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.....to me is how well they play to their competition. The hardest thing to do as a coach or player is preparing for a game that you know you're going to win (on talent alone) and still use it to learn from and improve. No matter how much you preach it to your players and coaching staff....when everyone knows that less than maximum effort will still win a game it's hard to maintain your focus and emotional energy. CNS is an absolute master at dealing with this issue. He's tougher and more demanding on players and coaches going into these types of games than he is when playing a top ranked team. He understands the psychology of coaching and how to motivate and manage pressure with his players better than any college coach in America. This team has not played down to their competition with a lack of focus or intensity when it would be easy to do or allow... and that's a very special quality. It's why Coach Pelini said that playing "Alabama is just different". It's how we approach every game...it's paying attention to details and a focus to keep getting better regardless of the opponent. And it gives me a lot of confidence for how this team is going to respond when they go into a game against a rival or ranked team where their emotional and physical energy will be hitting on all cylinders. I don't believe we've seen that yet.... It's going to be scary!
What's the most impressive aspect of this team to you to this point?
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