Behind John David Wilson's passing and a defense bent nearly to the breaking point, the Crimson Tide beat Colorado 30-24 in the Independence Bowl on Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak and keep Alabama from chalking up two losing seasons in a row.
"We took the challenge and actually competed and showed some great competitive character in the second half to do the things we needed to do to win the game," said Saban, hired a year ago to reverse the Crimson Tide's misfortunes under Mike Shula.
Wilson completed 13 of his first 15 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns as the Tide raced to a 27-0 lead. He wasn't nearly as accurate after being chased into an intentional grounding penalty in the second quarter, finishing the game 6-for-17.
"With what happened to us the last four games, it really showed a lot of maturity on our part to finish it up the way we did," Wilson said. "It gives us great momentum heading into the off-season."
They'll need it to replace some departing stars -- including record-setter DJ Hall and fellow receivers Keith Brown and Matt Caddell, who racked up 1,816 yards and 13 of the Tide's 19 touchdown passes.