July 18 (UPI) -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban and linebacker Dylan Moses said the Crimson Tide lost January's national championship game because the team wasn't properly prepared to beat Clemson.
"I think that we didn't play with the discipline at the end of the season that we'd like to have as a team," Saban said Wednesday at SEC media days in Hoover, Ala. "I don't think that our preparation, so that we can go in a game and be very responsible and accountable to do our job at a high level on a consistent basis, was what it needed to be."
Alabama entered the national championship 14-0 after the Crimson Tide beat Oklahoma 45-34 in the Orange Bowl.
Saban told the SEC Network he thought his assistant coaches prioritized finding other jobs instead of preparing for Clemson. Alabama lost seven assistants after the 2018 season.
Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley became the head coach at Maryland.
"I think those relationships with players go a long way to keeping players where they need to be to do the things they need to do," Saban said of his coaches.
Moses said he thought the team "didn't prepare as much" for Clemson as they did other teams. Alabama was outscored 30-3 in the championship game's final three quarters.
Moses doesn't believe Clemson was a better team "because we both have great athletes on both sides of the ball."
Clemson became the first college football team since the 1897 Penn Quakers to go 15-0.