Countdown to Kickoff
Crimson Tide Players Preview LSU Game



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ?? Several members of the University of Alabama football team met with the media on Monday afternoon in the Naylor Stone Media Suite at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Building. 

Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover, Ala.), senior wide receiver Matt Caddell (McCalla, Ala.), redshirt freshman Terry Grant (Lumberton, Miss.) and sophomore left tackle Andre Smith (Birmingham) talked about this week’s game with third-ranked LSU.

No. 17 Alabama (6-2, 4-1 SEC) and No. 3 LSU (7-1, 4-1 SEC) will meet at 4 p.m. CDT this Saturday, Nov.3, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports.

Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson
On the LSU game:
“I think anytime you play a big SEC game like this it’s big.  People remember you for it, whether it’s Tennessee, LSU, or Auburn.  People are definitely going to remember you for it.  We really haven’t gotten into LSU; we are going to do that in the meetings (this afternoon). It’s just another game for us.  I know we are playing LSU but it’s just like Tennessee or Auburn.  It’s going to be a big game for us.  It has a lot to do with the rest of the season and approach it just like we would any other game.”

On the hype:
“We don’t blow this game up like everybody else does.  I realize we have Coach Saban and he used to coach at LSU.  He won a national championship.  It’s just the next SEC game for us.  This isn’t the championship for us and not the last game of the year.  We are just going to face it just like every other day.  People talk about it.  The buzz around town is its Coach Saban against his old team.  In the locker room and on the practice field it’s just going to be another week for us.  This isn’t the game of the year for us by any means. Everybody knows this game has a lot to do with the rest of our season.  We have to go out there and know that it does.  We know that we have to play well to do what we want to do.  We want to meet our goals.  All the hype is overrated.”

On LSU defense:
“They are good.  They are talented.  They are obviously the best defense we have played so far talent-wise.  They are well coached and they are always going to be in the right spots.  These guys are very physical.  They fly around the ball.  They gang tackle.  We just have to come out and not worry about them.  We aren’t going to worry about what they do or their team.  We are going to concentrate on us and us executing like we have the whole year.  When we execute and do our game plan the way we want to then we are successful.”

On last year’s LSU game:
“We just came out and I remembered we executed very well. We weren’t intimidated.  We weren’t having a great year last year and definitely weren’t doing as well as we would have liked to last year.  We came out and weren’t intimidated and came out with the ??Let’s go do it attitude’ and went out and got it done.  We put up some pretty good numbers against them.”

On LSU blitz last year:
“Yes they did.  They brought a lot of blitzes.  Laron Landry got me pretty good one time last year.  I think everybody has seen that.  They are going to do many different things on defense.  They are very complex and then they can sit back and not do anything at all just because of the athletes they have.  They can just play you straight up.”

On his improved accuracy:
“I think the fundamentals have a lot to do with it.  I think we’ve gone back and really practiced the basics.  I think with me it starts with my feet.  When I’m in rhythm I do a pretty good job.  It’s just guys making plays is what it is.  Last week they were just getting open and it really wasn’t tight coverage or hard throws.  They were just getting open and I was able to get them the ball. I think our running game did pretty good last week.  I don’t know how many yards they rushed for but it seemed like a lot.  The more we can do that and the more guys get open the better we’ll be.”

On help of Major Applewhite:
“He’s helped me out a lot.  I think the biggest thing is he’s gone back and really worked on the fundamentals.  I think we’ve been reading pretty well so far.  These past couple weeks we just got down to the basics and it helped out a lot.”

On offensive line protection:
“A lot of our protectors are the same but we understand what to do better.  We have a lot more experience than we did last year.  I think we’ve seen about every blitz that you can see, especially last year because I was young.  People tried to blitz us a lot.  We got used to it.  We had to.  This year I don’t think they are doing it as much because we can handle it.”

Senior wide receiver Matt Caddell
On the importance LSU game:
“We just have to go out there and do what we have to do.  Whatever story you want to make of it it’s fine.  It’s just a game to us.  We want to beat LSU because we are tied for first place not just because it’s LSU.  My answer is we just have to focus on the rest of the season and take it one game at a time.  The SEC is crazy.  You can never slip up.  You have to be able to play week in and week out.”

On LSU’s defense:
“They have speed and talent all across the board.  The defensive linemen are just as mobile as their defensive backs and running backs.  It’s just a pretty tough defense all the way around.  I guess we beat that with different formations and certain stuff they might not adjust to very well.  Try to attack their weaknesses and get them to change their schemes.”

On Alabama’s offensive success:
“I think it’s just execution.  We are able to move in the red zone and just make plays. We’ve been clicking on third downs and we have had some big runs. Basically it’s just about being balanced.”

On difference in John Parker Wilson:
“He’s always been a great quarterback.   I think he got really excited during the Tennessee game when he ran for the first down and then he came back and threw the ball to Nikita (Stover). That was my favorite play.  I just saw him out there having fun like he does in practice.  I think he’s going to build on that and come out and play that well the rest of his career.”

Redshirt freshmen running back Terry Grant
On John Parker Wilson:
“He’s one of the guys who has always got his head up, no matter what happened and we’re always behind him.”

On winning for Nick Saban:
“We approach this game like every other game. That’s how we’re viewing it and that’s how we need to view it.”

On wanting to be a starter:
“You just work hard every week and you know if no guy is there that you can be that guy and it helps you to practice hard each and every day.  I just go out and focus on what I’ve got to do every day and other guys do, too. But eventually they’re going to have to make a decision, and that’s how it is.”

On the offensive line:
“They performed well against Tennessee. So, I have all my faith into them and I’m pretty sure all the guys are backing them up.”

Sophomore left tackle Andre Smith
On the offensive line shake up:
“Coach (Joe) Pendry has always told us to mind every position because at one point in time, when he was in the NFL, his first string tight end had to play left tackle for the entire fourth quarter. So, he’s always told us to always mind our positions because you never know what may happen. On the first play, two offensive linemen may drop and then it’s up to the back-up to come in and play.”

On LSU defense:
They’re just an overall great defensive unit. They don’t mess up too much. They don’t give up any points a game, really. Just for us, when they make mistakes to go out and capitalize on them and just go out and have fun.”

On the hype of this game:
 “They always talk about LSU, but Coach Saban has bought us into the mentality to take one game at a time, one play at a time. Just go out and work hard, do what you’re supposed to do. He treats every opponent as if they’re the best team ever.   Any given Saturday, any college team can win.”