Louisiana State University football coach Brian Kelly was 0-2 against Nick Saban as the head coach of Notre Dame, but in his first season as the LSU coach, Kelly was able to finally put one in the win column against Saban when LSU defeated Alabama 32-31 in overtime last November. Victories against Saban are hard to come by, and it is an experience that Kelly still relives and expects to be a regular occurrence.
During a Houston Touchdown Club event Tuesday, Kelly was speaking to LSU supporters and letting them know how much that victory over Alabama and Nick Saban meant to him.
"I love the environment of a college stadium," Kelly told the Houston Touchdown Club, according to The Houston Chronicle. "I love coming out on that field. I love beating Alabama."
Kelly’s win against Saban last season was LSU’s first win against the Crimson Tide since 2019 and just the first win at Tiger Stadium against Alabama since 2010. Not only was the victory huge for Kelly, it also eliminated Alabama from both the SEC West title, as well as eventually keeping the Crimson Tide out of the College Football Playoffs. LSU would go on to win the SEC West and lose to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
Before taking the LSU job, Kelly was the head coach of Notre Dame from 2010-2021 and faced Nick Saban twice, both being unsuccessful. The first meeting between the two coaches was in the 2013 BCS National Championship and the second was in the College Football Playoff semifinal match in 2021. In both games Nick Saban and Alabama got the best of Kelly, winning both games comfortably by double digits.
With these losses leaving a sour taste in his mouth, one of the first goals that Kelly made after taking the LSU job was how he wanted to beat Saban knowing that to be the best you have to beat the best.
"I want to beat Nick Saban," Kelly said. "Who doesn't want to beat Nick Saban? You know what I mean? I want to play him in the regular season. I mean, that's the standard, right? Now, he's a conference opponent."
Alabama will host LSU this year on November 4, and Kelly will have a chance to improve his record with the Tigers against Saban to 2-0, pulling off a feat that seldom happens against Saban-coached football teams, losing to the same team in back-to-back seasons.
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