnover margin for the season in 2016, including the National Championship Game in which they beat Alabama. That is incredible!
You can watch the full video below. Don't forget to check back on Friday morning for this week's What We Are Hearing, my extensive game preview and prediction!
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