Saban: McClain should be ready for game

Updated: January 6, 2010, 1:12 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban expects All-American linebacker Rolando McClain to be ready for the BCS championship game against Texas.

Saban said McClain and backup defensive back Rod Woodson were both feeling better Wednesday after being limited in practice the previous day with a stomach virus. He said he wouldn't let anybody play in Thursday night's game if he was sick or at risk for dehydration.

The Butkus Award-winning McClain was a no-show at media day Tuesday because of the ailment.

Saban said the focus now is on execution and keeping things simple for the players. He compared it to a baseball hitter going through his normal routine even with the game on the line and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Texas coach Mack Brown arrived as Saban was finishing, and the pair posed for photos with the BCS trophy. They also exchanged gifts, with Saban handing over a large gift basket and a cooler full of food from Tuscaloosa's Dreamland Bar-B-Que, and Brown offering a pair of spurs.

Then Brown shared stories about the way his team has come together and the similarities between this group and the one that won the national championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

While the folksy Brown seems an opposite to his businesslike counterpart Saban, Brown said, "in truth, there are probably a lot more similarities than differences."

As for his final preparations, Brown said he'll spend the evening watching Troy and Central Michigan play in the GMAC Bowl.

"I'm pumped," he said, smiling.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index